Title: Waterford Church, near Hertford - Publisher: Charles Martin, 39 Aldermanbury, London E C  No 2163 - Date: Circa 1903 (Inland only)Towns & Villages in Herts


Formerly Part of the Parish of Bengeo

Includes the House of Goldings

[This parish has been used to compare a number of sources.]

BENGEO ... There are chapels of ease at Waterford and Tunwell ... At Waterford Marsh are 28 acres of land free to all the inhabitants of the parish to graze horses and cows. ...

Waterford is a hamlet in this parish, a mile and a half north-west from the church. It has a chapel of ease and a National school.

Schools:- ... National, Waterford, Mrs Hannah Skipper, mistress

The following are listed with a Waterford address:

Post Office Directory for Hertfordshire, 1866 [Bengeo entry]

Waterford Church - Durrant Series, Hertford, posted 1906

Goldings, the seat of Robert Smith, Esquire, is an estate on the western part of [the parish of Bengeo]. The situation of the present mansion being somewhat damp, and exposed to the mists arising from the river, it is, although comparatively a new building, about to be demolished, Another mansion, now nearly completed, has been erected in its stead about 100 yards further west, and on a more elevated site. The building is chiefly of brick, with white stone dressings; the style of the architecture being very late Jacobean, or perhaps of the period of Queen Anne.

In the year 1869 Robert Smith, Esquire, at his sole cost, diverted the roads, so that a redier means of access was obtained from Hertford to Watton and Bramfield. Mr Smith constructed nearly one mile of turnpike road, and the same of parish road, and further erected five very handsome and substantial bridges, which he dedicated to public use. [No mention of Waterford.]

Cussans, Hertfordshire - Hundred of Hertford, 1876 [Bengeo entry]

Leaving Hertford by the North Road, we arrive at the charming domain of Goldings, the property of Robert Smith, Esq., who has recently made most extensive and costly improvements. About fifty years ago there was an ancient Mansion here "of red brick, with rustic corners, and a pediment over the middle with stone balls, on the front and corners," belonging to "a fine old English gentleman," (R.Emmott, Esq.) whose remains repose in the old Church at Bengeo. After his death Goldings became the property of the Smith family, and a house in the style of what may be called "Modern Gothic," was erected on the site of the former Mansion. This is now superseded by a larger and more imposing building, erected by Mr Smith on a hill in the rear of the former edifice; a delightful Park has also been formed, the surface of which  is singularly undulating and diversified, and a branch of the river Beane in front of the house is expanded into a lake, and adds much to the beauty of the scenery.

The old high road, which used to run in front of the Mansion, and through the middle of what is now the Park, is diverted, and a new road commencing on the top of the hill in front of the House diverges in two directions. That to the right leads to the pretty Hamlet of Waterford, within the Parish of Bengeo, now formed into a separate Ecclesiastical district, where Mr. R. Smith, at his sole cost, has erected a charming little Church and School Room; and not only are the religious wants of the neighbourhood carefully provided for, but the general aspect wonderfully improved, the Church and the School Buildings forming pretty and striking objects in the landscape. The Church, which is dedicated to St Michael and All Angels, is a handsome structure of the Early Geometrical style of architecture, and was first opened in 1872. The new road is much more convenient and level than the old road.

Guide to Hertfordshire, 1880

The Waterford Arms and the River Beane

Durrant Series, Hertford
Posted 1905

Waterford Bridge & Tavern
pub: J Sharpe, Waterford
posted 1909

John Sturgeon, Coffee Tavern [in trees]  Kelly 1902 [not 1908]

Mrs Kate Sharpe, grocer & post office, Waterford. Kelly 1902 & 1908

waterford-bridge-falls   Bridge and Falls, Waterford

The Valley of the Beane

A highroad leading to the N. of the county runs along the Beane Valley, and following this road we pass, 1 m. from Hertford, Goldings, a modern house built near the site of an old one, in a pretty park.

1 m. further we pass through Waterford, a hamlet of Bengeo, with a modern church, (St Michael) erected in 1872. ...

Tourist Guide to Hertfordshire 1891

The Overflow, Waterford Marsh
Postcard, circa 1904, by R & S, "The Hertford Series" No 9. Printed in Germany

Also known uncoloured, No "R & S" but otherwise identical back

Waterford and Waterford Marsh are in the Bengeo parish, on the River Beane. On the marsh is some grazing common, free to all parishioners. [It is not mentioned in the 1957 edition]

Hertfordshire Little Guide 1903

Waterford - "Durrant Series, Hertford" - circa 1905

WATERFORD is an ecclesiastical parish, formed in 1908 from parts of Bengeo (Rural) and Bramfield, 2 miles north-west from Hertford, in the Hertford division of the county, Hertford hundred, petty sessional division, union and county court district, and in the rural deanery of Hertford and archdeaconry and diocese of St Albans. The church of St Michael and All Angels is a building of Kentish Ragstone, in the Decorated style, erected in the year 1872 at the expense of the late Robert Smith esq. of Goldings, and consisting of chancel, nave, vestry, south porch and a western tower with a broach spire: nave is a memorial window to the Rev. Charles Deedes M.A. a former rector, d. 25 Dec. 1875, and others to Miss Emmeline C. Smith, erected in 1890, and Robert Smith esq erected in 1895: some fine mosaic decorative work was given by the late Reginald A. Smith esq. The living is a perpetual curacy, yearly value 200, with residence, in the gift of the Hon. Mrs. Reginald Abel Smith, and held since 1921 by the Rev Anthony Arnold Mayhew M.A. of Trinity College, Oxford. Goldings, formerly the seat of the late Reginald Abel Smith esq. is now the property of Barnardo's Homes. Goldings Park is now part of Booadoak End Farm. The population in 1911 was 241, and in 1921 was 441.

Sexton: George Bygrave

Post & M.O. Office. - Mrs Kate Sharpe, sub-postmistress. Letters received through Hertford. Bengeo, 1 miles distant, is the nearest telegraph office

Church of England School, for 102 children: Mrs F. M. Howell, mistress

Kelly's Directory for Hertfordshire, 1922

Waterford - "Durrant Series, Hertford" - circa 1905

WATERFORD. The happy Barnado boys have found a fine home here in the great house of Goldings, once the home of the banking family who built the church last century. Windows to their memory make a delightful gallery, especially one to a young daughter of the house showing a girl with an angel hovering over her. Under another are moulded in bronze the nine medals won by Colonel Wilfred Abel-Smith, including the famous Khartoum medal. He lived here in the park before he went out to the war and fell at Festubert in 1915. But it is the Burne-Jones windows that are the chief attraction of the church. They show Mary and Gabriel in the shade of orange trees, Miriam dancing to her timbrel under a pomegranate tree, and David with his harp.

Arthur Mee, Hertfordshire, 1930s

Waterford is Waterford 1214 Cur, 1248 Ass, c 1315 Ch, 1316 FF, Watir- 1342 Ass, Waterford Hall 1563 Deeds Enrolled, (Streete) 1650 Ct. The elements are self-explanatory but the exact meaning of the compound is uncertain. Was it so called in distinction from Stapleford about a mile and a half to the north because the river at this point was deeper?

Goldings, Payne's Hall, Revel's Hall and Rickneys are to be associated with the families of John Goldyng (1296 SR), Ralph Payn (1278 Ass), Richard and John Revel (1299 Ass) and John Rykener (1403 CL).

[See book for meanings of abbreviations - and for additional footnotes]

The Place-names of Hertfordshire, 1938

Waterford Cottages - from The Hertfordshire Review, 1950


Goldings, Hertford
pub: E Munnings, Old Cross, Hertford
circa 1910

"Goldings, the seat of the Hon. Mrs. Reginald Smith, standing in the grounds of about 600 acres, is a fine mansion of red brick with stone dressings." Kelly, 1912

To the passing motorist today the village appears to straggle along the A602 for just under half a mile, but this aspect is largely due to the development during the last hundred and twenty years. The main road along the valley of the Beane has been an important highway north from Hertford for many centuries and the hamlet of Waterford grew up near the ford. The latter was needed not for the high road, which continues on the same side of the river, but for a turning off to the east.

The first mention of the name Waterford was in the early 13th century ... Today near the bridge are several picturesque old cottages, together with the only remaining public house, The Waterford Arms, and a former hostelry, The Windmill. On the other side of the bridge is a small green. Beside it are two Georgian houses, The Verney, now a residential home for the elderly, and Mill Cottage.

In the late 1860s Robert Smith of Goldings ... 

A great change occurred in April 1922 when the first Barnardo's boys arrived. Two hundred and sixty from Stepney, led by their own band, marched along the road from the railway station at Hertford and took up residence. Later that year the Price of Wales (later Edward VIII) came for the official opening of the William Baker Technical School as it was called. The large stables of the mansion were ideal for workshops and in the fifty acres of grounds there was plenty of space for a swimming pool and other sports facilities. Two former Barnardo's Boys, Leslie Thomas and Frank Norman have written about their time there in autobiographies. Barnardo's closed the school in 1967 but their apprentice printers continued to live in the Verney for a number of years. Goldings is now used as the headquarters of the Highways Department of the County Council.

The Hertfordshire Village Book 1986


Article: Barnado's at Goldings - in Hertfordshire Countryside, August 2006.

Web Sites: www.goldings.org and www.goldonian.org

See also Vital Records

If you know of other books, websites, etc, relating to this place, please tell me.


Page updated October 2009 - picture of cottages, 1950