Let's move to Welwyn Garden City - feature in The Guardian
I stumbled across this interesting piece on The Guardian’s website the other day featuring our neighbouring Garden City, Welwyn. The piece offers a snapshot of residential life in the town and worth a quick read. Read the full article on The Guardian’s website here
Following a little research (a quick phone call to our museum team) I found a little bit more about Welwyn Garden City…
Following the success of Letchworth, Ebenezer Howard was convinced that, in order to further promote his ideas, another Garden City was needed.
On frequent train journeys from Letchworth to London, Howard himself had spotted a site close to Welwyn as an ideal location. The land, on the Panshanger estate, eventually became available and in 1919, Welwyn Garden City was born.
Lessons learnt during the building of Letchworth were applied to the new project, but the biggest and most influential difference between the two developments was the decision to appoint a single man to design the town, from its road layout to its window catches.
The man chosen was Louis de Soissons. He designed the town in the neo-Georgian style which was in vogue at the time, with its lines of windows and other architectural features, which gives Welwyn Garden City much of its special character.
Visitors to the town are advised to look up along the roads to see the lines that make the town ‘of a piece’ and the gaps between buildings through which the ever-present trees can be seen.
Where does Welwyn fit into the history of urban town planning?
- 1853 Saltaire
- 1888 Port Sunlight
- 1895 Bournville
- 1901 Brentham Garden Suburb
- 1903 Letchworth Garden City
- 1907 Hampstead Garden Suburb
- 1919 Welwyn Garden City
- 1947 Harlow (and other ‘new towns’)