The Avenue

New improved entrance to The Avenue

By Jill Campbell and Pauline Maryan

The new wall & plaque with the information panel in the background
Pauline Maryan
Stevenage Society for Local History members John Amess, Iris Tomlin, Pauline Maryan and Colin Killick at the new wall & plaque
Pauline Maryan
Stevenage Society for Local History members John, Colin, Iris & Pauline with the new information panel
Pauline Maryan
The new information panel at The Avenue entrance
Pauline Maryan
"Before", in 2013
"Before", in 2013
"After", in 2015


 It has taken 8 years but should last for 80…

It was as early as 27 November 2006 that The Stevenage Society for Local History committee first wanted to restore the gates which once stood at the High Street entrance to The Avenue.

We began in 2007 by speaking to local councillor David Kissane, who has always supported the project. The owner of The Avenue is the Burymead Trust, whose trustees are the vicar and church wardens of St Nicholas’ church, and they have also been involved.

During the next seven years the plan was amended to become the building of a wall with a commemorative plaque, plus an information board.  This would include a brief history of The Avenue, an 1881 map, and photographs.

The project has been funded by the Local Community Budgets of local councillors, and The Stevenage Society for Local History.  To complete it, contemporary bricks have been used to fill the gap between the southern (right) pillar and the wall of the adjoining property.  “Before” and “After” pictures show the improvement.

The objective of The Stevenage Society for Local History has been, to quote member John Amess, “to see a more pleasing entrance to The Avenue, in keeping with the historic nature of Old Stevenage”, and we like to think that this has been achieved.



This page was added on 01/02/2015.

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  • Back in the sixties I used to push my bike up The Avenue with my friend, Mary Young, to go riding at Chesfield (home to the Allen family) – nostalgic memories.

    A picture of the two of us in full riding gear was published in the local newspaper at the time.

    My grandfather was a wheelwright/blacksmith in the Old Town back in the 40’s.

    By Joan Gentle nee Shepherd (02/01/2024)
  • Can’t believe the horse chestnut trees have gone?! [They haven’t, but are suffering. Ed.]. I remember referring to the avenue as “conker avenue”! And every autumn walking along there collecting conkers for playing “conkers”. And the spiral bridge you refer to we named “the curly wurley bridge”.

    By Jo (31/10/2019)
  • For seven years in the late 60s and 70s, I walked daily the full length of the Avenue to school.  It was in two parts, the lower section being lined with huge chestnut trees, that gave a menacing atmosphere, especially on a windy day during winter.  I on occasions even dream about this place. 

    I also remember the upper section before St. Martin’s Way, a long line of freshly planted trees.  There has been now since ca. 1965 a spiral foot-bridge on this section.  We as kids used to resonantly jump up and down in the middle to feel the bridge bounce up and down. 

    I understand all the chestnut trees have gone now, and I would not want to return in case I spoil a memory.

    By David Abram (05/02/2015)