Historical Information – Puckeridge and Standon

1598 travel book: Paul Hentzner’s Travels in England.

Observed that beds in the inns in Puckeridge were made by waiters – the first place where this had been noticed.

17th century offences

  • Swearing.
  • Not attending Divine Service for 2 months.
  • Grinding malt on the Sabbath.
  • Keeping an alehouse without a licence.
  • Trading as a grocer or baker without having served 7 years as an apprentice.
  • 1637 – The Bell was a common receptacle for cheaters and other lewd people.
  • Entertaining vagabonds at unreasonable hours.

1837/2 penalties

  • 3 labourers for stealing 2 sheep – transportation for life.
  • 2 labourers for stealing 7 handkerchiefs – transportation for 7 years.


  • 1702 – 9 inhabitants of Puckeridge totally impoverished when their houses were destroyed by fire – total loss £549-11-0.  A charitable collection throughout the County was proposed.
  • 1888 – 4 cottages at entrance to Puckeridge on left side of Standon Road, opposite meadow, completely destroyed.

1863 Railway

Early problems:

  • Aug 1863 – 3 acres of barley destroyed by fire caused by burning coal from engine.
  • Jan 1864 – Shunting engine left track at Standon.
  • Oct 1867 – Standon Station burnt down – rebuilt (1869?)


Special train to Broxbourne to connect with August Bank Holiday excursion to Hunstanton.

1888/90 Activities

  • Black and white entertainment.
  • Summer outing (fortnight in Standon) for London children.
  • Visiting art exhibition
  • Total abstinence society.
  • Workmen’s Institute acquired a piano and added games and reading to its activities.
  • Minstrel troupe.
  • Visiting theatre company.
  • Visiting menagerie (animals and waxworks).
  • Congregational Sunday School.
  • Display of lantern pictures.
  • Billiard tables added to Puckeridge Reading Room and Standon Workmen’s Institute.
  • Concerts at Standon Workmen’s Institute and Puckeridge Church School.
  • Cricket Club formed.
  • Home industry exhibition.
  • Fretwork Association.
  • School treat at Vicarage – 260 children from Puckeridge and Standon schools marched with banners and flags flying.  Sports, swings, Punch, puppets (from Hamleys).  Cricket match.  A German band passing through the village was invited in.
  • Choir excursion to Margate (by train).
  • East Herts Choral Festival.
  • Talk on slave life by a former American slave.
  • Lecture on New Zealand hot lakes region.
  • Flower service at Congregational Chapel – flowers sent to London hospitals including Great Ormond Street.
  • Standon Fair.
  • Old Hall Green Fair – once considerable, almost died out, new landlord of Bay Horse trying to revive it – presented prizes for races.
  • Windmill Benefit Club Dinner.
  • Schoolchildren received a bun and sixpence at Christmas.
  • Puckeridge Hunt – internal disputes reached the High Court.
  • Volunteer Forces – annual camps in the County – no doubt included local men.
  • Shooting season postponed in 1889 because of late harvest.


  • Scouts
  • Girls’ social evenings.
  • Drum and Fife Band.
  • Entertainment “Sleeping Beauty” – 9 children, including Ivy Clark (Whitaker) and Emmie Whitaker(Chapman).

Reproduced by kind permission of Alistair Kennedy