River Bulbourne - Roughdown

River Bulbourne.
The Bulborne flows south eastwards

Post to the north Boxmoor
Post to the east Two Waters 

The A41 from the M25 and the Tring bypass was opened in 1993. This section was built by Amey Construction Ltd. The road is built to dual 2 lane standard with grade separated junctions. The road comes alongside the west-coast main line, crosses the and crosses the London Road

London Road
This was the A41 but lost its primary status when the bypass was built and became the A41. This road is now the A4251
389 Haven House. Hemel Hempstead Community Church. This was a warehouse belonging to the gas works. It is leased to an evangelical group as a church and community base.
449 site of the now demolished Princes Arms, later called Hooden in a Box. There is some speculation if this name relates to Snooks' grave, or to the traditional Hooden Horse.
Boxmoor Baptist Church. 1826 this was between Stratford Way and Russell Place and closely associated with the family of the Missionary, William Carey, after whom the Baptist Church in the Marlowes is named.  In 1822 through of Carey’s sisters the church was built. 16 people formed a Christian Church of the Particular Baptist Denomination and by 1863 the church was too small. It was pulled down and a larger one built although that too was too small. Numbers declined in the mid 20th. A burial ground to the rear was apparently cleared in 1984.
Duckhall – this, now used as the name of the gasworks, relates to an area around where a loop of the Bulbourne nears to London Road. There was a Duckhall House somewhere nearby.

Gas works. The gas works here dates from the late 1860s and follows a number of attempts to set up a gas supply in the area.  In 1878 The Hemel Hempstead District Gas Company was set up and the rival companies, whose mains were already being used by the new company, were dissolved.  The works was supplied with coal via a special extension of the Harpenden and Hemel Hempstead Railway. The works closed in 1960 but holders remain - erected in 1900 to Cutler’s Patent design

Roughdown Common
Chalk Mine.  The chalk mine is on common land and sealed. Its’ name was ‘Rough down Mine’ and in 1897-1906 it was owned by William Glover. In 1907 it was owned by Esau Cheshire, who employed three men below ground there. In 1916 the entrance to the mine at the base of the pit was sealed. Later Investigations inside the mine showed the chalk was criss-crossed with orange clay and there were remains of a railway visible on the floor. However it is thought a much larger area of workings lies in an area unsafe to investigate. . A narrow gauge railway could be traced in a line of hummocks and led to a slope out of the quarry. 
Bat caves. These were created in 1994 in the old chalk workings by the Hertfordshire and Middlesex Bat Group and the Vincent Trust.
Lower Roughdown. Juniper is growing here on the chalk as well as pyramid orchid which attracts burnet moths
Upper Roughdown
Further Roughdown, This field was given to the Boxmoor Trust to compensate for land taken for the A41 Bypass road. It has been seeded with chalk land grass and plants.
Radio mast

Roughdown Road
Princes or Princess Court. Housing built in what was the yard of the Princes Arms and apparently named after it.

Station Approach
Hemel Hempstead Station The station lies between Watford and Berkhamsted station on the West Coast Main Line. The station was opened by the London and Birmingham Railway in 1837 as Boxmoor station. It was the first terminus on Robert Stephenson’s innovative railway to Birmingham to which trains first ran in 1838. There was considerable opposition to the building of the line and the station locally and thus the station was sited outside the adjacent urban areas. In 1912 it was renamed Boxmoor and Hemel Hempstead by the London and North West railway and in 1930 it was renamed Hemel Hempstead and Boxmoor. Following nationalisation it became known as Hemel Hempstead from 1963. From 1877 to 1948 there was also a junction here with a Midland Railway line to Harpenden but there was no direct connection and that line terminated at the gas works.
Car park. This covers the area of a siding

Boxmoor Trust. Web site
Chelsea Speleological Society Newsletter. 
Hemel Hempstead Station. Wikipedia Web site
Our Dacorum. Web site
Sabre-roads. Web site
Smith. Engineering Heritage in London and the Thames Valley


Ricky Day said…
Thanks for the info I went for a walk at Roughdown common and saw the entrance to the mine, what shame cannot get in there to investigate and take some photographs, there must be other entrances ;)

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