Bircherley Street

Bircherley Street, east side, 1932

Butcherly Green, also known as Butchery Green and Bircherley Green was a notorious slum in the centre of town. At its most populous, it is estimated that around 2000 people lived, worked and drank in the area contained by Railway Street, Bircherley Street, River Street and Green Street; around an acre in total. It was described in 1885, by an article entitled Hideous Hertford, as “a foul labyrinth of pestilential filth, squalor and misery, where no prudent person ventures alone, even by daylight.” As well as the main streets around its boundaries there was another street, City Street, which ran across the area along a crooked line. There were many courts, yards and rows of cottages each with their own changing names, but, to its inhabitants, the whole area was simply known as “The Green”. The final homes were demolished in the 1930s and residents moved to new estates such as Campfield Road and Hornsmill.


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