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Stevenage town guide

Stevenage

Lying just to the east of the A1 (M) Motorway Stevenage is about thirty miles north of London in the midst of rural North Hertfordshire. The town was relatively small until it became Britain's first "New Town" following the New Towns Act of 1946.

Stevenage's origins in Roman times are commemorated in Six Hills Way. The six hills were in fact Roman burial mounds built about 2000 years ago. With the passing of time came the Saxons who built a settlement here and called it Sithenaece, meaning "strong oak".

In the nineteenth century the construction of the Great Northern Railway through the town brought much welcome development and prosperity. Main line trains to the north east of England and Scotland still call at Stevenage, a useful service for those with destinations to the north of London.

To the north of Stevenage is Letchworth, itself a much older type of new town, being England's first Garden City. Coincidentally to the south is Welwyn Garden City a later example of this socially responsible type of development.

For the visitor with a hire car there are many attractions in the area, Knebworth House is just to the south of the town, whilst the great fenland cities of Cambridge and Ely are only a short drive away to the east.

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