Welwyn Garden City: By Wisdom and Design
Discover more about the early years of WGC, from Howard's initial ideology to the final product.
In our new exhibition, Welwyn Garden City: By Wisdom and Design, we will be looking at how Ebenezer Howard's vision was put into practice by the founders of the Second Garden City Company and in particular the lead architect Louis de Soisson. It is a chance to see objects from Welwyn Hatfield's museum collection as well as some loaned original material from Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies (HALS) and the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation relating to the foundation and early years of Welwyn Garden City.
Howard wanted to create a place which embodied the best elements of town living, without the poor conditions that the industrial revolution had produced, and combine them with the benefits of country living. A marriage of town and country: a Garden City. The exhibition will show how the town was designed for living, working and playing with distinct commercial, civic and industrial zones, surrounded by residential areas and a ring of agricultural belt.
A Look Back in Time
Many of the early houses were built to the owner's specifications and featured labour saving devices for the growing middle classes. You'll be able to see some of these such as 1935 gas boiler and an electric cooker alongside original plans, photographs and furniture of these first houses.
From Welgar Shredded Wheat packaging to a pack of Bickiepegs biscuits and a Welwyn Garden City brick, these eclectic objects might prompt a few memories for residents of Welwyn Garden City.
Health and Wellbeing
The wellbeing of the community was of vital importance to Howard and his fellow founders. Very early on a Health Association was set up which raised awareness and made healthcare more accessible for the residents. However, even a century ago wellbeing extended beyond a health service and plenty of leisure activities and social opportunities were created. Less than a year after the first residents moved in 13 clubs and societies had already been formed.
- Children (aged 2 to 16) - 50p
- Adult - £3.50
Exhibition open from Sunday 16 February 2020 - Sunday 24 January 2021.