Facts about Hitchin
Hitchin is a market town in the North Hertfordshire District in Hertfordshire, with an estimated population of 33,350 and is in the local government district of North Hertfordshire which was formed in 1974 by the amalgamation of rural and urban councils. There is now no town council in Hitchin. Residents elect 13 members to the North Hertfordshire District Council. There are five electoral wards in Hitchin: Bearton, Highbury, Oughton, Priory and Walsworth.
By 1086 Hitchin is described as a Royal Manor in Domesday Book: the feudal services of Avera and Inward, usually found in the eastern counties, especially Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, were due from the sokemen, but the manor of Hitchin was unique in levying Inward. Evidence has been found to suggest that the town was once provided with an earthen bank and ditch fortification, probably in the early tenth century but this did not last.
The town flourished on the wool trade and located near the Icknield Way and by the 17th century, Hitchin was a staging post for coaches coming from London. By the middle of the 19th century the railway had arrived and with it a new way of life for Hitchin. The corn exchange was built in the market place and within a short time Hitchin established itself as a major centre for grain trading.