Pirton, a village and a parish in Herts. The village stands near the boundary with Beds, 4 miles NW by W of Hitchin station on the Great Northern and Midland railway, and 2½ from Henlow station on the M.R. It was known at Domesday as Peritone, signifying " Peri's town;" took that name from a previous Saxon owner called Peri; and now has a post office under Hitchin; money order and telegraph office, Shillington. It formerly had a fair on the first Thursday of Nov. The parish comprises 2725 acres; population, 1016. The manor was granted by William the Conqueror to the De Limesies, from whom it passed to Odingsells, Cauntons, and Clintons, and in 1602 to the Docwra family. In 1700 it passed to the Warburtons, who sold it in 1727 to the Radcliffe family, with whom it remains. A church and a castle were founded here by the first De Limesie, and traces of the castle still exist. High Down was the seat of the Docwras, built in 1612, and is now a chief residence. Pirton Hall is a modern mansion of red brick in the Tudor style. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of St Albans; net value, £100 with residence, in the gift of the Dean and chapter of Ely. The church was rebuilt about the middle of the loth century, but retains some Norman work of the previous edifice, and consists of chancel, nave, S porch, and a central tower with slender spire. The tower was rebuilt in 1877, the walls of the nave being raised and a new roof added in 1883. There are Baptist and Wesleyan chapels, and some small charities.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Pirton St. Mary|
|Hundred||Hitchin and Pirton|
|Poor Law union||Hitchin|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Pirton from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858. (Pirton (St. Mary))
Land and Property
A full transcript of the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Hertfordshire is online.
Online maps of Pirton are available from a number of sites:
- Bing (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- Google Streetview.
- National Library of Scotland. (Old maps)
- old-maps.co.uk (Old Ordnance Survey maps to buy).
- Streetmap.co.uk (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- A Vision of Britain through Time. (Old maps)
Newspapers and Periodicals
The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Hertfordshire newspapers online:
- Hertford Mercury and Reformer
- Herts Guardian, Agricultural Journal, and General Advertiser
- Watford Observer
The Visitations of Hertfordshire, 1572 and 1634. Edited by Walter C. Metcalfe, F.S.A. is available on the Heraldry page.