High Street Property Details

No.19 Tesco Express - supermarket

The present building was erected in 1971 and replaced two older buildings. The previous building dated to circa 1700, possibly earlier, and the frontage was at a right angle to the High Street.  The front gable of the building was faced with brick and it had plastered walls with a timber frame.  A member of the East Herts Archaeological Society suggested (i) to the parish council in 1969 that this building, together with number 21, should be listed as "they were charming and most attractive and completely in character with the setting."  However, it has never been listed.

During the late 1890s and early 1900s Ellen Dawes and her widowed mother Ann lived and worked in this building: it was a public house called The White Hart, with Ellen a grocer and the publican.  The pub closed in about  the late 1890s. This was a large building, with assorted outbuildings, and next accommodated a local Wheathampstead family as tenants.  The head of the family was a WIlliam Thrale, and he lived here with his wife Sophia and their five children which included Frank, a plumber, and Charlie, a bricklayer.  It was noted at the auction of the building on 7th April 1911 that the Thrale family paid a very low rent of £24.12.0d.

Subsequently, around 1918, the building was occupied by a builder-decorator, Tom Westwood, and his wife Sarah.  Tom, a local man, was born in Welwyn and Sarah, born in Sussex, previously lived in Station Road in the village.  The Westwoods lived at No 19 for 33 years until 1951 before moving to Marford Road.  Tom worked for over 50 years as a builder-decorator and was later joined by his son, Jack.

During the early 1950s, Marcia and Peter Newbolt bought the building and lived there with their four children, as their private residence, until 1969 when it was sold.

The property was demolished, together with its neighbour, in about 1971 to make way for a grocery store - Fine Fare.This store closed in July 1988 after 18 years of trading.  The building was then sub-divided into several outlet units.

Several grocery outlets have used this site since then, including 'Dillons', who opened in 1989. In 1991 an internet shop, Transport Videos Publishing Ltd, occupied one of the units.   'One Stop', another grocery outlet, took over from Dillons in 2006.  When Tesco arrived in 2010 and needed more shop floor space, Transport Videos Publishing Ltd moved upstairs to continue trading.


April 2020 update

Since this research was completed in 2013, members of the History Society have researched the pubs and beerhouses of Wheathampstead from 1830 to 1914. For a history of The White Hart, click here.


Researcher:  Jacky Edwards


Sources consulted:

  • Gilbert Smith's letter to Ruth Jeavons, April 1976
  • Herts Advertiser
  • Letter from Herts Archaeological Society
  • 1890, 1901, 1911 Census
  • Kelly's Directories
  • Ancestry.co.uk
  • Electoral Registers





Property Images

past & present images for this property

Additional images, documents, audio and video files: