Latest news and events at HALS

Watford Central Library at 90

Watford at 90

On Wednesday 12 December, Watford Central Library will be celebrating its 90th birthday.  To celebrate, there will be a chance to explore some of the hidden treasures from the archives and local studies collections, including maps, photographs and leaflets.  Discover how the library has changed over time at this free event.

HALS Proud to support Flamstead Heritage Project

HALS is delighted to be supporting the project team at St Leonard’s Church Flamstead, who have recently received the first round funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Urgent repairs to this 12th century church will be made, along with a programme of interpretation, activities and community engagement. HALS will be supporting project volunteers with research into the history of the building and local area, as well as offering training in digitization and creation of articles on Herts Memories.  Find out more on the Flamstead project website.

Christmas Gift Ideas from the Heritage Shop

HALS Christmas gifts

Are you starting to feel festive?  We are, so we thought we’d share some ideas for unusual Christmas gifts.

If you’re looking for a present for a keen cook, why not try them with some traditional Hertfordshire recipes? Or maybe you’re after something to spark a bit of nostalgic chat about life in Hertfordshire. What could be better than one of our picture books? Or perhaps, you just need a stocking filler… How about this Colouring Book of Hertfordshire?

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Historic Gardens around Berkhamsted

BLH&MS talk at 8:00pm on 12 Dec 2018 in the Wellcome Great Hall, Town Hall, Berkhamsted. Visitors are always welcome @ £3 at the door….

Kate Harwood is the Planning and Conservation Officer for Hertfordshire Gardens Trust and a former university lecturer (in Garden History). The talk will be about the historic gardens round Berkhamsted from Capability Brown to the Arts and Crafts, with a quick look at possible gardens at the castle and one or two a bit further afield.

Pool at Aston Clinton_Newman_Sketch_15-Oct-1902

Photo of “A Charming Pool in the Grounds of Aston Clinton House”
(J.T. Newman, The Sketch, Oct 1902)

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Bosworth 1485 A Battlefield Rediscovered

A Special Afternoon at Richard III Visitor Center, Leicester on Fri 14 Dec 2018
includes a FREE copy of the book (worth £ 45)

Bosworth book

Talk by Professor Anne Curry
Free glass of wine / tea & coffee
FREE entry to Richard III Visitor Centre (worth 8.95) including Richard III’s grave
Visit Richard III’s tomb in Leicester Cathedral
Talk by Richard Mackinder on latest archaeology and interpretation
of the battlefield since 2013
All for just £ 30

To get your NUMBERED ticket to this event and a FREE copy of the book reserved for you email the organiser Kelvin van Hasselt – Founder & Vice President – The Battlefields Trust with your booking and provide your mobile number.

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Battlefields Trust Study Day


‘And down goes all before them’

 Gunpowder weapons from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries
Saturday 24 November 2018

The Battlefields Trust in partnership with the Royal Gunpowder Mills at Waltham Abbey present a one-day seminar from 9.30 a.m.–5.30 p.m., on gunpowder weapons from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries, entitled ‘And down goes all before them’, a quotation from Shakespeare’s Henry V. The venue will be the Royal Gunpowder Mills, Beaulieu Drive, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 1JY.

The day will include lectures, demonstrations of gunpowder weapons by re-enactors and tours of the Royal Gunpowder Mills. Speakers include Nick Hall, Curator Emeritus at the Royal Armouries, Richard Knox, Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre, and Simon Marsh, Battlefields Trust, with demonstrations from Rumford Artillery Group (part of Lord Fauconberg’s Household) of the War of the Roses Federation and Rawdon’s Regiment of the English Civil War Society. Cost for the day is £35.00 for Battlefields Trust members (£40.00 non-members) and includes lunch and refreshments.

To view the full programme and download a booking form click here. Send the completed form along with your payment to Chris May.

For further information email Harvey Watson or telephone 01494 257847.


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What’s On at HALS?

Hertfordshire Red Books at the Garden History Museum

A major exhibition to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the death of Humphrey Repton has opened at the Garden History Museum in Lambeth. Twenty-four original Red Books,  including those for Panshanger House and Tewin Water House (from HALS), are on display.  The Red Books were a marketing tool used by Repton to show his landscape designs to clients. To mark this anniversary, we are offering a discount on our Repton publications during November.


Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies at HCC Volunteering Awards

On 25 October, Hertfordshire County Council held its volunteering awards celebrating the contributions of all Hertfordshire’s volunteers. HALS volunteers were recognized in three categories:

Best Young Volunteer went to Daniel Cole, for helping digitize our collections. Sheila White, who has supported the archives for over 13 years, was awarded a Lifetime Achievement award. Buffy Ord was nominated for the Outstanding Star award for the work she has contributed over the years. You can find out about volunteering opportunities on our webpages.


#Explore Your Archive

HALS and Hertfordshire Libraries are supporting the Archive and Records Association’s nationwide campaign to raise awareness of archives. Throughout November, you will find events and exhibitions across the county, showcasing the breadth of our collections.  Find #EYA events near you on our website.

Readers Tickets: New Scheme Coming Soon

Please note that County Archive Research Network (CARN) scheme will end on 30 November this year.  HALS will however continue to accept valid CARN tickets as proof of identity until they expire.  From 01 December, we will be introducing our own scheme.   We Check our webpages for information on this by the end of November.

Events & Exhibitions


Fearless Women: On 24 November at 7pm, we will be holding the first in our series on bold women in Hertfordshire’s History.  This event focuses on St Albans-born Duchess of Marlborough, and is combined with an advance screening of the film The Favourite at WGC Cinema.

Watch the trailer here and order your tickets via the cinema website. Next time you visit HALS, do take a look at our new foyer display, Peace in Hertfordshire: How the County Celebrated the end of the Great War. Visit our webpages to find details of all our events.

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De Havilland Museum Visit

The Trust is proposing a return visit to the de Havilland’s Aircraft Museum at London Colney, Hertfordshire, on Sunday 10 March 2019, following our successful visit in 2017. The visit will only take place if we have sufficient numbers, and the cut-off date for those who need to show an interest is Saturday 1 December 2018. At this point we still have a few places available.

Tickets are £17.00 and the money will be collected nearer the time. Therefore if you wish to go please contact Clive Hammersley before 1 December to book your place. Further information on the museum can be found here.

De Haviland Museum Trust_Dec-2018

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Celebrating Armistice Day…

Flyer_WWI book sales

Image | Posted on by

Bosworth Battlefield

Bosworth Battlefield

with latest interpretation based on recent archaeological finds and view of the battlefield from viewpoint of all 3 protagonists especially that of Henry Tudor which will not be possible if the western part of battlefield is built on in 2019.
Our Tour Guide will be Richard Mackinder
Richard ran the Bosworth Battlefield Visitor Centre for 26 years and has worked with Glenn Foard on the new interpretation in 2009 and has continued archaeological research ever since with the Ambion Historical & Archaeological Group (AHARG), a dedicated team of metal detectorists carefully plotting every find.
We hope that each tour will include descendants of those who fought in the battle and leading historians.
We only have room for 15 participants on each tour.
Meet:  Bosworth Battlefield Visitor Centre, Sutton Cheney, Leicestershire CV13 0AD
10.30 am for 2.5 hour tour, including coach and briefing notes
Cost: £ 25 (Pay on the Day)
(NB please let me know in in good time if you cannot come so that somebody else can have the ticket) .
The Visitor Centre Tithe Barn is OPEN for Sunday Roast lunch at 1pm.
2 course £ 11.85       3 courses £14.85
Please indicate in your email if you would like Sunday lunch so we can give the visitor centre an idea of numbers.
You can enjoy the visitor centre and its excellent bookshop and then go on to visit local villages and churches such as Daddlington.
Sunday, November 4th
Sunday, November 18th  
Sunday, November 25th
Sunday, December 2nd
To get your NUMBERED ticket, all you need to do is to email the organiser with your booking and provide your mobile number to:
Kelvin van Hasselt – Founder & Vice President – The Battlefields Trust
Email  here
Tel: 01263 – 513 560
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WWI Peace Exhibition

Berkhamsted Civic Centre on Fri 9 Nov 12:00 to 16:00 and Sat 10 Nov 10:00 to 16:00…

leaflet 1 (002)  leaflet 2 (002)

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HALH Symposium

From Roman City to New Towns: Hertfordshire’s development

St Albans Abbey 067

Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban

This year’s Hertfordshire Association for Local History Symposium is on Sat 10 Nov at Lemsford Village Hall AL8 7TT.

The day is the highlight of the local history calendar in Hertfordshire, and is a great opportunity to hear local history experts, talk to fellow enthusiasts, and buy the latest publications. Coffee and tea are provided.

‘Verulamium: Hertfordshire’s first Garden City?’
‘Saxon Burghs and medieval market towns’
‘No taxation without representation: the Chartist Land Colony’
‘Hertford in the eighteenth century’
‘St Albans in the eighteenth century’
‘Hitchin in the nineteenth century’
‘Lemsford in the nineteenth century’
‘Writers and thinkers on the Garden City Idea: Ebenezer Howard and George Bernard Shaw’
‘Letchworth – England’s only new industrial town?’
‘Stevenage: The first post-war New Town’

For full programme and booking details – check here

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