Visit Hitchin and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Hitchin, Hertfordshire, is one of the most interesting of the county's towns.
Down by the River Hiz, which flows through the town, are the early-l7th-century Biggin Alms-houses, built round a narrow courtyard with a Tuscan colonnade. In Sun Street, off Market Square, are many buildings of quality. The Sun Inn, a well-preserved building of blue brick with rubbed-brick dressings and a central carriageway, has a low, half-timbered range in the courtyard and an assembly room which was added in 1770.
In Tilehurst Street is the Victorian Baptist church with giant angle pilasters and Tuscan columns. in the church is a chair given by John Bunyan. No. 35 Tilehurst Street is a late Georgian house of brick; on this site stood the house of George Chapman, the Elizabethan poet and playwright. Other houses in the street range from the 15th to the 19th century.
On the west side of Market Square is the Victorian Corn Exchange, fashioned in the Italian style with a large Venetian window and a lantern turret. Around the square are ancient and interesting buildings interspersed with modern ones, and on its east side is Queen Street, mostly of Victorian buildings, with the Lister House Hotel at the end, a Victorian house in Georgian tradition.
Bancroft, a continuation of the High Street with houses of several centuries, is very fine and at its end range the Skynner Almshouses, dated 1670 and 1698.
In Brand Street off the High Street is the early Victorian old town hail by Bellamy, adjoining the library of the same period with a closed Tuscan porch and a temple front. The new town hail is opposite.
A house of particular interest is the Priory, built in 1770. Surrounded by a moat, it is in stone with a Palladian south front incorporating a semicircular porch and two projecting wings with Venetian windows. The County Council owns it.
St Mary's Church, in the Market Place, has woodwork that is without equal in the county. It is representative of a wealthy late medieval town, for when the church was built the town had a thriving wool industry. It is embattled all around and its most outstanding feature is the south porch with a staircase turret, window openings, a lierne-vault and the arms of the Staple of Calais on the wall. The nave is of flint, the chancel of stone. There is a fine series of roofs with cusped panels and principals on stone angels.
The l5th-century screens, of which there are several, are rich and beautiful. Of the same period, the stone font has mutilated figures under arched canopies, and the pulpit has angle buttresses and restored panels. The painting of the Adoration of the Magi is Flemish.
Districts of Hitchin: Highbury, Purwell, Oakfield, Poets Estate, Bearton, Benslow, Walsworth, Westmill
Nearby towns: Baldock, Biggleswade, Letchworth, Luton, Stevenage
Nearby villages: Ashwell, Bendish, Breachwood Green, Charlton, Codicote, Gosmore, Graveley, Great Offley, Great Wymondley, Hexton, Holwell, Ickleford, Kimpton, Kings Walden, Lilley, Little Wymondley, Little Offley, Pirton, Preston, St Ippolyts, St Paul's Walden, Whitwell
Have you decided to visit Hitchin or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Hitchin bed and breakfast (a Hitchin B&B or Hitchin b and b)
- a Hitchin guesthouse
- a Hitchin hotel (or motel)
- a Hitchin self-catering establishment, or
- other Hitchin accommodation