Challenging the myth that medieval cooks and food-sellers disguised their food with spices, Food Standards in Berkhamsted investigates steps taken locally to enforce public health rules and regulations. In Health hazards in Victorian Berkhamsted, this also meant attending to the water supply and sewerage system, and dealing with industrial effluents, malodorous animals and dung-heaps. Both of these articles were published in the Chronicle volume XV (2018).

Halseys Cottage Castle Street_1890

Mrs Halsey’s Cottage in Castle Street

Get your chitterlings here! Mrs Elizabeth Bishop (or Fountain) and her daughter Mrs Caroline Halsey sold chitterlings (pigs’ or other animals’ intestines) and other savoury dishes from an old cottage in Castle Street in the late 1890s.

“The Inspector produced a certificate from Dr. Saunders that Mrs. Halsey’s cottages, Canal-side, Berkhampstead, are so dilapidated and filthy as to be quite unfit for human habitation, and thereupon the Clerk was directed to give her notice that the Authority will be compelled to take proceedings to close the same, unless they are forthwith put into proper repair. (Bucks Herald, Feb 1887).

In the middle of the latest pandemic, a look back at Infectious Diseases in Berkhamsted seemed appropriate, with advances in hygiene (such as rubbish collection, nuisance inspection) and vaccinations helping to rid the town of cholera, smallpox, diphtheria, scarlet fever and whooping cough. This article can be found in Chronicle volume XVIII (2021). 

Having succumbed to disease or old age, the Ghosts of Tring and Berkhamsted (grave diggers) were on hand to help you into the next world, from Chronicle volume XVI (2019).

Richard Ghost 1819-1887