Our History

The following is a timeline of the history of the Allum Hall and Manor House from 1800s to the present day.

Event / Narrative
Thomas Jemmitt an early resident
Manor House c1863
Manor House c1863
Property described as an "ancient family house erected upwards of 100 years" sold to trustees of Thomas Haworth for £1,500. September: Memorial in St. Nicholas Church, Elstree, commemorates "Thomas Haworth, Esq, of The Manor House, Barham Wood", who has dies aged 58. Thomas and his wife Euphrasia were the parents of several children. Some were baptised at St. Nicholas, Elstree, including a daughter called Euphrasia Fanny, who became an author, artist and friend of Robert Browning the poet and his wife Elizabeth. Together, they formed part of artistic and theatrical coterie of local Elstree society who met at Elm Place, Elstree, the home of the great English actor, William Charles Macready. "It was at Elm Place that Mr. Browning first met Miss Euphrasia Fanny Haworth, then a neighbour of Mr. Macready, residing with her mother at Barham Lodge. Miss Haworth was still a young woman, but her love and talent for art and literature made her a fitting member of the genial circle to which Mr. Browning belonged; and she and the poet soon became fast friends. Her first name appears as 'Eyebright' in 'Sordello'. His letters to her, returned after her death by her brother, Mr. Frederick Haworth, supply valuable records of his experiences and of his feelings at one very interesting, and one deeply sorrowful, period of his history, She was a thoroughly kindly, as well as gifted woman, and much appreciated by those of the poet's friends who knew her as a resident in London during her last years. A portrait which she took of him in 1874 in considered by some persons very good". (from Life and Letters of Robert Browning.
Mrs. Euphrasia Haworth residing at Boreham Lodge
CENSUS: Euphrasia Haworth, sons Thomas, Martin, Frederick and grandchildren resident at The Manor House.
Mrs. Hill residing at The Manor House, Boreham Wood
CENSUS: Jane Margaret Hill, a widow of 45 born in Scotland, Head of the Household at The Manor House. Other members include her daughters Eliza Anna, 14, and Jane Margaret, 12; brother-in-law Edward Rowley Hill, 45, a Lieut. Colonel in the Army; aunt Helen Halkett, 73; sister Lady Amelia Halkett, 43; nephew Wedderburn Halkett, 6; a governess and 5 servants. In 1868 Genreal Edward Rowley Hill appointed Colonel of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers.
Mrs. Jane Margaret Hill
Thomas Goding, Esq.
CENSUS: Thomas Joseph Goding, Captain Half Pay East India Service.
Thomas Goding, Esq.
Charles Gordon and family in residence at The Manor House. His son Archibald, born in 1856, was photographed at the age of about 7 years watching 2 ladies playing tennis in the garden.
Charles Gordon
CENSUS: Charles Gordon, Distiller, wife and 7 children, supported by Governess, Cook, 4 Servants, Coachman, Butler, Footman and Gardener.
Charles Gordon
Charles Gordon
CENSUS: John Massey Leader, Merchant
Thomas Barstow, JP, Stipendary Magistrate and his wife Mary Elizabeth
Thomas and Mary Barstow
Mrs. Mary Barstow
CENSUS: Mrs, Maey E. Barstow, widow aged 50, Head of Household at The Manor House with a cook, ladies' maid, housemaid and Harry Evans, 37, a gardener, his wife Sarah and children Harry, Sarah and Edward.
Mrs. Mary Barstow
Henry Gibbs
Manor House c1907
Manor House c1907
CENSUS: No residents at The Manor House. Henry G. Evans, Head Gardener, and family at the Manor House Cottage.
Hon. Henry Lloyd Gibbs
Henry Gibbs
Hon. Henry Lloyd Gibbs
Hon. Mrs. Gibbs
Charles Bright
Charles E. Bright
Charles E. Bright
Hon. Mrs. Bright resident at the Manor House. Her daughter, Georgina Amye Blanche Bright (1874-1946) married Captain Gerald Marmaduke de Langport Dayrell (1956-1946) of Bedfordshire Regt. whose address is given as The Manor House in the Absent Voters' List of 1918. Captain Dayrell was the son of Commander Edmund Marmaduke Dayrell RN.
Hon. Mrs. Bright
Sir George Lewis Barstow KCB (1874-1966), nephew of an earlier resident, Thomas Irwin Barstow.
Stanley G. Double sells Manor House property to Madame Mabel von Briche for £3,500.
Manor House before restoration
Manor House before restoration
After World War II, members of the Elstree & Boreham Wood Rotary Club, formed in 1942, saw the need for a local community centre. Thus the Elstree, Borehamwood & District Public Hall Association came into being and began fundraising with the intention of building a War Memorial Hall. Due to Government restrictions on new building, it became apparent many years would elapse before a purpose built hall could be erected and so a decision was taken to search for an acquire an existing local property for conversion into a community centre and War Memorial Hall.
Subscribers informed of a property conveniently located between Elstree and Boreham Wood in Allum Lane known as The Manor House, comprising 23 rooms, set in 4.5 acres of land and offered for sale at £6,500. Existing funds showed a shortfall of £4,500 and the Association, with local resident Anna Neagle as President, began urgent fundraising. On 1st June an "All-Star Midnight Matinee" was held at The Ritz, Edgware by courtesy of Associated British Cinemas Ltd. Amongst the entertainers were Richard Attenborough, Richard Murdoch, Kenneth Horne, Robertson Hare, Norman Wisdom, Frances Day, Anona Winn, 21 year old Audrey Hepburn (who sold programmes), Andre Melly, and other stars of the day on contract to local Associated British Picture Corporation. Funds from this event, together with existing capital and new loans made to the Association from prominent Rotarians, enabled the trustees on 12th July to purchase the semi-derelict freehold property from Madame Mabel von Briche for £6,500. Work commenced on renovating the building, providing meeting rooms and accommodation for a resident warden. Revenue from eventual room lettings ploughed back to replay debts.
Diana Decker at the opening
Diana Decker at the opening
American star Diana Decker, filming "Will Any Gentlemen" at the town’s Associated British Picture Corporation Studios, cuts the ribbon to open the centre in July 1953. Rev Lawrence Wood, the rector of Elstree Parish Church, said in a speech: “To these headquarters many organisations will come.”
2 acres of land belonging to Manor House sold for £1,600 upon which houses in Park Crescent and Links Drive were to be built.
Land at rear of Manor House sold for £4,500 to Morris Summers (Discount & Finance) Ltd, for the Boreham Holt and Holt Close development.
Halls before demolition
Halls before demolition
June: Chairman Arthur Howse announced that work will shortly commence on the construction of a new community hall to be know as Allum Hall at the rear of The Manor House following confirmation that the Ministry of Education & Science agreed a provisional grant of £9,091 towards the cost of the hall expected to cost about £18,000. Hertfordshire County Council to provide £2,650, leaving a balance of £6,500 to be met by the Elstree, Borehamwood & District Community Association. The new hall to be adjacent to the existing wooden hall measuring 51 x 40ft will incorporate a stage, dressing rooms, balcony, coffee lounge, kitchen and cloakroom facilities. By the early 1970s, the original ex-army hut hall would be replaced by a new social hall.
Death of Bill Harris, first Treasurer of the Association.
Survey report described The Manor House building as probably of 17th century origins, extended in the 18th century and remodelled circa 1880. In later refurbishments an interior brick is found to bear the inscription "RM 1724".
Death of Arthur Howse, Chairman and Warden of the Association for 24 years.
February: Work commenced to replace windows at Manor House. Decorators discover pages from "The Times" of 1839 under 5 layers of wallpaper. Visit to The Manor House by Edward G. Rees from Tasmania, a descendant of Charles Gordon, owner of the property in the 19th century.
Modernised Manor House
Modernised Manor House
October: Hertsmere Councillors approve refurbishment plans for the Manor House at a cost of over £2m.
October: Mayor of Hertsmere and Trustees of the Elstree, Borehamwood & District Community Association sign a legal agreement for redevelopment of the Manor House site.
February: commencement of refurbishing project of The Manor House and demolition of 2 rear halls. April: thieves attempt to steal antique fireplaces from The Manor House, leaving them damaged in their failure to do so. The following week, computer equipment is stolen from the Citizens Advice Bureau's temporary premises. November: Council Leader Bryan Stanley opens Allum Lane Community Centre. Elstree & Borehamwood Citizens Advice Bureau occupy new premises next to the new hall at the rear of The Manor House.
The new Allum Hall
The New Allum Hall
26 March: formal opening by the Mayor of Hertsmere, Ted Gadsden, of the refurbished Manor House, including a new hall of 6,000 sq ft. Total cost of £2.5m funded by Hertsmere Borough Council.
50th anniversary of the opening of the original community centre.
Jim McKean completes 10 years as Chairman of the Elstree. Borehamwood & District Community Association.
Tenth anniversary of the opening of the refurbished Manor House and new Allum Hall.
The Manor House and Allum Hall continue to  provide a suitable location for events large and small, from local organisation and club meetings to musical concert events, lavish weddings and corporate functions.