The Historical Documents Section is active in researching the written history of Norton. It meets quarterly and has a membership of about 20, all of whom are members of NCAG.
Initially, the group looked to Norton’s written history to provide information on where to direct its archaeological efforts. (This was guided by Deborah Giles, who had an extensive knowledge of Norton). In early 2009, after Deborah’s untimely death, the Section was set up to investigate the wealth of historic documents on Norton, many of which are held at HALS in Hertford.
The Section’s overall objective is to increase public knowledge of Norton’s history through the publication of historical documents and analysis of what we have found in them. The main activity is that of identifying documents associated with Norton’s history and photographing, transcribing and/or translating them for use by NCAG members.
From time to time the Section is involved in projects, the first of which was that of publishing all of Norton’s manorial court records. Completed in 2015, the Section is now undertaking two further projects:
- to research old maps of Norton and identify what has been recorded on them
- to discover the history associated with old houses in the village
In the course of the first project the group published three books containing all of the surviving manorial court documents, the work being paid for by grants awarded by Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, the Heritage Lottery Fund and North Herts District Council. The grants funded the cost of employing Peter Foden MA(Cantab) MArAd, who translated all of the records which were written in Latin.