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Welwyn ( ) is a village and civil parish in Hertfordshiremarker, Englandmarker. The parish also includes the villages of Digswellmarker and Oaklands. It should not be confused with the newer settlement of Welwyn Garden Citymarker, about a mile to the south.

History

Situated in the valley of the River Mimram, Welwyn was first settled in the Iron Age . The Belgae colonised the area in the 1st century BC and later it was settled by the Romans. Many Roman artifacts have been found, and the remains of a Roman bath house may be visited. Much later, in the 17th century, as it lies on the old Great North Roadmarker, it became an important staging post and a number of coaching inns remain as public houses. After the Great Northern Railway by-passed the village due to the objections of local landowners, Welwyn became less important. Having previously been seen as a town on par with Hatfield and Stevenagemarker, it gradually was seen as a village. The 20th century brought major expansion to the area, as estates to the south, west and north of the village were built up.

A Norman church was built on the site about 1190. The nave of the present church (St Mary's), was built in the 13th century, the chancel arch being the most obvious early structure. There are two medieval corbels at the east end of the south aisle. Patronage of the church passed through several hands until in 1549 it was sold to the Wilshere family, who lived at The Frythemarker until relatively recently.

Transport

Welwyn was noted for its congestion since the beginning of the 20th century and in 1927 got what is claimed to be the first by-pass in Britain. The A1 was upgraded to motorway standards north of Welwyn in the 1960s and in 1973 the motorway was extended south past the village, by-passing the existing by-pass. Today the village is the point where the 6-lane motorway merges into 4-lanes and is the site of extensive traffic jams in the evening peak. A decade ago there were extensive plans to widen the whole road through the area to 8 lanes, and upgrade the existing junction to create a long one-way system running the length of the village. These plans were shelved, but recently plans to provide a climbing lane at least on the section north of the village have been discussed.

Buses are provided by Arriva and Centrebus, with some assistance from Hertfordshire County Council. Arriva's 300/301 Centraline service links Welwyn to the major nearby towns of Stevenagemarker, Welwyn Garden Citymarker, Hatfield, St Albansmarker and Hemel Hempsteadmarker, as well as neighbouring villages Woolmer Greenmarker and Knebworthmarker. The 301 additionally connects both the nearby hospitals in Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City, while the 300 provides a direct link to recreational areas such as Stanborough Lakesmarker in Welwyn Garden City and Verulamiummarker Roman town in St Albans. Buses run every 15 minutes Monday-Friday, every 20 minutes Saturday, and hourly on Sunday. Additional bi-hourly service 314 is provided by Centrebus, connecting Welwyn to Codicote and Hitchinmarker.

Green Line Coaches 797 stops on the by-pass, providing an hourly direct link to areas of North Londonmarker and the West End.

The nearest railway station is Welwyn North railway stationmarker in the nearby village of Digswellmarker, about a mile east from the village. Trains are operated by First Capital Connect and run every 30 minutes Monday to Saturday south to London and north to Hitchin and Stevenage, with an hourly service to Letchworthmarker and Cambridgemarker and to Peterboroughmarker. On Sundays an hourly service operates from London to Cambridge only. There is no bus link to the station, although buses do link to nearby Welwyn Garden City railway stationmarker.

Education

There are two schools in Welwyn.

The larger school is Welwyn St. Mary's Church of England Primary School, situated off London Road which takes children aged between 4 and 11 years of age (Reception to Year 6). Originally built in 1940 as a secondary school, the school was later converted to a primary school.

There is also Tenterfield Nursery School which is situated on London Road close to the primary school. It takes children aged 3 to 4 years of age.

Secondary education is provided through schools in nearby towns.

See also



References

  1. Welwyn St Mary's School Website



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