Why the name, ‘Alban Estate’

The Alban Estate has featured a few times recently. One entry prompted an interesting comment from Rosie Clarke.

Hello! Thanks for identifying the most outlandish religious names as Masonic.

However, I grew up in St Albans in Hertfordshire, and several of the other house names have a connection with that city. I see the estate was called the Alban estate – do you know if the builder who would have named it might have been from Herts as well?

The St Albans place names are Kingsbury (Water Mill), Clarence (Park), Abbey (magnificent cathedral), Sopwell (nunnery),

Chequers might not refer to the Prime Minister’s house in Buckinghamshire – it could be related to Chequer Street, an ancient street in the centre of St Albans.

Romeland is an area of St Albans near the old Roman city, though I don’t think the name is used much these days. There’s still a Romeland Hill though.

Verulam comes from the old Roman city’s Latin name, Verulamium. There’s a boys’ school with this name, and Lord Verulam lives outside the town on the Gorhambury Estate.

Nearby towns and villages are Harpenden, Radlett, Shenley, London Colney / Colney Heath. There seems to be a little place called Ridgehill near London Colney as well.

At the moment, we do not know why it was called the Alban Estate. Can anyone help with that?

But we do know that the builder, George Bishop was a Market Lavington man, through and through.

George was born in 1884. The family have proved elusive on the 1891 census and back in 1881, before George was born, the family were in Market Lavington but without the father.

We can find the family living on Church Street, Market Lavington at the time of the 1901 census. 17 year old George was a mason’s apprentice. His father was Jesse, an agricultural labourer and his mother was Mary. The three of them were all Market Lavington born. So too, was the elderly Sarah Cooper who was boarding with them. She may well have been George’s maternal grandmother.

The trio of Bishops were together in Market Lavington in 1911. This census is self written and Jesse says he was born in Bishops Cannings so this is probably, actually, correct. Our George William Bishop is listed as a bricklayer.

George married Hellen A Nolton at the start of 1916. That is what the records say, but we believe it should be Helen A Notton. The Nottons were the bakers at number 1 High Street, Market Lavington – where the Post Office is now. Helen’s parents were Edward and Helen. The entire family were born in Market Lavington.

George and Helen had a son, Edward G Bishop born in 1918.

We can keep a vague track on George and Helen via electoral rolls and directories we have in the museum. In 1926 George and his wife, known then as Annie, lived on Church Street in Market Lavington, probably with George’s mother. In 1939 George and Annie lived on The Spring in Market Lavington. George’s mother was still on Church Street.

A 1954/55 directory lists only heads of house and has G W Bishop on The Spring. E G Bishop lived at Ladywood, The Spring.

Burial records for St Mary’s, Market Lavington record the burial of George on 10th August 1955 and of Helen Annie on 9th October 1959.

The 1964 electoral roll lists Edward G and Irene Bishop at Araunah on The Spring – one of the Alban Estate houses his father had built.

It seems we find no family connection with St. Albans – unless you know different.

We do not seem to have a photo of any member of the Bishop family. Can you help us with that?

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