Great Amwell is located in south Hertfordshire approximately 5km east of Hertford and 10km north-west of Harlow. The settlement is mostly sited on a low hill (50-65m OD) in the valley of the River Lea which flows south from Great Amwell through London to join the Thames at Blackwall. Great Amwell today is a small and mostly secluded settlement east of the A1170 through-road linking Ware and Hoddesdon, with housing arranged along two narrow lanes which cross c.150m south-west of the church, supplemented by two small modern estates mostly comprising large detached houses. The earliest reference to Amwell is in Domesday Book when a single holding is recorded under this name as a berewick of the manor of Hatfield. Despite this apparently minor status, the settlement has a parish church of Norman date (HHER 4362). In the 17th century, the New River was created to take fresh water to London, running c.50m east of the church. The First Edition of the Ordnance Survey 6” to one mile map shows the late 19th century settlement to be smaller than it is today, comprising barely 20 houses, mostly large detached complexes, dispersed along a network of lanes along the wooded east-facing valley side, with a school and an inn along the main (A1170) road. Amwellbury is a separate large farm c. 1km north-west of the church.
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