Area Guide: The pretty Hertfordshire village of Bricket Wood

PUBLISHED: 08:00 28 November 2017

The historic Hanstead House, Drop Lane

The historic Hanstead House, Drop Lane

Archant

An idyllic village perfectly situated between Watford and St Albans, Bricket Wood is an area steeped in history, offering a unique mix of woodland, wildlife and community.

Winter-time in Bricket Wood Winter-time in Bricket Wood

Belonging to the civil parish of St Stephen, the Hertfordshire village of Bricket Wood has been farmed for clay by Roman settlers and been home to agrarian Anglo-Saxons. During the 1950s, estates were built to house workers for the aviation company Hadley Page, which sparked the emergence of the village as a commuter hotspot.

A characterful Bricket Wood property A characterful Bricket Wood property

Coming under St Albans City and District Council, its proximity to London and the neighbouring towns of Watford and St Albans has made Bricket Wood an attractive prospect to home-buyers.

The average price for a property stands at £615.364, according to property site Zoopla. The average flat is priced at £267,454 with a terraced house coming in at £424,565. Property values have increased by a massive 37 per cent in the last five years, which works out at £167,000 for the savvy investor.

The Picture House on School Lane The Picture House on School Lane

Buildings of note include the historic Hanstead House on Drop Lane, and the Grade II listed Picture House on School Lane.

Community

Bricket Wood station Bricket Wood station

Bricket Wood’s Resident’s Association works to ensure a sense of community is fostered. Its committee meets on a monthly basis to serve the interests of the village as a whole.

The Parish Centre in Bricket Wood holds an annual Christmas fete. The event celebrates all the great traditions of an English fair, with stalls, attractions, arena displays and food and drink - including real ales in the barn - to look forward to.

A property in Bricket Wood A property in Bricket Wood

The parish also hosts a community carol concert. The concert boasts live music in the form of The Watford Band and includes performances from local schools and choirs.

Schools

The majority of local children attend Mount Pleasant Lane JMI and Nursery School, which has around 350 pupils ranging in age from 3-11 years old (including the morning nursery). The school was rated ‘good’ in its most recent Ofsted report.

St Michael’s Catholic High School and the partially-selective Parmiter’s School, located in neighbouring Garston, serve as excellent options for senior education. Both are rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

Transport

Bricket Wood is served by trains operating between Watford Junction and St Albans Abbey. Trains run every 45 minutes in each direction Monday to Saturday. London-bound commuters can make the journey to the capital in an impressive 15 minutes by taking the train from Watford Junction direct to Euston. Car drivers can make easy connections using the M1 and M25.

Amenities

Oakwood Road is home to a mix of shops, including a butchers a greengrocers, a café, a medical centre, a pharmacy and a dental surgery.

The quintessential village pub, The Gate, is the place to visit for genuine home-cooked food, hearty cask ale and the promise of a warm welcome.

Other options are the Grade II listed Black Boy, which offers live sport and real ale, and the Beefeater Moor Mill.

Famed Bricket Wood Common consists of diverse habitats including ancient semi-natural woodland, wet lowland and seasonal streams.

The area supports an array of wildlife including great crested newts, plus heather and bluebells.

The community takes great pride in the Common, and works with Hertfordshire council to preserve its biodiversity.

A History of Wiccan

Bricket Wood is well known for its places of natural beauty, but a chapter in its history which often goes unnoticed is its former ties to Wiccan forefather Gerald Gardner. Gardner dismantled the 16th century Wiccan witch cottage in Ledbury, Hertfordshire and reconstructed it in Bricket Wood’s Dive Acre’s as a meeting point during the 1930s.

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