Hertfordshire Greens 2020

Here you see all of the archived posts for the Hertfordshire Greens series published during spring-autumn 2020, a strange period dominated by the Corona Virus pandemic.

Hertfordshire Greens

Hertfordshire has 159 places with Green in their name, says Lee Prosser in An Historical Atlas of Hertfordshire (University of Hertfordshire Press, 2011) and around one third are mentioned before 1500. Tom Williamson (The Origins of Hertfordshire, University of Hertfordshire Press, 2010, pp231-233) says many developed in the 12th and 13th centuries from isolated farmsteads, although some bearContinue reading “Hertfordshire Greens”

Kettle Green

Kettle Green – fittingly – lies on Kettle Green Lane, near Hadham Cross. A few houses and farms dot the country road but my assumption is that Kettle Green Farm is most likely to be on or near the site of the original farmstead in cleared land. If that’s the case, then it fits oneContinue reading “Kettle Green”

Perry Green

The leisurely route to Perry Green led down winding lanes and across the fords of the River Ash. This is the Perry Green near Bishop’s Stortford, not the one previously visited out Harpenden way. Crossing one ford, a kingfisher perched on the depth measuring pole. Perhaps a couple of dozen houses line the Y-shape formedContinue reading “Perry Green”

Crabb’s Green

We picked our way along a footpath and over some fallow land from Stocking Pelham to Crabb’s Green. The hamlet is a stone’s throw from the Essex border that on this stretch exhibits no obvious geological or topographical logic so we have typical ‘Hertfordshire Greens’ a mile or two inside Essex. The few houses ofContinue reading “Crabb’s Green”

Epping Green

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA There’s no pavement along the road running through Epping Green, which meant it was a little tricky taking photos. The most imposing building is a brick stud farm with its cupola. The bricks are etched with the names and initials of innumerable youngsters. There’s a pub set back from the road andContinue reading “Epping Green”

Here there be dragons

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The Hertford and Bishop’s Stortford Ordnance Survey shows at least 20 greens to the north of Bishop’s Stortford, so off we set off on a reconnaissance trip. We were just a few hundred yards from Killem’s Green when we spotted it – a ‘Welcome to Essex’ sign. I’d forgotten the Essex bulgeContinue reading “Here there be dragons”

Bury Green

Truth be told, we didn’t mean to go to Bury Green. A subscriber alerted us to a whole collection of greens on the land above and between the Rib and Stort valleys. We missed a turn for our intended stop and meandered on through the lanes of East Hertfordshire until we happened upon Bury Green.Continue reading “Bury Green”

Todds Green

The Thatched Cottage – claiming to date from the 14th century – is the only venerable building in Todds Green, which otherwise comprises a Victorian terrace on the single turning off the new Stevenage Road, a number of pleasant but unremarkable first half of the 20th century houses plus a few newer builds, and aContinue reading “Todds Green”

Welham Green

Apologies Welham Green but this what the name meant to me when I was commuting back and forth from London – a blur of vehicle parks and anonymous warehouses crowding a quaint old railway halt. In fact, Welham Green station is not a Victorian relic. It was only opened in 1986, a recognition that constantContinue reading “Welham Green”

Hatching Green

Where Kinsbourne Green (previous post) is to the north of Harpenden, Hatching Green is to the south of the old town, to the west of the common and the main Harpenden Road. The remaining patch of green space is alongside Redbourn Lane, which has a steady flow of traffic. The shape of the grassy patchContinue reading “Hatching Green”

Kinsbourne Green

We live in Hitchin, which is in the same parliamentary constituency as Harpenden. But for most people a trip from the one to the other is a rare event. They are old market towns of a similar size so, largely, what you find in the one you find in the other. And communications in HertfordshireContinue reading “Kinsbourne Green”

Ayot Green

This venerable old gentleman on his walking frame and his fellow oaks and Horse Chestnut cousins line the two lanes passing through Ayot Green, their shadows dappling the tarmac. The grass is clipped short, the gardens of the handsome brick cottages well tended, contributing to Ayot Green’s attempt at quiet composure. In the depths ofContinue reading “Ayot Green”

Crouch Green

We’d walked or run around Crouch Green on many occasions without knowing it was a former green, let alone that it had a name. It nestles in the arms of two lanes, one of them being Three Houses Lane that comes up from Langley Bottom before dipping down to the Mimram valley and Whitwell. TheContinue reading “Crouch Green”

Howe Green

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA A narrow and easy to miss turning off the B158 where it parallels the River Lea on its way to Hertford. A couple of twists in the lane. A handful of characterful houses, a copse and a pond. Then the road becomes a bridleway. And that’s about it for Howe Green. RatherContinue reading “Howe Green”

Reed Green, Gannock Green

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Encapsulation of the idyll of rural England: bus stop, phone box, letter box, parish notice board, standing in front of the village hall, the photograph taken from the boundary of the cricket field. All it needs is a pub in the background. Sadly, the local is under threat. The cricket field standsContinue reading “Reed Green, Gannock Green”

Burnham Green

Burnham Green has a more lived-in feel than its near neighbour Harmer Green. It’s got a larger population, and a post office shop and a pub. It’s not a preserve of the well-to-do either though it’s only a stone’s throw from the millionaires’ reserve at Tewin Wood. The larger area of green is bordered onContinue reading “Burnham Green”

Harmer Green

Harmer Green stands on high ground above Welwyn North and Digswell. A winding road leads down to the station at Welwyn North and there is a woodside footpath towards Woolmer Green and a dog’s leg route to Burnham Green avoiding the road (both places covered in earlier posts). Monied is the word for Harmer Green.Continue reading “Harmer Green”

Labby Green, Letty Green

Labby Green is joined at the hip to Cole Green (previous post). Walking down the road from the latter, there’s another exclusive, authentic, original barn-conversion-appearance development underway, looking much like all the rest. Further down there’s a thriving pub doing grub that probably served as little railway hotel because just next to it a trackContinue reading “Labby Green, Letty Green”

Cole Green

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA For those of a certain age, a sign like this still prompts the thought “how many Eye Spy points will I get for that?” We saw this on a former coaching road leading out of Cole Green which is given primacy over its near neighbours Labby Green and Letty Green. The oldContinue reading “Cole Green”

A clutch more near Datchworth

Apart from Datchworth Green (previous post), there are several other greens around Datchworth. Painter’s Green is a big barley field in the crook of a little road leading to Bull’s Green and Bramfield, crossed by the footpaths from Datchworth Green to Datchworth church. The original green at Raffin Green is beyond the current reach ofContinue reading “A clutch more near Datchworth”

Datchworth Green

Datchworth Green is in one of the clusters of greens to the northeast and east of Welwyn, some two dozen greens in all. Datchworth itself sits on slightly higher ground, its church steeple visible from miles around, and it looks down towards Datchworth Green some half a mile away. You don’t notice if you takeContinue reading “Datchworth Green”

Butterfield Green

The trip to Butterfield Green required venturing into Bedfordshire. We got there by footpath from Lilley but the majority of walkers probably come over the hills from Luton. There are extensive walks around Galley Hill and Warden Hill. The hamlet is clearly marked on the current Ordnance Survey but is absent from some late 19thContinue reading “Butterfield Green”

Symonds Green

A reminder of the times, the woman’s walking-aid trolley suggests she may be in a vulnerable to Covid-19 category and her face mask in open air, indicate her concern. She’s sitting on a park bench in Symonds Green, one of the greens subsumed by Stevenage. Unlike Fishers Green (see an earlier post) a few hundredContinue reading “Symonds Green”

Bull’s Green

The aptly-named Horns pub at Bull’s Green has been there since 1535 although only as an ale house since the 18th century. There’s an excellent potted history – including its moment of notoriety – here, thanks to Camra. A clutch of houses stands around the sward and that looks to be it. In fact, downContinue reading “Bull’s Green”

Shilley Green

Once coppiced beeches line the lane from Hitch Wood to Shilley Green where its forks to the Easthall hamlets one way, gently down the valley slope to Langley another way, or more steeply down a byway to Langley Bottom. An old farm stands back from a grassy patch, dominated by a magnificent ash tree –Continue reading “Shilley Green”

Warren’s Green

Warren’s Green is one of the four greens on the periphery of the old grounds of Weston Park. We’ve already looked at Friend’s Green, Damask Green and Hall’s Green. It’s on the same skein of paths and minor roads with each end of the tiny settlement – two cottages – bracketed by right angle twistsContinue reading “Warren’s Green”

Hall’s Green

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Hall’s Green is only a mile or so northeast of the Stevenage extension of Great Ashby but there’s no direct road link so the green rests peacefully. The narrow roads in this patch are bewildering, twisting and turning apparently at random until you look at the Ordnance Survey map. Combined with theContinue reading “Hall’s Green”

Bericot Green

This is a shot of the disused Panshanger Aerodrome, a World War II training base and later a flying school. From the Ordnance Survey, it looks as if the airfield swallowed up much of Bericot Green although there are some scruffy light industrial buildings at the top of Moneyhole Lane off the B1000 from WelwynContinue reading “Bericot Green”

Greens around Therfield

Therfield straddles the pre-historic Icknield Way on high ground above a heath dotted with tumuli and delightful Ordnance Survey markings like Hopscotch and Duckpuddle Bush. But that’s all to the north and we started off heading south, looping back in a circular walk that took in five greens. First up was Duck’s Green, which isContinue reading “Greens around Therfield”

Sootfield Green

The chimney is of the only house in Sootfield Green, which is close to Preston on the high ground to the south of Hitchin. (It’s not marked on Google Maps but if you look at the satellite photo link, it’s at the centre of the X formed by the road and the wooded byway. ItContinue reading “Sootfield Green”

Levens Green

It’s good to see a green being used as a commons. At Levens Green we found this pony grazing the west end of the grassland in the centre of the hamlet and two more tethered at the east end. After the disappointment of Potters Green (previous post), getting to Levens Green was a pleasure. It’sContinue reading “Levens Green”

Potters Green

Potters Green (on Whitehill, just to the east of the golf course on the map) was depressing. The stroll from Levens Green to the north was enjoyable – down a track, over a meadow and through a newly-planted extension to an ancient wood. An old cottage at Potters Green is pleasant enough but overshadowed byContinue reading “Potters Green”

Sacombe Green

Another old Roman road runs through Sacombe Green, a country lane petering into a byway. The old rectory, presumably once attached to Sacombe church which is half a mile away along a footpath, and a big old farm are beautiful. There is a handful of pleasant cottages and some decent views across East Hertfordshire monocultureContinue reading “Sacombe Green”

Flanders Green

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Flanders Green is another of those not marked on Google Maps (though it is on the Ordnance Survey and footpath signs). Click on the link and it’s just south of the area marked as Brook Green, outside Cottered. Part of it was turned over to sweet corn cultivation when we walked through.Continue reading “Flanders Green”

Wandon Green

Wandon Green isn’t marked on Google Maps but click on the link and it comprises Wandon Green cottages where you see the pin for architectural consultants Louis de Soissons, whose founder was commissioned to design Welwyn Garden City, plus a farm (below) close to the T-junction just to the north. It’s a mile to theContinue reading “Wandon Green”

Tea Green

Tea Green lies between Mangrove Green and Breachwood Green. It’s inside Hertfordshire but only just. The pub must attract people from outside of the hamlet to survive – or the few locals have a healthy thirst. Tea Green has a bus stop and a water tower and not a lot more. Nothing wrong with that.Continue reading “Tea Green”

Breachwood Green

The shot above shows flints gathered from the adjacent field outside Breachwood Green. The abundance of flint in the land above and to the east of the Lilley Bottom valley indicates a variation in the geology and soil compared to the area to the west. And that shows in the local flora. Foxgloves are abundant.Continue reading “Breachwood Green”

Mill Green

The working mill at Mill Green draws its water from the River Lea just before it flows into the lake in the great park at Hatfield House. The site is noted for its mill in the Domesday Book and the present building dates from the 17th century. We arrived in late July and it stillContinue reading “Mill Green”

Whempstead Green

Whempstead Green is a couple of miles down the road from Burn’s Green (see a previous post), though we took a circuitous route that started off down a hollow way behind the pub at Burn’s Green and then carried on across open fields with poppies in their few days of perfection. (Open the hyperlinked mapContinue reading “Whempstead Green”

Nobland Green

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA For the return journey from Wareside to Hitchin we took the ‘pretty route’ so we could say we’d been through the location marked on the map as Cold Christmas. The name is reputed to come from a macabre local legend. The road took us through Nobland Green where a farm stands onContinue reading “Nobland Green”

Babbs Green

Babbs Green and the adjacent Newhall Green are the northern hamlets in the cluster that make up Wareside. Some early 20th century housing joined the few old cottages like the one above and Appleton Farm. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA More recently these were joined by newer houses that overlook the allotments we passed on our wayContinue reading “Babbs Green”

Reeves Green

Reeves Green is the second of the batch in Wareside parish that we nosed around. It’s not marked on the map but look for the school logo to the left of the White Horse and that’s it. The primary school is from the pages of a children’s novel of rustic adventure. It sits next toContinue reading “Reeves Green”

Across the Great Divide

Helham Green We travelled to the other side of the world to find Helham Green and its neighbours. They are in Wareside parish, just east of the Greenwich Meridian. Wareside village is a two-pub hub for the surrounding hamlets but the local primary school is in Reeves Green and the church is nearer to BabbsContinue reading “Across the Great Divide”

Friend’s Green

The old tiles look sturdy and heavy to bear but notice the apparent fragility of the roof frame. The beams at the crest of the roof are bowed. You can see they have been cut from trees, unlike the precision cut timber you’d buy from a yard today. The timber frame of the building toContinue reading “Friend’s Green”

Two greens on the Mimram

Poplars Green and Archers Green I love the little River Mimram. Its name is so ancient – pre-Celtic – that its meaning isn’t known. It rises near Whitwell and, along with the Beane and the Rib, joins the Lea at Hertford. Over-extraction and increasingly dry summers sometimes reduce it to a trickle in places andContinue reading “Two greens on the Mimram”

Norton Green

The pond in Norton Green’s Watery Grove hosts newts and frogs and toads. Purple Emperor butterflies are reputed to visit the tree tops of the common. The sunflower mural on the end of a row of cottages cheers a trip – and here’s the rub – southwards on the A1M. The hamlet is just yardsContinue reading “Norton Green”

Rush Green

This is the Rush Green on the road from Hitchin to Codicote – there are at least a couple of others. There’s a working farm there, overwhelmed by a clutch of body shops and metal bashers and a vast graveyard of scrapped lorries, impressive in its own way and visible from the hills overlooking theContinue reading “Rush Green”

Woolmer Green

I took a diversion when I spotted some strange shapes in the distance and came upon an artist’s studio in a farmyard on the edge of Woolmer Green The village straddles the old Great North Road and you’d think nothing of it – a bit of Knebworth gone astray or a chunk of Oaklands (bizarreContinue reading “Woolmer Green”

Mangrove Green

What links a hamlet on the very edge of Hertfordshire – Luton’s outskirts lurking a field’s length away – to sub-tropical swamps? Nothing. The name Mangrove Green derives from ‘thicket in common use or possession,’ from the Old English  gemǣne , ‘common,’ and græfe, says the Survey of English Place Names, not from the mangrove (a word likelyContinue reading “Mangrove Green”

Coleman Green

Coleman Green, not to be confused with Colemans Green, near Breachwood Green, comprises the John Bunyan pub and a handful of cottages surrounded by woodland and a hollow lane leading to Ayot Green and Welwyn. The association with Bunyan, Puritan preacher, author of Pilgrim’s Progress, and Parliamentary trooper during the civil war is the preservedContinue reading “Coleman Green”

Wateringplace Green

I’ve given up trying to take a photograph of Wateringplace Green, so I’ve settled on a couple about it. It’s near Moor Green and just yards off Back Lane, the stretch of one-time Roman road that runs from Hare Street to Cherry Green. The ponds may have provided water for drovers’ stock moving down theContinue reading “Wateringplace Green”

Moor Green

Moor Green, like Roe Green, continues as a swathe of grassland with a handful of houses and farms dotted around it, several of them listed buidlings. There’s a moated manor set back from the green and nearby meadows and ancient woodland are a Site of Special Scientific Interest. With tall grass, high skies and fewContinue reading “Moor Green”

Cherry Green

Turning off the old Roman road of Back Lane just before it peters out at its eastern end, there’s a track up through the green of Cherry Green, the hamlet lying beyond this house. The green was uncut hayfield. At the top of the track, a disused gatepost is adorned with an antique, roughly madeContinue reading “Cherry Green”

Westmill Green

We walked down the old Roman road that is now Back Lane from the expansive grassland at Moor Green, passing through Wateringplace Green to Cherry Green (all of which will have their blogs some time soon). Then we headed towards the farm at Wakeley to look across the site of a medieval village of theContinue reading “Westmill Green”

Redcoats Green

Redcoats Green isn’t named as such on the current Ordnance Survey, simply marking it as Redcoats. But the 1896 map has the complete name and there’s a road sign with the full name there. The venerable British History Online (BHO) recognises it, as do estate agents (although with less than half a dozen houses, theyContinue reading “Redcoats Green”

Roe Green

Roe Green near Buntingford is a favourite of mine. (There’s another that is now part of Hatfield.) I first stumbled across it on a walk along the ridge from Therfield to Clothall, emerging from the footpath across the fields from nearby Sandon and faced with an expanse of grassland. The edges of the green areContinue reading “Roe Green”

Damask Green

There are two Damask Greens in Hertfordshire. This one is now part of Weston, which lies high up on the chalk above Baldock. The other is part of Hemel Hempstead. An 1896 map shows Damask Green as wholly distinct from Weston and there’s still clear space between the two in the 1946 map. The nameContinue reading “Damask Green”

Sedge Green

That’s it. It’s where three country lanes meet and it’s not on Google Maps. While there’s not a lot to see when you get there on your way to Datchworth Green, Bull’s Green, Woolmer Green or Burnham Green – positively metropolitan by contrast – a glance at the Ordnance Survey shows Sedge Green to haveContinue reading “Sedge Green”

Fishers Green

Fishers Green is the first green I’ve blogged about that has been subsumed into the urban sprawl of Stevenage. There’s a large grassy space that may be an echo of the original green as it’s bordered by diverging footpaths that I’m guessing pre-date the roads that serve the housing estates. But there’s nothing of itsContinue reading “Fishers Green”

Ley Green

Ley Green and its twin Cox Green sit in one of the valleys that strike through the North Hertfordshire Chilterns. A hamlet that once had a school though no church or even the non-conformist chapel found in many of the sparsely populated upland settlements. Although there is extensive beech and hornbeam woodland within a mileContinue reading “Ley Green”

Burn’s Green

Burn’s Green has a pub and a chapel and an agricultural goods dealer, plus a handful of older houses. But most of what there is of it is new build. Its bus shelter library refers to itself as Benington bus stop, so maybe it has an identity crisis. The chapel was closed during the lockContinue reading “Burn’s Green”

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