Facts about Hoddesdon
Hoddesdon is a town in the Broxbourne borough of the English county of Hertfordshire, situated in the Lea Valley. It grew up as a coaching stop on the route between Cambridge and London. It is located 3 miles West of Harlow 4 miles southeast of Hertford, 5 miles north of Waltham Cross and 11 miles southwest of Bishop’s Stortford. At its height during the 18th century, more than 35 coaches a day passed through the town.
In 1336 William de la Marche was licensed to build a chapel of ease in the town. The building, known as St Katharine’s Chapel, survived until the 17th century when it was demolished. The tower survived until 1836. The chapel was used by pilgrims to the shrine at Walsingham. Hoddesdon was situated about 20 miles north of London on the main road to Cambridge and to the north. The road forked in the centre of the town, with the present High Street dividing into Amwell Street and Burford Street, both leading north to Ware.
The town was considerably enlarged in the reign of Elizabeth I, and a number of inns in the High Street date from this time. The monarch granted a royal charter in 1559/60, placing the town government under a bailiff, warden and eight assistants. The charter also established a free grammar school based on the site of the former hospital, and this was placed under the care of the corporation. Neither the borough nor the school flourished, however, and both had ceased to exist by the end of the century.