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Old Harlow has become a jewel in the crown of the greater Harlow area over the years and has maintained both property prices and the desire to live there.

In 1944 Harlow was one of 32 locations around London selected as a site for a New Town. On the western edge of Essex, the area consisted of a few scattered hamlets and farms and, apart from the villages of Old Harlow and Potter Street, it was rural and undeveloped, with many fine trees and woodlands. Although close to London, Harlow was never intended to be a satellite of the capital, but rather a self-contained, planned town with its own amenities to house Londoners whose homes had been destroyed in World War II.

A green new town

Eminent architect Sir Frederick Gibberd proposed that the new town should be just west of the original village of Old Harlow. It was to consist of a central civic area surrounded by four large neighbourhood clusters, each with its own shops, churches, library, medical and community centres and schools. The clusters would be separated by wide green areas carrying the town’s main roads. The woodland areas were increased by planting many thousands of trees, thus enhancing Harlow’s rural atmosphere. Many old buildings nestle happily alongside the modern housing developments, and the countryside reaches right into the centre, earning its ‘green town’ reputation.

In and around Harlow you will discover an independent system of cycle tracks, some along former medieval lanes, which conserve the landscape and provide a pedestrian-friendly link with the past. This walk starts from Mark Hall North, the first residential area to be built by Gibberd in 1953, and continues to the rural setting of Old Harlow, Mulberry Green and Churchgate Street in the east. The route taken by the Harlow Museum is an extension of the original lane which ran from the centre of the new town to Old Harlow. On this route you will see Old Harlow, walk through the site of a Roman settlement, now a recreational park, and pass the medieval chapel of Harlowbury before reaching Churchgate Street.


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Just 20 minutes from London and in the heart of rural Hertfordshire lies the district of Stevenage, that offers visitors a timeless mix of heritage, retail therapy and exciting events for everyone to enjoy.

The Jewel in the crown of Stevenage is Fairlands Valley Park. Once voted as one of the UK’s leading free visitor attractions, Fairlands Valley Park consists of 120 acres of beautiful parkland situated within the heart of Stevenage.

Stevenage is launching a major, 20-year, £1bn regeneration programmed designed to transform what it offers to current and future residents and to make Stevenage into a place where people want to live, work and play.

The regeneration is formed of a number of separate schemes including SG1 and Queensway and promises to introduce a range of new retail, residential and leisure opportunities to the town centre.

Stevenage is home to a series of major, international organisations including MBDA, Airbus and GSK. It offers a unique balance of urban and rural living and provides fantastic transport links to London and beyond in just 20 minutes.

Stevenage old town keeps the authentic feel of Stevenage. For quaint and unique shops, step into the old town, not too far a walk from the main train station. It is filled with a variety of restaurants and hosts a great nightlight; you are sure not to be disappointed.

Our FOCUS ON content was taken from https://www.visitherts.co.uk/see-and-do/destinations/stevenage/


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In the rural, leafy district of North Hertfordshire and located on the north eastern outskirts of Stevenage lies the civil parish of Great Ashby.

Development began in 1999 and the area now boasts approximately 2200 dwellings with a population of around 5700, a primary school, an inclusive community church and a neighbourhood centre with local shops and a community centre. Many of Great Ashby homes enjoy a modern feel and provide private and social housing for our thriving community. A recent survey demonstrated that residents are very happy living here.


There is a good community spirit and residents overwhelmingly state they feel safe, which is reinforced by low crime statistics for the area. Whilst Great Ashby is predominantly built on farmland, the area surrounding is rich in history: Great Ashby is fortunate to border the Weston Park character area with its gently sloping chalk plateau.


This area contains ancient woodland containing oak and thorn, winding paths and intersecting lanes within an area of beauty and designated green belt. To the north and east of Great Ashby ancient woodland provides nature trails for walkers and the district park is popular with the local community. P a g e | 5 Between the nearby village of Graveley and the area of Chesfield Park lies farmland known as Forster Country, famed by the English novelist E.M. Forster, the author of A Room with a View, Howards End and A Passage to India amongst other novels. He famously described the surrounding countryside as being ‘the loveliest in England’.


Also of note, some historic buildings are situated close to Great Ashby which show evidence of the remains of medieval life: probably most well known locally is the ruin of the Grade II listed 14th century church of St Elthelreda, which although sited within a private garden, is visible from the road in Back Lane. Historical websites also report other medieval sites to the north east of Great Ashby near to Halls Green and south of Weston where evidence was found of a 12th century medieval manorial site and Romano-British burials. South-east of Weston, there have been finds of prehistoric earthworks including flint scatters and pottery from the woods and fields indicating evidence of occupation dating back to the Neolithic period – suggesting settlement as early as circa 4000 BC.

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