Aldenham Parish Council
The Radlett Centre
1 Aldenham Avenue
Tel Enquiries: 01923 856433
Fax Enquiries: 01923 852214
1823, the name of the sleepy, somewhat back-water, rural parish
of Aldenham and fledgling village of Radlett were on the lips of
people the length and breadth of England talking about the murder
of William Weare in Gills Hill Lane, that whole area then known
just as Gills Hill.
Why this particular murder should have so excited the country remains a mystery; the basic facts are these.
John Thurtell, the son of the Mayor of Norwich, who was a gambler and promoter of illegal, bare-knuckle prize-fights in London murdered William Weare who, he claimed had cheated him out of £300 at a game of cards in a London club – that is about £20,000 in today’s money, a not insubstantial amount in anyone’s terms.
The murder cottage at Gills Hill became a national tourist attraction and was referred to in the writing of such eminent authors as Sir Walter Scott, Charles Dickens and George Eliot, amongst others.
The road itself, much overgrown with deep banks, hedgerows on both sides and trees that overhung the road, became known to the locals as Murder Lane. The name continued until the 1970s when the road was finally widened in anticipation of housing development
© Philip Eastburn
Whilst every care has been taken in compiling this publication and the statements contained herein are believed to be correct, the publishers and promoters cannot accept responsibility for any inaccuracies. Reproduction of any part of this publication in any format, without permission, is strictly forbidden. All the photographs in this booklet were taken by: Clive Glover, Ken Morris, Wendy Morris and Philip Eastburn