e: clerk@braughing.org.uk

Some more information about Braughing

Braughing has a population of 1150 in 463 households (2001 Census) and includes the hamlets of Bozen Green, Braughing Friars, Upp Hall, Dassels, Hamels Park and Hay Street and lies in the narrow valley of the river Quin, which rises in Barkway and flows south into the river Rib, a short distance to the southwest of Braughing village.

People have lived in Braughing at least since the iron age and it has many listed buildings, many with medieval origins. Hertfordshire's County Archaeology team recently highlighted Braughing's national importance in one of a series of archaeological surveys of historic urban areas in Hertfordshire (part of the English Heritage Extensive Urban Survey Programme).

The community is proud of its heritage and traditions, such as Old Man's Day which has been celebrated for over 400 years. It is also famous for its geese and ducks, local sausages, an annual wheelbarrow race and drama group. A Millennium Village Sign was created in bronze by local sculptor John Farnham and Lotte Farnham in June 2000.

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Famous residents

  • John Brograve, (1538–1613), a lawyer and politician, was the Member of Parliament for Preston, and was custos rotulorum, keeper of the county records of Hertfordshire for thirty years.
  • Brodie Henderson (engineer), (1869 – 1936), was in charge of railway lines used to transport Allied troops and supplies during the First World War and worked for many railroad corporations across South America, Australasia and Africa. He was High Sheriff of Hertfordshire in 1924.

  • Don McCullin CBE - news photographer. Don McCullin is one of our greatest living photographers. Few have enjoyed a career so long; none one of such variety and critical acclaim. For the past 50 years he has proved himself a photojournalist without equal, whether documenting the poverty of London’s East End, or the horrors of wars in Africa, Asia or the Middle East. Simultaneously he has proved an adroit artist capable of beautifully arranged still lifes, soulful portraits and moving landscapes.
  • George Meriton (born in Braughing, circa 1564 and died 1624) was a churchman who became Dean of Peterborough in 1612 and Dean of York in 1617.
  • Ivor Spencer-Thomas, an agricultural inventor and entrepreneur, who lived and farmed in Braughing from 1934 until 1973, made a major impact on the prosperity and working practices in the village during the economic depression of the 1930s.
  • Owen Spencer-Thomas, (born in Braughing in 1940) was a television and radio news journalist, pioneer and campaigner for disabled people.
  • Local farmer Matthew Wall, being carried to his own funeral, on 2 October 1571, awoke from a coma when pallbearers accidentally slipped and dropped the coffin.
  • Sally Wentworth, the pseudonym used by Doreen Hornsblow (1930s –2001), was a romantic novelist and writer of seventy novels in Mills & Boon's from 1977 to 1999.


There is some evidence of human activity in the Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age, but settled habitation began in the Iron Age, around the 3rd century BC. It was probably a trading post, situated on the navigable extreme of the Rib, providing a route to the larger River Lea. In the late pre-Roman period it may have been the capital of the Trinovantesand the seat of such kings as Addedomarus and Tasciovanus.

Roman times

Braughing Roman Town

At Ford Bridge, near Braughing there was a significant town in Roman times, situated close to several major Roman roads, including Ermine Street (now the A10), Stane Street(now the A120) and the Icknield Way, and covering at least 36 hectares. The town was a Roman industrial centre for the manufacture of pottery. When the River Rib is in full flood, bricks, tiles and other more interesting artefacts from the Roman settlement are washed from its banks.

The Latin name of the town is, as yet, unknown.

Saxon times

After the Roman period it was settled by the Anglo-Saxons: the earliest form of the name Braughing is Breahinga, Old English for the people of Breahha, who was probably a local leader. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book (1086) at Brachinges.


Little remains of this hamlet, which lies to the east of the B1368 close to the Puckeridge junction. Originally part of Westmill parish, Gatesbury is now firmly within the parish of Braughing. Its name originates from the Gatesbury family, who held the manor from the late 12th century up to the 15th century, when it was passed to the FitzHerberts.

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