Ceremony of unveiling the Memorial to Eliza Ann Howard.

The Local History Group collected donations over a considerable period to erect a memorial to Eliza Ann Howard, who made valiant efforts in support of her better-known husband, Ebenezer, in founding Letchworth Garden City 

The ‘unveiling’ of the stone took place on a sunny, but bitterly cold, afternoon on Sunday 22 January 2023 in the churchyard of St Mary the Virgin, Letchworth Lane, Letchworth Garden City.

About thirty guests gathered inside the ancient church, before the unveiling, and Ursula Howard, Eliza's great granddaughter, spoke movingly about the life of her ancestor, emphasizing the enormous effort she had made to support her not always practical husband in his mission to found a new ideal type of industrial town. Several other members of the extended Howard family were also present.

Churchwarden Marlene Gray gave a lively description of the church, which dates back to Norman times.

Present also, among other donors to the memorial fund, were Lord Salisbury, Deputy Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, and Oliver Heald, MP for North East Hertfordshire. The group then moved out into the churchyard where the  Revd. Amanda Ferris, parish priest, gave a blessing as the stone was unveiled.

Following this, there was an informal gathering at the adjacent Letchworth Hall Hotel. 


The inscription on the memorial reads: 


In this churchyard lies Eliza Ann Howard, nee Bills, wife of Ebenezer Howard (1850-1928) and worker for the foundation of Letchworth Garden City. 

She was born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, on 23 March 1853 and died in Stamford Hill, London, on 7 November 1904. 

Eliza is remembered for "her dauntless ardour and indefatigable labour" for the Garden City movement. 

Letchworth's first public building,The Mrs Howard Memorial Hall in Norton Way South, was built  by public subscription  in her memory in 1906, a permanent reminder of the love and esteem in which she was held.