Travelling around Hitchin
The richly historic market town of Hitchin occupies a delightful location in Hertfordshire, surrounded by rolling hills, quiet lanes and traditional villages. There are mentions of Hitchin that date back more than 1,000 years, and wandering around the narrow streets leading to the historic market place, it’s easy to imagine the small rural village it must once have been.
The old market place represents the historic heart of the town, and it’s surrounded by stunning buildings dating from the Victorian era and earlier, while the historic route to the centre, known as Bancroft, is unusually wide thanks to the fact that it was traditionally used for driving cattle.
The historic nature of Hitchin hasn’t stopped it from becoming a base for people travelling further afield. It is well served by frequent trains to and from London. Luton airport is just a 15-minute drive away and Arriva buses cover Hitchin itself and Letchworth, Baldock, Luton and Luton Airport.
A document from the 7th century mentioned that Hitchin was the home of the ‘Hicce’, a name which probably means ‘people of the horse’. The prosperity enjoyed by Hitchin when it became a centre for the wool trade in the 17th century and a stopping place for travellers to and from London is symbolised by St Mary’s Church. It looms over the town and is the largest Parish Church in Hertfordshire, with a tower dating back to 1190.
The arrival of the railway in the 19th century saw Hitchin expand further. The town gained a corn exchange and became the thriving, vibrant centre that it is today.