The making of Vaughan Road

Demolitions in the 1890s to open up the new road

Pellants shop, with Willmotts Grocers, c.1900. Credit: LHS archives

Vaughan Road was named after Canon Edward Thomas Vaughan (1813-1900), who was the first Rector of Harpenden after it became an independent ecclesiastical parish in 1859. He came to Harpenden in 1860, living first in Rothamsted Lodge, then at 69 High Street until The Rectory (on the site of Old Rectory Close, Luton Road) was built in 1861. He was responsible for the decision to rebuild the nave of St Nicholas church in 1868.

In the 1890s a number of older cottages along the High Street were demolished – Polly Nott’s cottage was pulled down so that a new road could be built, connecting with Victoria Road. William Pellant’s jewellers and watchmakers, with a public clock, remained a distinguishing feature, when he occupied the corner site until the 1970s.

The sequence of photos below show the changes over the past century. At some stage the attractive bow window on the corner was cut back, and with recent renovations, the clock, which had long stood still, has been removed.

Polly Nott’s cottage, High Street, annotated by Edwin Grey. Credit: LHS archives – HC 33

Polly Knotts shop and cottage, 1880s. Credit: LHS archives – LHS 12628

Demolition of cottages in Lower High Street in 1890s. Credit: LHS archives – LHS 60

Pellants shop, c.1900. Credit: LHS archives – HC 48

Lower High Street and Vaughan Road; London County and Westminster Bank; Brewery tower behind; Pellant & Son on corner; chapel and Congregational church in Vaughan Rd, c 1920. Credit: LHS archives – HC 152

District Modern, toys and cards store, Vaughan Rd, 1976. Credit: LHS archives – LHS 911

Felicitations. Credit: LHS archives – LHS 4390, L. Casey, 1993

Mint Velvet, 2012. Credit: LHS archives – LHS 12752

Comments about this page

  • I’m pleased to say Andy has been in touch and will soon have his clock.

    By Sarah Thompson (12/06/2015)
  • 16.3.15  Andy should you read this please contact  We have been contacted by a lady offering a clock but the Email address we have for you has bounced.


    By Diana Parrott (16/03/2015)
  • I am William Pellant’s Great Grandson – born in Harpenden in 1956, son of David Pellant and Grandson to Harold Pellant, the SON in W Pellant and Son. I would really appreciate hearing from anyone who has a W Pellant clock that they no longer want to keep – I’m not sure what they are worth but I would like to be able to give my children a piece of their family history.

    By Andy Pellant (21/08/2013)

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