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Great Amwell, Hertfordshire

Historical Description

Amwell, Great, a village and a parish in Herts. the village stands near the sources of the New river and the G.E.R., 3½ mile SE by S of Ware, and has a post and telegraph office, of the name of Amwell, under Ware, which is the money order office. Its name is supposed to have been derived from Emma's Well, a fountain which issues from a hill and forms one of the sources of the New river. The parish comprises 2469 acres, of which 35 are water; population of the civil parish, 1975; of the ecclesiastical, 1084. Woolen's Brook and Hertford End are hamlets of Great Amwell. Amwell End, in this parish, is a suburb of Ware. Amwell Place was the seat of the Quaker poet Scott, who described the picturesque beauty of the neighbourhood, and wrote the lines, "I hate the drum's discordant sound." Amwell Bury, near Barrow Hill, has yielded some ancient relics. Hayleybury College belonged to the East India Company, and is now a first-class school similar to Marlborough. A monument stands on an islet in the New river, erected in 1800 by Mr Mylne the architect to the memory of the ill-requited Sir Hugh Myddleton, who impoverished himself by the formation of that work to which London owes a large supply of water. Isaak Walton was a frequent visitor at Amwell, and Hoole, the translator of Tasso, was a resident. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of St Albans; yearly value, £320 with residence. The church, which is an ancient building of flint and brick in mixed styles, stands on an eminence, and dates from the 14th century. The churchyard contains the graves of Reed, the editor of Shakespeare, and of the poet Warner, the contemporary and friend of Shakespeare, who wrote "Albion's England."

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyHertfordshire 
Ecclesiastical parishAmwell St. John the Baptist 
Poor Law unionWare 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

Findmypast, in association with the Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies have the Baptisms, Banns, Marriages, and Burials online for Great Amwell

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Great Amwell from the following:

Land and Property

A full transcript of the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Hertfordshire is online.


Online maps of Great Amwell are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Hertfordshire newspapers online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitations of Hertfordshire, 1572 and 1634. Edited by Walter C. Metcalfe, F.S.A. is available on the Heraldry page.

DistrictEast Hertfordshire
Postal districtSG12
Post TownWare