Stevenage Local Information: 10 top things to know... more

  • 1. History

    Stevenage was granted a twice weekly market and an annual fair by a decree issued in 1281. In the early 18th century, the North Road meant that 21 stage coaches passed through Stevenage every day so the town’s main trade came from the many inns on the High Street that served passing travellers. Stevenage grew slowly in the following years until 1946 when it became the first o...Read moref the government’s ‘New Towns’. The New Towns were designated after the Second World War to ease housing shortages in London. Read less

  • 2. Now

    Stevenage is a town and borough that is between Letchworth Garden City and Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire. It is 30 miles north of Central London and is still growing and developing as a town.

  • 3. Events

    Stevenage is home to a variety of events throughout the year including the Real Farm Festival where visitors can enjoy some farming fun, the Stevenage Festival of the Arts, Hatfield and District Music Festival and the Pendley Shakespeare Festival. Knebworth House near Stevenage, one of Britain’s most loved stately homes, hosts concerts including the rock festival Sonisphere.

  • 4. Attractions

    Stevenage Museum celebrates the town’s history with exhibitions and interactive displays. You can see how people used to live in 1950s Stevenage by watching archive footage in the Museum’s mini cinema. The Museum also offers a full programme of events throughout the year for both children and adults.

  • 5. Things To Do

    Britain’s first purpose built traffic free pedestrianised shopping zone was opened in Stevenage in 1959 by the Queen. Stevenage has a number of well known high street and independent shops and is a great place to indulge in some retail therapy. Knebworth House is a popular tourist attraction that is famous for its rock concerts and also for being the home of Edward Bulwer Lyt...Read moreton who coined the phrase ‘the pen is mightier than the sword.’ Read less

  • 6. Business

    In 1928, Stevenage began producing legendary motorcycles including Black Lighting and the Black Shadow for the Vincent HRD Motorcycle Co. Ltd. These were produced in the town until 1955. Stevenage is now home to the GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceutical Research And Development Facility which is part of the Stevenage Science Park. Stevenage is an important hub for the life sciences in...Read moredustry. Read less

  • 7. Transport

    Stevenage is situated to the east of junctions 7 and 8 on the A1(M) and offers excellent road and rail links to the rest of Britain.

  • 8. Entertainment

    The George Craig Theatre offers performances throughout the year including Shakespeare plays, Pantomimes and Musicals. Knebworth House has hosted concerts from world renowned artists: those who have performed include Robbie Williams, The Who and Queen.

  • 9. Famous Landmarks

    By the clock tower and ornamental pool in Stevenage you will find the ‘Joyride’ sculpture. This sculpture by Franta Belsky depicts a mother carrying her child and is made out of bronze. It is a Grade II listed statue.

  • 10. Interesting Fact

    Two of Stevenage’s most unlikely famous sons are the ‘Twin Foxes’. Twins Albert Ebenezer and Ebenezer Albert Fox were convicted of poaching more than 150 times between them, but they never committed crimes together so that they could act as each other’s alibi. Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis, Sir Edward Henry, used twins (including the Foxes) in Police test...Read mores to prove that individuals have distinguishable fingerprints. Ironically, they turned out to be some of the first criminals to be caught using fingerprint evidence. The Twin Foxes have had both a pub and a housing development in Stevenage named after them, not bad for two petty criminals! Read less

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