The Origins of Prince’s Gate

How Great Heath and a Brick Works became Prince’s Gate

Great Heath and the Brick Works to the north of The Ryde land – c.1850

The Prince’s Gate housing estate was built in 2013-14. Maps from Victorian times show the area was once an open space called Great Heath, adjacent to a smaller piece of land on its western side called Little Heath. In 1850, the two plots became separated by the newly built railway line.

By 1899, the whole of Great Heath had been subsumed by the brick works, with kilns on the site and even a railway siding. In the early 1900s, the works were in occupation of Josiah Smart, a brick-maker, who lived in a dwelling near Warren Lodge (near the present-day back-entrance to Oldings Retail Park). The nearby Sandpits, then called Little Mead (today The Dell) would have helped provide raw materials.

See below for the Gallery and, below that, some key dates in the history of the area now called Prince’s Gate.

To view this Gallery, either hover your mouse-pointer to see the various captions or click on a specific photo and then use the left and right arrows to move through the album.

[photographs © 2018, G. Philip Marris]

Some key dates:

Before 1924 – Brick Works had closed, but the railway siding remained.
1934 – Viscount Cranborne granted Hatfield Rural District Council a 20 year lease on the land.
1934 – The Council in turn let it to Hertfordshire County Council as a workshop and council rubbish dump.
1937 – OS map shows the original buildings north of the railway siding
1954 – the County Council secured the freehold of “Mount Pleasant Depot” for the sum of ¬£1,070.
early 1960s – the County Council moved its educational supplies onto the site. The depot also provided offices and vehicle maintenance.
2009 – application granted to redevelop Mount Pleasant Depot for residential dwellings.
2013 – Prince’s Gate “show home” ready.
2014 – Prince’s Gate development complete.