Much Hadham
Much Hadham is located in Hertfordshire
Much Hadham
Much Hadham
Location within Hertfordshire
Population2,087 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid referenceTL426208
Civil parish
  • Much Hadham
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townMuch Hadham
Postcode districtSG10
Dialling code01279
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°51′14″N 0°04′19″E / 51.854°N 0.072°E / 51.854; 0.072

Much Hadham, formerly known as Great Hadham, is a village and civil parish in the district of East Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire, England. The parish of Much Hadham contains the hamlets of Perry Green and Green Tye, as well as the village of Much Hadham itself and Hadham Cross. It covers 4,490 acres (1,820 ha).[2] The village of Much Hadham is situated midway between Ware and Bishop's Stortford. The population of the parish was recorded as 2,087 in the 2011 census, an increase from 1,994 in 2001.[1][3]


The name "Hadham" probably derives from Old English words meaning "Heath homestead". The affix "Much" comes from the Old English "mycel", meaning "great".[4] The name changed around the time of the Civil War.

The parish has been occupied since the Roman period. There were pottery kilns in the parish in the Roman period,[5] and a Roman coin hoard has been found nearby.[6]

Written records of Much Hadham go back to the time of King Edgar. The village was a possession of the Bishops of London before the Norman Conquest, and it appears in the Domesday Book as "Hadham".[7] The parish church was built from 1220–1450. The village was a staging point on the road from London to Cambridge and Newmarket, and the Olde Red Lion Inn, built in 15th century to serve this traffic, still survives in the village.

The Bishop's Palace was used as an asylum from 1817–1863.[8]

During the First World War, there was a British Red Cross/Order of St. John auxiliary hospital in Much Hadham.[9] Today, a plaque on the front of Woodham House commemorates this.

During the Second World War, Much Hadham was the site of Prisoner of War camp 69.[10] The camp was opened in 1939, housing Italian prisoners of war, and later German prisoners, as well as housing American and Gurkha soldiers as they prepared for the D-Day landings.[citation needed] The camp closed around 1950.[11]


The village is linear stretched along its mile and a half long high street (High Street, Tower Hill and Widford Road) which runs along the river Ash. It is situated between Bishop's Stortford and Ware, about 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) from Hertford and about 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of London. The village had a railway station on the Buntingford single track branch line, which closed in 1965 under the Beeching Axe.


St Andrew's Church

There are two church buildings in Much Hadham, the parish church and a Congregational church. Much Hadham's parish church, built largely between 1225 and 1450, is shared between the St. Andrew's Church of England congregation and the Holy Cross Roman Catholic congregation. The entrance to the church is adorned with two sculptures by Henry Moore.[12]

Peter Townsend, a noted Battle of Britain pilot later romantically linked to Princess Margaret, married his first wife, Rosemary Pawle, in St. Andrew's in 1941.[13]

The more recent Congregational church dates from 1872.[14]

There are many listed buildings in Much Hadham, including four listed at Grade I. These are the St Andrew's Parish Church, Much Hadham Hall, Moor Place and the boundary wall at Yewtree Farmhouse at Hadham Cross. The Parish's many Grade II Star Listed buildings include The Lordship, The Red House, Yew Tree Farmhouse and Much Hadham Palace, the site of a residence of the Bishops of London.

The Henry Moore Foundation can be found in Perry Green, and includes Moore's home. In December 2005, thieves stole a 1970 bronze of a reclining figure from the site,[15] which was melted and sold for scrap metal.[16]

Former Red Lion public house

The Red Lion coaching inn, now converted into private houses, has been in the village since the 15th century. It was a stopping point on the old road from London to Cambridge. Legend has it that the inn is connected to St. Andrew's by a tunnel, possibly built during the time of Oliver Cromwell as an escape route for the clergy. This is highly unlikely given the height of the water table.


Much Hadham is a civil parish in the East Hertfordshire District. It is one of thirty wards to make up East Hertfordshire District Council. It is part of the Hertford and Stortford Parliamentary Constituency.


Wall painting at The Forge Museum: "The judgement of Solomon" depicting Elisabeth I as Solomon.

St Andrew's Church of England Primary School in Much Hadham is a Church of England school with links to the parish church of St Andrew's. It has about 250 pupils between the ages of 4 and 11. The school also has a nursery in the mornings for younger children.[17] A village school has existed in the village since the 1840s. The first now known as the Flint House. A second independent pre prep school in Much Hadham, the Barn School, closed in 1998.[18][19] There is also a pre-school with about 40 children aged between 2 and 4.[20]

Outside the village of Much Hadham in the hamlet of Perry Green there is St. Elizabeth's School and residence for children and young adults with epilepsy, established in 1903, the second largest employer in the District.

Much Hadham has a small museum, The Forge Museum, which contains preserved Elizabethan wall-paintings as well as information about local history. The Henry Moore Foundation in Perry Green houses a large collection of the artist's work.


The village has the charitable Sports Association which runs the publicly owned Recreation Ground and facilities. There is an infants' playground and a newly refurbished sports pavilion completed in 2015, used by the village football team and for social events.

Much Hadham Cricket Club (founded in 1889) withdrew from the Herts & Essex League in 2007 and cricket is now no longer played. The village has a football team and Tennis and Bowls Clubs are open to anyone to join for an annual fee, all on the Recreation Ground.

Notable residents

Adjacent to the church is Much Hadham Palace, a country home of the Bishops of London for 800 years. Edmund Tudor, father of Henry VII, may have been born in the Palace.[21][22] It was sold by the church for the last time in 1888.

See also


  1. ^ a b UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Much Hadham Parish (E04004744)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Much Hadham, Hertfordshire". UK Genealogy Archives. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Much Hadham CP". Census 2001: Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2010.
  4. ^ Mills, A.D. (1998). Dictionary of English Place Names (2 ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 159.
  5. ^ "Hadham red-slipped wares". Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  6. ^ Cleary, Simon Esmonde (1995). Roger Bland (ed.). "Review of Coin Hoards from Roman Britain IX". Britannia. 26: 396. doi:10.2307/526893. JSTOR 526893.
  7. ^ "[Much] Hadham | Domesday Book". Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  8. ^ "The Palace, Much Hadham". Heritage Gateway. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  9. ^ "List of auxiliary hospitals in the UK during the First World War" (PDF). British Red Cross. p. 31. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 May 2017. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  10. ^ Thomas, Roger J.C. (2003). "Prisoner of War Camps (1939–1948)". ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. ^ Burton, James (19 August 2010). "Much Hadham man finds Second World War camp in his back garden". Hertfordshire Mercury.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Henry Moore 1898–1986". The Burlington Magazine. 128 (1003): 711. 1986.
  13. ^ "In the ancient church at Much Hadham, we vowed – alas, all too hastily – to be one another’s for ever." Townsend, Peter. 1978 "Time and Chance: An Autobiography." London: Collins
  14. ^ Page, William (1902). The Victoria History of the County of Hertford. Vol. IV. Westminster: Archibald Constable. p. 60.
  15. ^ "£3m Henry Moore sculpture stolen". BBC News.
  16. ^ Hannah Furness. "Henry Moore sculpture worth £500,000 stolen from grounds of his former home". Daily Telegraph.
  17. ^ "St Andrew's CE Primary School and Nursery". Get Information about Schools. Archived from the original on 22 February 2022. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  18. ^[dead link]
  19. ^ "The Barn School". Get Information about Schools. Archived from the original on 22 February 2022. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  20. ^[dead link]
  21. ^ though it may instead have been at Hadham in Bedfordshire.
  22. ^ "Sir Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond". Archived from the original on 30 January 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  23. ^ "The Hadhams". Archived from the original on 13 July 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2017.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  24. ^ Churton, Ralph (1809). The Life of Alexander Nowell, Dean of St. Paul's, chiefly compiled from registers, letters, and other authentic evidences (PDF). Oxford: University Press.[permanent dead link]