Hiding under a wooden dairy cart in the DHT Large Object Store is a fairly plain lump of cast iron. For a long time not paid much attention was paid to it, until one of our volunteers (Robin) drew our attention to it last year. It turned out to be very interesting.
In the 1920s the Foundling Hospital decided to open a new school outside London where air was cleaner and pupils could enjoy life in the extensive grounds. Berkhamsted was chosen and they acquired what is now Ashlyns School site, which was originally larger than the current school campus. Around the Foundling Hospital estate were placed boundary markers, which is exactly what this post is.
Over the years some of the marker posts have disappeared, but a good many are still in situ. So if you have ever seen one and wondered what it was, now you know.
The boundary post in the Museum Store belongs to the Berkhamsted Local History & Museum Society. Originally they had another post. The second one had been discovered in Plover Close, on the north side of the school. Many years ago this artefact was donated to the Coram Foundation in London.
Do you know of any other posts around this area? Dacorum Heritage Trust would be interested to hear from you.
Article credit: DHT Spring Newsletter No 98.
Images: Top – Cast iron boundary post (with the words ‘Foundling Hospital Estate’) was discovered in Hilltop Road, and is part of the Berkhamsted Local History & Museum Society (BLH&MS) collection.
Collage of 4 images (l to r) –All four images are of the remaining Hilltop Road boundary posts, showing the wording and on the reverse the Pascal lamb emblem. Black & white images (c.1980’s) from the BLH&MS collection.
Collage of 3 images (l to r) – left & middle images are of a boundary post sited in Sugar Lane, the right one is in Briary Way.
Map– Showing the known locations of the remaining boundary posts. Outside coloured images (taken 2019) and map courtesy of Robin Gee. Other items from BLH&MS collection cared for by DHT.