Stevenage is a town
A town is a human settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city. The size a settlement must be in order to be called a "town" varies considerably in different parts of the world, so that, for example, many American "small towns" seem to British people to be no more than villages, while...

 and borough
Non-metropolitan district
Non-metropolitan districts, or colloquially shire districts, are a type of local government district in England. As created, they are sub-divisions of non-metropolitan counties in a so-called "two-tier" arrangement...

 in Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England. The county town is Hertford.The county is one of the Home Counties and lies inland, bordered by Greater London , Buckinghamshire , Bedfordshire , Cambridgeshire and...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. It is situated to the east of junctions 7 and 8 of the A1(M), and is between Letchworth Garden City
Letchworth Garden City, commonly known as Letchworth, is a town and civil parish in Hertfordshire, England. The town's name is taken from one of the three villages it surrounded - all of which featured in the Domesday Book. The land used was first purchased by Quakers who had intended to farm the...

 to the north, and Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Garden City
-Economy:Ever since its inception as garden city, Welwyn Garden City has attracted a strong commercial base with several designated employment areas. Among the companies trading in the town are:*Air Link Systems*Baxter*British Lead Mills*Carl Zeiss...

 to the south.

Stevenage is roughly 30 miles (48.3 km) north of central London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. Its population was 1,430 in 1801, 4,049 in 1901, 79,724 in 2001 and 84,651 in 2007. The largest increase occurred in the 1950s and 1960s, after Stevenage was designated a new town
New town
A new town is a specific type of a planned community, or planned city, that was carefully planned from its inception and is typically constructed in a previously undeveloped area. This contrasts with settlements that evolve in a more ad hoc fashion. Land use conflicts are uncommon in new...

 under the New Towns Act of 1946
New Towns Act 1946
The New Towns Act 1946 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which allowed the government to designate areas as new towns, and passing development control functions to a Development Corporation. Several new towns were created in the years following its passing...


It was the location for two films filmed and set in Stevenage, those being Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush and Boston Kickout
Boston Kickout
Boston Kickout is a 1995 British drama feature film written and directed by Paul Hills. It won the Euskal Media Prize at the San Sebastián International Film Festival, Best Actor at the Cinema Jove International Film Festival in Valencia and Best Film at the Bermuda International Film...

. Spy Game
Spy Game
Spy Game is a 2001 American spy film directed by Tony Scott and starring Robert Redford and Brad Pitt. The film grossed $62,362,785 in the United States and $143,049,560 worldwide.-Plot:...

was partly filmed in Stevenage but set in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

. The BBC sitcom Saxondale
Saxondale is a British television situation comedy programme, starring Steve Coogan and co-written by Steve Coogan and Neil Maclennan. The series is directed by Matt Lipsey and produced by Ted Dowd. Coogan and Henry Normal served as executive producers...

was set and filmed almost entirely in Stevenage.

Place-name meaning

Stevenage may derive from Old English
Old English language
Old English or Anglo-Saxon is an early form of the English language that was spoken and written by the Anglo-Saxons and their descendants in parts of what are now England and southeastern Scotland between at least the mid-5th century and the mid-12th century...

 stiþen āc / stiōen āc / stithen ac (various Old English
Old English language
Old English or Anglo-Saxon is an early form of the English language that was spoken and written by the Anglo-Saxons and their descendants in parts of what are now England and southeastern Scotland between at least the mid-5th century and the mid-12th century...

 dialects cited here) meaning '(place at) the strong oak
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus , of which about 600 species exist. "Oak" may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus...


The name was recorded as Stithenæce, c.1060 and Stigenace in 1086 in the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...



The present site of Stevenage lies near a Roman road
Roman road
The Roman roads were a vital part of the development of the Roman state, from about 500 BC through the expansion during the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. Roman roads enabled the Romans to move armies and trade goods and to communicate. The Roman road system spanned more than 400,000 km...

 that ran from Verulamium
Verulamium was an ancient town in Roman Britain. It was sited in the southwest of the modern city of St Albans in Hertfordshire, Great Britain. A large portion of the Roman city remains unexcavated, being now park and agricultural land, though much has been built upon...

 to Baldock
Baldock is a historic market town in the local government district of North Hertfordshire in the ceremonial county of Hertfordshire, England where the River Ivel rises. It lies north of London, southeast of Bedford, and north northwest of the county town of Hertford...

. Some Romano-British
Romano-British culture describes the culture that arose in Britain under the Roman Empire following the Roman conquest of AD 43 and the creation of the province of Britannia. It arose as a fusion of the imported Roman culture with that of the indigenous Britons, a people of Celtic language and...

 remains were discovered during the building of the New Town, and a hoard of 2,000 silver Roman coins was discovered in 1986 during new house building in the Chells Manor part of Stevenage. The most substantial evidence of activity from Roman times are the Six Hills
Six Hills
The Six Hills are a collection of Roman barrows situated alongside the old Great North Road in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England. They are classed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and are protected by law. They form the most complete Roman barrow group in the country...

, six tumuli
A tumulus is a mound of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves. Tumuli are also known as barrows, burial mounds, Hügelgrab or kurgans, and can be found throughout much of the world. A tumulus composed largely or entirely of stones is usually referred to as a cairn...

 by the side of the old Great North Road - presumably the burial places of a local family.

A little to the east of the Roman sites the first Saxon camp was made in a clearing in the woods. This is where the church, manor house
Manor house
A manor house is a country house that historically formed the administrative centre of a manor, the lowest unit of territorial organisation in the feudal system in Europe. The term is applied to country houses that belonged to the gentry and other grand stately homes...

 and the first village
A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet with the population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand , Though often located in rural areas, the term urban village is also applied to certain urban neighbourhoods, such as the West Village in Manhattan, New...

 were later built. Similar settlements sprang up in the nearby areas of Chells, Broadwater and Shephall.

In the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

, its Lord of the Manor
Lord of the Manor
The Lordship of a Manor is recognised today in England and Wales as a form of property and one of three elements of a manor that may exist separately or be combined and may be held in moieties...

 was the Abbot
The word abbot, meaning father, is a title given to the head of a monastery in various traditions, including Christianity. The office may also be given as an honorary title to a clergyman who is not actually the head of a monastery...

 of Westminster
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

. The settlement had moved down to the Great North Road and in 1281 it was granted a Royal Charter
Royal Charter
A royal charter is a formal document issued by a monarch as letters patent, granting a right or power to an individual or a body corporate. They were, and are still, used to establish significant organizations such as cities or universities. Charters should be distinguished from warrants and...

 to hold a weekly market and annual fair (still held in the High Street).

The earliest part of St Nicholas Church dates from the 12th century, but it was probably a site of worship much earlier. The known list of priests or rectors is relatively complete from 1213.

The remains of a medieval
Medieval architecture
Medieval architecture is a term used to represent various forms of architecture common in Medieval Europe.-Characteristics:-Religious architecture:...

 moated homestead in Whomerley Wood is an 80 yard square trench almost 5 feet wide in parts. It was probably the home of Ralph de Homle, and both Roman and later pottery has been found there.

For a description of the medieval manorial records, and details of Stevenage's history from the Tudor period
Tudor period
The Tudor period usually refers to the period between 1485 and 1603, specifically in relation to the history of England. This coincides with the rule of the Tudor dynasty in England whose first monarch was Henry VII...

 to the Victorian era
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 - see the external history link.

In 1281 Stevenage was granted a twice weekly market and an annual fair. Both were probably held in the wide part of the present High Street to the north of Middle Row. The High Street is closed for an annual fair even today.

Around 1500 the Church was much improved, with decorative woodwork within, and with the addition of a clerestory
Clerestory is an architectural term that historically denoted an upper level of a Roman basilica or of the nave of a Romanesque or Gothic church, the walls of which rise above the rooflines of the lower aisles and are pierced with windows. In modern usage, clerestory refers to any high windows...


It was in the 16th century (1558) that Thomas Alleyne
Thomas Alleyne
Thomas Alleyne was an English priest from Uttoxeter of the sixteenth century.In his will he endowed three schools:*The Thomas Alleyne School, Stevenage, Hertfordshire,*Alleyne's High School, Stone, Staffordshire...

, most probably a former monk, founded a free grammar school
Grammar school
A grammar school is one of several different types of school in the history of education in the United Kingdom and some other English-speaking countries, originally a school teaching classical languages but more recently an academically-oriented secondary school.The original purpose of mediaeval...

 for boys, Alleyne's Grammar School, which had an unbroken existence (unlike the grammar school in neighbouring Hitchin) till 1989. Francis Cammaerts
Francis Cammaerts
Francis Charles Albert Cammaerts DSO was an outstanding Special Operations Executive agent who organised French Resistance groups to sabotage German communications in occupied France.-Early life:...

 was headmaster of the school from 1952 to 1961. The school (now a mixed comprehensive school
Comprehensive school
A comprehensive school is a state school that does not select its intake on the basis of academic achievement or aptitude. This is in contrast to the selective school system, where admission is restricted on the basis of a selection criteria. The term is commonly used in relation to the United...

) still exists on its original site at the north end of the High Street. It was intended to move the school to Great Ashby but the Coalition government has proposed the scrapping of the move owing to budget cuts.

Stevenage's prosperity came in part from the North Road, which was turnpiked in the early 18th century. Many inns in the High Street served the stage coaches, 21 of which passed through Stevenage each day in 1800.

In 1857 the Great Northern Railway
Great Northern Railway (Great Britain)
The Great Northern Railway was a British railway company established by the Great Northern Railway Act of 1846. On 1 January 1923 the company lost its identity as a constituent of the newly formed London and North Eastern Railway....

 was constructed, and the era of the stage coach had ended. Stevenage grew only slowly throughout the 19th century and a second church (Holy Trinity) was constructed at the south end of the High Street. In 1861 Dickens commented "The village street was like most other village streets: wide for its height, silent for its size, and drowsy in the dullest degree. The quietest little dwellings with the largest of window-shutters to shut up nothing as if it were the Mint or the Bank of England."

In 1928, Philip Vincent bought the HRD Motorcycle Co Ltd
HRD Motorcycles
HRD Motors Ltd was a British motorcycle manufacturer in the 1920s. It was founded by Howard Raymond Davies. He had worked in motorcycling, and had raced with some success in the mid-twenties, but often not finishing due to unreliability. This inspired him to build a reliable performance motorcycle,...

 out of receivership, immediately moving it to Stevenage and renaming it the Vincent HRD Motorcycle Co Ltd
Vincent Motorcycles
Vincent Motorcycles was a British manufacturer of motorcycles from 1928 to 1955. Their 1948 Black Shadow was at the time the world's fastest production motorcycle...

. He produced the legendary motorcycles, including the Black Shadow and Black Lightning, in the town until 1955.

Modern Stevenage

This slow growth continued until, after the Second World War, the Abercrombie Plan
County of London Plan
The County of London Plan was prepared for the London County Council in 1943. Its authors were John Henry Forshaw and Sir Leslie Patrick Abercrombie ....

 called for the establishment of a ring of new towns around London. It was designated the first New Town on 1 August 1946. The plan was not popular with local people who protested at a meeting held in the town hall before Lewis Silkin, minister in the Labour Government of Clement Attlee. As Lewis Silkin arrived at the railway station for this meeting, some local people had changed the signs 'Stevenage' to 'Silkingrad'. Silkin was obstinate at the meeting, telling a crowd of 3,000 people outside the town hall (around half the town's residents): 'It's no good your jeering, it's going to be done.' Despite the hostile reaction to Silkin, and a referendum that showed 52% (turnout 2,500) 'entirely against' the expansion, the plan went ahead. Ironically, although the New Towns Commission declared the Old Town would not be touched, the first significant building to be demolished in it was indeed the Old Town Hall, in which the opposition had been expressed.

In keeping with the sociological outlook of the day, the town was planned with six self-contained neighbourhoods. The first two of these to be occupied were the Stoney Hall and Monks Wood "Estates" in 1951. Next to be built and occupied by the London 'overspill' was Bedwell in 1952 – The Twin Foxes pub was Stevenage's first "new" public house and is still situated in the Bedwell estate. The public house was named after local notorious identical twin poachers (Albert Ebenezer and Ebenezer Albert Fox). Next came Broadwater and Shephall (1953), then Chells in the 1960s and later Pin Green and Symonds Green
Symonds Green
Symonds Green is a neighbourhood within the English new town of Stevenage in Hertfordshire.Symonds Green is predominantly a residential area, dating mostly from the 1970s, with a mixture of public-sector, charitable, and private housing...

. Another area to the north of the town is modern development of Great Ashby – this is still under construction as of 2011.

At least three other public houses are worth mentioning, for they have a direct relationship to local history: the name of the pub "Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor also known as St. Edward the Confessor , son of Æthelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England and is usually regarded as the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066....

" (closed 2006) could have a connection to the time in which the St Mary Church in nearby Walkern
Walkern is a village and civil parish in East Hertfordshire. It is located on the River Beane about two miles from Stevenage, and is noted as the home of Jane Wenham, who was in 1712 the last woman in England to be convicted of witchcraft...

 was built, for King Edward ruled from 1042 until his death in 1066. Walkern's village church dates from this time. The second pub with a strong bond to local history seems to be the "Our Mutual Friend
Our Mutual Friend
Our Mutual Friend is the last novel completed by Charles Dickens and is one of his most sophisticated works, combining psychological insight with social analysis. It centres on, in the words of critic J. Hillis Miller, "money, money, money, and what money can make of life" but is also about human...

" in Broadwater, for the name of the pub is the title of a novel by Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...

. Dickens was at some occasion guest to Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton in nearby Knebworth House
Knebworth House
Knebworth House is a country house in the civil parish of Knebworth in Hertfordshire, England.-History and description:The home of the Lytton family since 1490, when Thomas Bourchier sold the reversion of the manor to Sir Robert Lytton, Knebworth House was originally a genuine red-brick Late Gothic...

, and for that reason he knew Stevenage very well. The Pied Piper in Broadwater is the only public house in the world to be opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The pedestrianised town centre was the first purpose built traffic-free shopping zone in Britain, and was officially opened in 1959 by the Queen
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

. By the clock tower
Clock tower
A clock tower is a tower specifically built with one or more clock faces. Clock towers can be either freestanding or part of a church or municipal building such as a town hall. Some clock towers are not true clock towers having had their clock faces added to an already existing building...

 and ornamental pool is Joyride, a mother and child sculpture by Franta Belsky
Franta Belsky
Franta Belsky was a Czech sculptor.He was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia, in 1921, the son of the economist Joseph Belsky. With his family, he fled to England after the German invasion, and volunteered for the Czech Exile Army...

. Although revolutionary for its time, the town centre is showing signs of age and in 2005 plans were revealed for a major regeneration due to take place over the next decade. Details are still being debated by the council, landowners and other interested parties.

Next to the Town Gardens, the Church of St George and St Andrew is an example of modern church design, and has housed Stevenage Museum in its crypt since 1976. The church is a 'cathedral-like' Grade 2 listed building. It is also the largest parish church to have been built in England since World War Two.

Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother laid the Foundation Stone in July 1956 and was also present at the consecration by the Bishop of St Albans, the Right Reverend Michael Gresford-Jones, on Advent Sunday 27 November 1960.
The frame is constructed from a 'continuous pour' of concrete into moulds creating interlacing arches and leaving no apparent joints. There are twelve Purbeck marble columns about the High Altar and the external walls are clad in panels faced with Normandy pebble. The campanile houses the loudspeakers for an electro-acoustic carillon. A popular sculpture, 'The Urban Elepant' by Andrew Burton was commissioned in 1992.

In the old town centre of Stevenage, next to St Nicholas Church, in the parochial house there, called Rooksnest ("under the big wych-elm
Wych Elm
Ulmus glabra, the Wych elm or Scots elm, has the widest range of the European elm species, from Ireland eastwards to the Urals, and from the Arctic Circle south to the mountains of the Peloponnese in Greece; it is also found in Iran...

") the novelist Edward Morgan Forster lived from 1884 to 1894. Stevenage later acquired a monument through him, when he had Rooksnest in mind as a role model for the setting of his novel Howards End
Howards End
Howards End is a novel by E. M. Forster, first published in 1910, which tells a story of class struggle in turn-of-the-century England. The main theme is the difficulties, troubles, and also the benefits of relationships between members of different social classes...

. In the preface of one paperback edition of Howards End, there is a lot to be found about landmarks of Stevenage and their relationship to the story of the novel, such as the Stevenage High Street and the Six Hills
Six Hills
The Six Hills are a collection of Roman barrows situated alongside the old Great North Road in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England. They are classed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and are protected by law. They form the most complete Roman barrow group in the country...

. The land north of St Nicholas Church, known as Forster Country, is the last remaining farmland within the boundary of Stevenage borough. Forster was unhappy with the development of new Stevenage, which would, in his words, 'fall out of the blue sky like a meteorite upon the ancient and delicate scenery of Hertfordshire'.

Also close to Stevenage is Knebworth House
Knebworth House
Knebworth House is a country house in the civil parish of Knebworth in Hertfordshire, England.-History and description:The home of the Lytton family since 1490, when Thomas Bourchier sold the reversion of the manor to Sir Robert Lytton, Knebworth House was originally a genuine red-brick Late Gothic...

, a gothic stately home and venue of globally well-known rock concerts since 1974. The house was once home to Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Victorian English novelist and spiritualist, who, as reported by one of his visitors, was so deep in the belief of spiritual realities that he sometimes thought himself to be invisible while others were around.

In 1999 a millennium countdown clock was mounted on the town centre clock tower, displaying the time remaining until the year 2000. The artwork on the clock was designed by Nicola Reed, a pupil of Fearnhill School
Fearnhill School
Fearnhill School is a comprehensive school located in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, England.-Admissions:It is a specialist school and a Maths and Computing College. It educates over 1,000 students and is one of a minority of high schools with a sixth form...

, Letchworth.

Adjacent to, yet separate from the residential parts of the town, is the Industrial Area. For many years, British Aerospace
British Aerospace
British Aerospace plc was a UK aircraft, munitions and defence-systems manufacturer. Its head office was in the Warwick House in the Farnborough Aerospace Centre in Farnborough, Hampshire...

 (now MBDA
MBDA is a missile developer and manufacturer with operations in France, Britain, Germany, Italy, and the United States. It was formed by a merger of Aérospatiale-Matra Missiles , Finmeccanica and Matra BAe Dynamics in December 2001. In 2003 the company had 10,000 employees...

) was the largest employer in the town, but now GlaxoSmithKline
GlaxoSmithKline plc is a global pharmaceutical, biologics, vaccines and consumer healthcare company headquartered in London, United Kingdom...

 has a large pharmaceutical research laboratory complex (which is known as 'The Palace' to many of its inhabitants

. A smaller but interesting enterprise is Astrium which has for some decades (as part of British Aerospace and its predecessors) manufactured spacecraft, both as prime contractor and equipment supplier.

There are many small to medium size firms as well. Stevenage BioScience Catalyst, a new science park aimed at attracting small and start-up life sciences enterprises, opened in 2011 on a site next to GSK.

The town is still growing. It is set to expand west of the A1(M) motorway and may be further identified for development depending on the outcome of the Examination In Public of the Regional Spatial Strategy. The main area of recent development is Great Ashby to the northeast of the town (but actually in North Herts District).

Stevenage holds a number of annual events, including the Stevenage Day, Rock in the Park and Stevenage Carnival.


Stevenage experiences an oceanic climate
Oceanic climate
An oceanic climate, also called marine west coast climate, maritime climate, Cascadian climate and British climate for Köppen climate classification Cfb and subtropical highland for Köppen Cfb or Cwb, is a type of climate typically found along the west coasts at the middle latitudes of some of the...

 (Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 Cfb) similar to almost all of the United Kingdom.

Sport and leisure

Stevenage has a King George's Field named in memory of King George V
George V of the United Kingdom
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....

, which boasts cricket and a bowls green, which is used by Stevenage Town Bowls Club. The field was the original pitch that Stevenage FC used to play on. The cricket ground is called Ditchmore Lane
Ditchmore Lane
Ditchmore Lane is a cricket ground in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. The first recorded match on the gound was in 1821, when Hertfordshire played their first Minor Counties Championship match which was against Buckinghamshire...

. The Stevenage Leisure Centre contains the Gordon Craig Theatre and many facilities for sports. The nearby Stevenage Leisure Park has a multiplex cinema, clubs and restaurants. The main shopping area is around Queensway and the Westgate. At the south of the town there is a retail park called Roaring Meg, which takes its name from a stream (a tributary of the river Beane
River Beane
The River Beane is a tributary of the River Lea. It rises to the south-west of Sandon, Hertfordshire in the hills northeast of Stevenage in Hertfordshire....

) that runs under it. The river can be seen along the western edge of the area. There is also shopping in the Old Town. The Roaring Meg did have an ice rink but this was shut down.

Stevenage F.C., formerly known as Stevenage Borough, are the town's major football
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

 team. The club won the Conference National
Conference National
Conference National is the top division of the Football Conference in England. It is the highest level of the National League System and fifth highest of the overall English football league system...

 during the 2009–10 season, having previously been denied promotion to the Football League
The Football League
The Football League, also known as the npower Football League for sponsorship reasons, is a league competition featuring professional association football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888, it is the oldest such competition in world football...

 due to insufficient ground facilities in 1996. During Stevenage's first season as a Football League club, they secured back-to-back promotions to League One
Football League One
Football League One is the second-highest division of The Football League and third-highest division overall in the English football league system....

, the third tier of English football, after beating Torquay United
Torquay United F.C.
Torquay United Football Club, nicknamed the Gulls, are an English association football club based in the tourist resort town of Torquay, Devon. They played in the Conference National in 2008–09, but were promoted to Football League Two after a 2–0 win over Cambridge United on 17 May 2009 at Wembley...

 1–0 in the 2010–11 play-off final
2011 Football League Two play-off Final
The 2011 Football League Two play-off final was a football match contested by Stevenage and Torquay United on 28 May 2011 at Old Trafford in Manchester to decide the fourth team to be promoted from League Two to League One for the 2011–12 season....

 at Old Trafford
Old Trafford
Old Trafford commonly refers to two sporting arenas:* Old Trafford, home of Manchester United F.C.* Old Trafford Cricket Ground, home of Lancashire County Cricket ClubOld Trafford can also refer to:...

. The club also won the FA Trophy
FA Trophy
The Football Association Challenge Trophy, commonly known as the FA Trophy, is a knockout cup competition in English football, run by and named after The Football Association and competed for primarily by semi-professional teams...

 in 2007 beating Kidderminster Harriers
Kidderminster Harriers F.C.
Kidderminster Harriers F.C. are an English football club based in Kidderminster, Worcestershire formed in 1886 They currently play in the Conference National and have played at Aggborough Stadium since they were formed...

 3–2 at Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium
The original Wembley Stadium, officially known as the Empire Stadium, was a football stadium in Wembley, a suburb of north-west London, standing on the site now occupied by the new Wembley Stadium that opened in 2007...

 in front of a crowd of 53,262. It was the first competitive club game and cup final to be held at the new stadium. The club reached the final again in 2009, beating York City 2–0.

The town also has a number of other successful sports clubs, including a woman's football team (Stevenage Borough Ladies FC) and Stevenage Rugby Club. Many top class sporting heroes have come from Stevenage, the most notable being Ashley Young, Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton, MBE is a British Formula One racing driver from England, currently racing for the McLaren team. He was the Formula One World Champion.Hamilton was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire...

, Ian Poulter
Ian Poulter
Ian James Poulter is an English professional golfer who is a member of the world's top two professional golf tours, the U.S.-based PGA Tour and the European Tour. He has previously been as high as number five in the world rankings...

 and Jack Wilshere
Jack Wilshere
Jack Andrew Garry Wilshere is an English footballer who plays as a midfielder for Arsenal and the England national team....


Fairlands Valley is a large area of parkland with boating lakes. The town is a very green town, with avenues of trees (typically Norway Maple) throughout but also large woods such as Monks & Whomerley Wood, which is ancient semi-natural woodland. Indeed in the UK it is only matched for the ease of access to large woodland by places such the Forest of Dean (Woodland Trust data). There are also many playing fields (e.g. St. Nicholas playing fields near Ripon Road). The town's schools all have a substantial amount of ground; key examples are Ashtree Primary School, Moss Bury Primary School, Longmeadow Primary School and Barnwell.


A distinctive feature of Stevenage is its urban landscape. It has many roundabouts,
few traffic lights, a network of completely segregated cycle tracks
Segregated cycle facilities
Segregated cycle facilities are marked lanes, tracks, shoulders and paths designated for use by cyclists from which motorised traffic is generally excluded...

, and some of the tallest street-lights in Britain.

Buses within and to outside the town are provided by several operators, the main within the town being Arriva The Shires and also the service which was based in Luton called Centre Bus. There was a service called Sovereign however Arriva The Shires took this service over from 2005-2006.

Stevenage is served by the A1(M) motorway, taking traffic both north and south. It is also served by the smaller A602 road
A602 road
The A602 is a road linking Hitchin in Hertfordshire, England, with A10 at Ware in Hertfordshire, via Stevenage.The course of the road has changed significantly since the 1960s with the construction of several bypasses and relief roads....

 taking traffic southeast, meeting the A10 road at Ware.

The town is served by railway station, a busy stop on the East Coast Mainline. As such regular trains to London and points north are available.

Notable inhabitants

Born in Stevenage
  • Ian Allinson
    Ian Allinson
    Ian James Robert Allinson is an English former football player and manager.-Career:Allinson was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, and joined Colchester United as a schoolboy in 1974. He spent nine years with them, playing usually as a striker...

     (b. 1957), footballer
  • Harry Bates
    Harry Bates (sculptor)
    Harry Bates A.R.A. , English sculptor, was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Bates was elected to the Royal Academy in 1892 as A.R.A. and was an active, if intermittent, member of the Art Workers Guild. He was a central figure in the British movement known as the New Sculpture...

     (1850–1899), sculptor
  • Edward Gordon Craig
    Edward Gordon Craig
    Edward Henry Gordon Craig , sometimes known as Gordon Craig, was an English modernist theatre practitioner; he worked as an actor, director and scenic designer, as well as developing an influential body of theoretical writings...

     (1872–1966), scenographer
    A scenographer develops the appearance of a stage design, a TV or movie set, a gaming environment, a trade fair exhibition design or a museum experience exhibition design. The term originated in theater...

     and theatre theorist
  • Andrew Croft
    Andrew Croft
    Colonel Noel Andrew Cotton Croft DSO OBE , was a member of the Special Operations Executive in the Second World War, with operations in Norway and Corsica, as well as Military attaché to Sweden, an explorer, holding the longest self-sustaining journey in the Guinness Book of Records for more than...

     (1906–1991) explorer and SOE (Special Operations Executive
    Special Operations Executive
    The Special Operations Executive was a World War II organisation of the United Kingdom. It was officially formed by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Minister of Economic Warfare Hugh Dalton on 22 July 1940, to conduct guerrilla warfare against the Axis powers and to instruct and aid local...

    ) agent
  • Albert and Ebenezer Fox
    Albert and Ebenezer Fox
    Albert Ebenezer Fox and Ebenezer Albert Fox were infamous poachers who lived in Stevenage in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They are also known as the Twin Foxes...

     (1857–1926, 1857–1936), infamous poachers
  • Lewis Hamilton
    Lewis Hamilton
    Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton, MBE is a British Formula One racing driver from England, currently racing for the McLaren team. He was the Formula One World Champion.Hamilton was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire...

     (b. 1985), Formula One
    Formula One
    Formula One, also known as Formula 1 or F1 and referred to officially as the FIA Formula One World Championship, is the highest class of single seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile . The "formula" designation in the name refers to a set of rules with which...

     world champion (2008)
  • Peter Harper
    Peter Harper (racing driver)
    Peter Charles Edward Harper was a British racing driver best known for his efforts in Rally events. Peter competed mostly with cars from the Rootes Group, for whom he ran a number of motor dealerships based in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.Peter served with the Royal Air Force during the Second World War...

     (1921–2003) International Rally Driver
  • Alex Pettyfer
    Alex Pettyfer
    Alexander Richard "Alex" Pettyfer is an English actor and model. He appeared in school plays and on television before being cast as Alex Rider, the main character in the 2006 film version of Stormbreaker. Pettyfer was nominated for a Young Artist Award and an Empire Award for his role. He has been...

     (b. 1990), actor
  • Jason Shackell
    Jason Shackell
    Jason Philip Shackell is an English footballer who plays as a defender for Championship club Derby County.-Norwich City:...

     (b. 1983), footballer
  • Ed Westwick
    Ed Westwick
    Edward Jack P. "Ed" Westwick is an English actor and musician, best known for his role as Chuck Bass in the main cast on the American television series Gossip Girl.-Early life and career:...

     (b. 1987), actor
  • Jack Wilshere
    Jack Wilshere
    Jack Andrew Garry Wilshere is an English footballer who plays as a midfielder for Arsenal and the England national team....

     (b. 1992), Arsenal
    Arsenal F.C.
    Arsenal Football Club is a professional English Premier League football club based in North London. One of the most successful clubs in English football, it has won 13 First Division and Premier League titles and 10 FA Cups...

  • Ashley Young (b. 1985), Manchester United
    Manchester United F.C.
    Manchester United Football Club is an English professional football club, based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League. Founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, the club changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to Old Trafford in 1910.The 1958...

  • Rupert Grint
    Rupert Grint
    Rupert Alexander Lloyd Grint is an English actor, who rose to prominence playing Ron Weasley, one of the three main characters in the Harry Potter film series. Grint was cast as Ron at the age of 11, having previously acted only in school plays and at his local theatre group...

     (b. 1988), Actor

Lived in Stevenage
  • Francis Cammaerts
    Francis Cammaerts
    Francis Charles Albert Cammaerts DSO was an outstanding Special Operations Executive agent who organised French Resistance groups to sabotage German communications in occupied France.-Early life:...

     (1916–2006), headmaster of Alleyne's Grammar School and witness in the Lady Chatterley Trial, October 1960
  • Denholm Elliott
    Denholm Elliott
    Denholm Mitchell Elliott, CBE was an English film, television and theatre actor with over 120 film and television credits...

     (1922–1992), actor, who lived in the house now known as the 'Little Folks Lab' nursery in the northwest of the town
  • Barbara Follett (b. 1942), politician
  • Ken Follett
    Ken Follett
    Ken Follett is a Welsh author of thrillers and historical novels. He has sold more than 100 million copies of his works. Four of his books have reached the number 1 ranking on the New York Times best-seller list: The Key to Rebecca, Lie Down with Lions, Triple, and World Without End.-Early...

     (b. 1949), author
  • Ken Hensley
    Ken Hensley
    Kenneth William David Hensley is a keyboard player , guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer best known for his work with Uriah Heep during the 1970s....

     (b. 1945), keyboard player and main songwriter of Uriah Heep
    Uriah Heep (band)
    Uriah Heep are an English rock band formed in London in 1969 and regarded as a seminal classic hard rock act of the 1970s. Uriah Heep's progressive/art rock/heavy metal fusion's distinctive features have always been massive keyboards sound, strong vocal harmonies and David Byron's operatic vocals...

     in the 1970s
  • E. M. Forster
    E. M. Forster
    Edward Morgan Forster OM, CH was an English novelist, short story writer, essayist and librettist. He is known best for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy in early 20th-century British society...

     (1879–1970), novelist, lived in the house at Rooks Nest from 1883 to 1893.
  • Cathy Lesurf
    Cathy Lesurf
    Cathy Lesurf, born 1957, is a British folk music singer-songwriter who was brought up in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. She has been a member of bands in the 1970s such as Oyster Ceilidh Band, Fiddler's Dram, Fairport Convention and The Albion Country Band. She released a solo album, Surface, in 1985....

    , singer and member of bands such as Oysterband
    Oysterband is a British electric folk or folk rock band formed in Canterbury in or around 1976.-Early history:...

    , Fiddler's Dram
    Fiddler's Dram
    Fiddler's Dram were a British folk band of the late 1970s. They are mainly known for their hit single, "Day Trip to Bangor " , although the sound of this record was not representative of the acoustic songs and tunes they had been performing for several years at folk clubs and festivals.-Band...

    , Fairport Convention
    Fairport Convention
    Fairport Convention are an English folk rock and later electric folk band, formed in 1967 who are still recording and touring today. They are widely regarded as the most important single group in the English folk rock movement...

     and The Albion Country Band

news|url=|title=Stevenage singer tipped for number one slot|work=The Comet|date=12 November 2009|accessdate=12 November 2009}}
  • Miguel of Portugal
    Miguel of Portugal
    Dom Miguel I, sometimes Michael , was the King of Portugal between 1828 and 1834, the seventh child and second son of King John VI and his queen, Charlotte of Spain....

    , King of Portugal between 1828 and 1834, is reputed to have lived on the High Street around 1845
  • Nicki Pedersen
    Nicki Pedersen
    Nicki Pedersen is a Danish motorcycle speedway rider. He has won the World Championship in 2003, 2007 and 2008 and was a World Cup winner with Denmark in 2006 and 2008. His brother, Ronni Pedersen, has also ridden in the Speedway Grand Prix and World Cup.-Domestic teams:Pedersen began speedway...

     World Speedway Champion
  • Kevin Phillips
    Kevin Phillips (footballer)
    Kevin Mark Phillips is an English footballer who plays as a striker for Blackpool.Phillips was the Premier League top scorer in the 1999–2000 season with 30 goals for Sunderland, a tally which won him the European Golden Shoe. He remains the only Englishman to win the trophy...

     (b. 1973), footballer
  • Rob Playford (b. 1968), Drum and Bass Pioneer and founder of Moving Shadow
    Moving Shadow
    Moving Shadow was a UK-based jungle/drum and bass record label that was started in 1990 by Rob Playford. Alongside such labels as Suburban Base, Formation Records, D-Zone, Reinforced, and Metalheadz, Moving Shadow grew to become one of the best-regarded and longest-lived labels in its genre,...

  • Elizabeth Poston
    Elizabeth Poston
    Elizabeth Poston was an English composer, pianist, and writer. She studied at Queen Margaret's School, York and then the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she was encouraged by both Peter Warlock and Ralph Vaughan Williams. She won a prize from RAM for her violin sonata, which was...

    , composer, lived in Rooks Nest from 1914 to 1987.
  • Ian Poulter
    Ian Poulter
    Ian James Poulter is an English professional golfer who is a member of the world's top two professional golf tours, the U.S.-based PGA Tour and the European Tour. He has previously been as high as number five in the world rankings...

     (b. 1976), golfer
  • Naum Slutzky
    Naum Slutzky
    Naum Slutzky was a Goldsmith, Industrial designer and master craftsman of Weimarer Bauhaus...

     (1894–1965), designer, master of Weimarer Bauhaus
  • John Thurloe
    John Thurloe
    John Thurloe was a secretary to the council of state in Protectorate England and spymaster for Oliver Cromwell.-Life:...

     (1616–1668), secretary to Oliver Cromwell, lived in what is now the Cromwell Hotel.
  • Phil Vincent
    Phil Vincent
    Philip Conrad Vincent was a British motorcycle designer and manufacturer. Founder of Vincent Motorcycles, his designs influenced the development of motorcycles around the world.-Early life:...

     (1908–1979), British motorcycle pioneer
  • Henry Trigg, 18c. farmer who wanted to come back from the dead after 30 years. His coffin was placed on a beam in a barn which later became a bank in Old Stevenage.
  • Anthony (Tony) John Wright
    Tony Wright (cricketer)
    Anthony John Wright , England was a Gloucestershire cricketer from 1980 till 1998.A right-handed batsman, he scored 13440 runs for Gloucestershire which makes him one of 31 cricketers to have made over 10 000 runs for the county and puts him 20th for most runs...

     (b. 1962), cricketer
  • Karen Woo, surgeon, killed along with other aid workers in Afghanistan ( 2010 Badakhshan massacre
    2010 Badakhshan massacre
    On the 5th of August 2010, ten members of International Assistance Mission Nuristan Eye Camp team were killed in Kuran wa Munjan District of Badakhshan Province in Afghanistan....



Many schools were built in the 1950s/60s due to an influx of Londoners to affordable terraced housing in areas such as Shephall, Broadwater, Chells and St Nicholas. The town has around 23 primary schools (see below). Some go to the surrounding villages of Aston
Aston, Hertfordshire
Aston is a village and civil parish in the East Hertfordshire district of Hertfordshire, England. According to the 2001 census it had a population of 844....

, Benington
Benington, Hertfordshire
Benington is a village and civil parish in the East Hertfordshire district of Hertfordshire, England, about four miles east of Stevenage and 35 miles north of London...

, Walkern
Walkern is a village and civil parish in East Hertfordshire. It is located on the River Beane about two miles from Stevenage, and is noted as the home of Jane Wenham, who was in 1712 the last woman in England to be convicted of witchcraft...

, Datchworth
Datchworth is a village and civil parish between the towns of Hertford, Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City in the county of Hertfordshire, England. Sited on the Roman road from St Albans to Puckeridge, the village has examples of Saxon clearings in several locations...

 for their schooling. Stevenage also has a number of secondary schools.


  • Round Diamond (Relocated to Great Ashby from the Pin Green area)
  • Lodge Farm
  • Martins Wood
  • Giles
  • The Leys
  • Moss Bury
  • Trotts Hill
  • Bedwell
  • St Vincent de Paul RC (collaboration of Pope Pius XII RC JMI and St John Southworth RC JMI, September 1990)
  • Almond Hill & Letchmore Rd
  • Ashtree
    Ashtree Primary School
    Ashtree Primary School is a large primary school in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. It is overseen by the Hertfordshire local education authority.-History:Ashtree Primary School was built in 1958 due to a rush of Londoners to Britain's first new town, Stevenage...

  • St Nicholas C of E
  • Featherstone Wood
  • Broom Barns
  • Fairlands
  • Peartree Spring Infants and Junior
  • St Margaret Clitherow RC
  • Roebuck
  • Longmeadow
  • Woolenwick
  • Redemption Academy
  • Shephalbury park primary school
  • Nobel


Special Needs schools

  • Larwood
  • Lonsdale
  • Greenside
  • The Valley School
  • Barnwell (containing the VIBase for the Visually impaired pupils and the SPLD Base for Pupils with specific learning difficulties)

Secondary schools

  • Barnwell School
    Barnwell School
    Barnwell School is a secondary school that was established in 1959 and is situated in the south of Stevenage, Hertfordshire.Between 2002 and 2005 it was the most improved school in Hertfordshire and one of the most improved schools in England...

     Barnwell, SG2 9SW (In 2006, Barnwell school took in students from Collenswood School after its closure. Students are now taught on two sites: Barnwell East and Barnwell West.)
  • The Barclay School
    The Barclay School
    The Barclay School is a secondary school in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, UK. The current head teacher is Debbie Upton, appointed 5 September 2011.The Barclay School Karting team has been around since 1971....

     (a technology college specialist ICT college), Walkern Rd, Stevenage, SG1 3RB
  • The Heathcote School
    The Heathcote School
    The Heathcote School is a 14-16 secondary school in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. The school was founded in the 1950s. It has been awarded Specialist Engineering College status. The school is situated in Shephall....

     (a specialist engineering college), Shephall Green, Stevenage, SG2 9XT
  • John Henry Newman RC
    The John Henry Newman School
    The John Henry Newman School is a Roman Catholic secondary school located in Stevenage in Hertfordshire, England. In its 2006 OFSTED inspection it was classed as an Outstanding school and the diocesean report found it to be an outstanding Catholic school....

     (a specialist arts school) Hitchin Road, Stevenage, SG1 4AE
  • Marriotts School
    Marriotts School
    Marriotts School is a secondary school in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, UK. It was formerly known as Bedwell School. The current head teacher is Mr Patrick Marshall. The deputy head is Mr Ian Dougall. The school is set to be rebuilt after a grant from the government/council.Marriotts is situated on a...

     (a sports college), Telford Avenue, Stevenage, SG2 0AN
  • The Nobel School
    The Nobel School
    The Nobel School is an oversubscribed secondary school of average size. Almost all pupils are White British. The proportion of pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities is average, as is the proportion with statements of special educational needs. The percentage of pupils eligible for...

     (a specialist performing arts and science DCSF training school), Mobbsbury Way, Stevenage, SG2 0HS
  • The Thomas Alleyne School
    The Thomas Alleyne School
    The Thomas Alleyne School is a secondary school in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England. It is one of three schools founded in 1558 from the will of Thomas Alleyne.-Admissions:The school's headteacher is currently Mr Jonathan Block...

    , (a specialist science college) No. 1, High Street, SG1 3BE

Former schools

  • Pope Pius XII RC JMI (site in Chells closed and amalgamated with St John Southworth RC JMI, September 1990)
  • St John Southworth RC JMI
  • Pin Green JMI
  • Shephalbury Park Primary School (amalgamated with Shephall Green Infant School in September 2005, now closed)
  • Collenswood School (secondary school, closed in 2006 and the site became part of Barnwell School)
  • Stevenage Girls School (amalgamated with Alleynes School to become Thomas Alleynes School)
  • Chells School (a secondary school, the former site of which is now occupied by The Nobel School)
  • Burydale

St Michael's (Catholic boys secondary school, moved from Mount St. Michael France to Hitchin then to Stevenage now amalgamated with St Angela's to form John Henry Newman)

Places of worship

Stevenage has an active network of churches of many denominations. Many of the churches work together for town-wide projects under the banner of "Churches Together in Stevenage". Stevenage also has a mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...


Some of the churches are listed here:

Sister Cities

City Country Year
Ingelheim am Rhein
Ingelheim am Rhein
Ingelheim am Rhein is a town in the Mainz-Bingen district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany on the Rhine’s west bank. The town calls itself the Rotweinstadt and since 1996 it has been Mainz-Bingen’s district seat....

  Germany 1963
Autun is a commune in the Saône-et-Loire department in Burgundy in eastern France. It was founded during the early Roman Empire as Augustodunum. Autun marks the easternmost extent of the Umayyad campaign in Europe.-Early history:...

  France 1975
Kadoma, Zimbabwe
Kadoma is a city in Zimbabwe in the Mashonaland West province, 140 km south-west of Harare on the main road to Bulawayo. It was known as Gatooma until 1982....

  Zimbabwe 1989
Shymkent , formerly known as Chimkent , is the capital city of South Kazakhstan Province, the most populated region in Kazakhstan. It is the third most populous city in Kazakhstan behind Almaty and Astana with a population of 629,600 . A major railroad junction on the Turkestan-Siberia Railway, the...

  Kazakhstan 1990

External links

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