Built by the Longmire family in 1882, Torrington Hall was intended for the retirement of John Chapple, the Mayor of St. Albans at that time. Unfortunately, he did not live long enough to enjoy it.
It was home to the scientist Eleanor Ormerod (1828-1901). An expert in economic entomology (the study of the economic impact of insects), she pioneered studies into the negative effects that insects can have on animals and crops, helping to improve farming processes. Despite living in a time when women were not encouraged to pursue academia, she was extremely passionate, dedicated to her subject, and successful. In 1900, Edinburgh University made her the first woman in the world to be awarded an honorary degree for her contributions to science. She lived in Torrington Hall with her sister Georgiana from 1887 until her death. Torrington Hall bears a plaque in her honour.