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Welwyn Garden City Centenary Foundation

Town and country must be married and out of this joyous union will spring new life, new hope, a new civilisation.

- Ebenezer Howard

The Garden City Movement

The industrial revolution had engendered not only new technology and smoke-belching factories, but also a momentous rise in urban populations. By the late nineteenth century, the great industrial towns had evolved into sunless slums characterised by extreme poverty. Reform was imperative and came in the shape of the Garden City Movement.

The Garden City Movement

The Garden City Movement was a visionary alternative to the chaos and squalor of british urban life. It was the brainchild of the pioneering Ebenezer Howard, whose book Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform (1898) became its manifesto. Through better housing, better union between town and country, and better community bonds, Howard proposed that a better civilisation could be created. Not content with merely theorising, however, he set about making his dream a reality. Thanks to his tireless energy and toil, Britain’s two garden cities were created, Letchworth Garden City (1903) and Welwyn Garden City (1920).

Welwyn Garden City

A model of sustainable development

In 1919, Howard purchased at auction the rolling green tract of Hertfordshire countryside upon which the town sits today and, the following year, a private company, Welwyn Garden City Limited, was formed to plan and build the new town.

In contrast to most towns, the garden city was built to a master plan by the Company that owned the freehold of the land. The Company quickly appointed a talented young architect, Louis de Soissons, as its master planner. De Soissons designed a place of beauty characterised by neo-Georgian buildings, elegant boulevards and generous open spaces. Existing trees and hedges were retained in his layout, and some of the original farm buildings still survive today – the Barn Theatre and the Backhouse room, for example.

The early settlers that came to live in the town were pioneers in a new project to create a better way of life. We would now call this approach ‘sustainable development’.

News

Centenary Walk

CENTENARY WALK TRIAL – 7th JULY 2019

A Summer Guided Centenary Walk was led by  Deb, Clare, David and Diana on Sunday …

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Welwyn Garden City Centenary Foundation 1920-2020

Herts Volunteer Centres Conference

Herts Volunteer Centres Annual Volunteering Conference on 4th June provided an excellent forum to promote …

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Centenary Walk

Opportunity to experience the Centenary Walk on 7th July 2019

Join the WGC100 Centenary Walk team on Sunday 7th July 2019 at 10am and experience the …

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Welwyn Garden City Centenary Foundation 1920-2020

Celebrating 100 years since Sir Ebenezer bought the land

On 30thMay 1919, Sir Ebenezer Howard purchased at auction, the land that was to become Welwyn Garden City.

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Welwyn Garden City Centenary Foundation 1920-2020

The 100 year Celebrations start on 30 May 2019

On the 30 May 1919, 100 years ago, Ebenezer Howard purchased the land that was to become Welwyn Garden City.

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WGC 100 Centenary Garden

Nick Bailey shares RHS Chelsea insights

The WGC Horticultural Society arranged a talk by Nick Bailey, garden designer, author, columnist and …

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Centenary Walk

Work continues to create the Centenary Walk

These pictures show new steps leading to and from the tunnel under the bridge where …

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Roebuck Farm Work with the WGC Centenary Walk Team

Footpath works at Roebuck Farm, Lemsford

On Tuesday 19 February, the wonderful team of Herts County Council Countryside Management Service volunteers tackled a range of works on footpath 61 in Lemsford.

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Centenary Walk

Guided Walk Saturday 9th February, 2019

Following the successful Guided Walk on 8th September ’18, walkers and stakeholders were again invited to join the Centenary Walk Team to walk the 12.5 miles (20.20 kms) of the centenary circuit.

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WGC 100 Sport for All - Celebrating a Century of Sport

Sport Newsletter No 3

Winter 2018/2019 Newsletter

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