Area Guide: The pretty Hertfordshire village of Flamstead

Visitors to the Flamstead Scarecrow Festival 2018. Picture: DANNY LOO

Visitors to the Flamstead Scarecrow Festival 2018. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Best known for its annual scarecrow festival, Flamstead is a pretty village with a strong sense of community. 

Located between Redbourn  and Markyate, on the edge of the Chilterns, Flamstead is home to around 1,400 residents.

Rich in history, the village is mentioned in the Domesday Book and is believed to date back to Roman times.

It is also home to three popular pubs, The Rose & Crown, The Spotted Dog and The Three Blackbirds. 

Property

Flamstead enjoys an idyllic rural setting. Picture: Archant

Flamstead enjoys an idyllic rural setting. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant


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Flamstead has around 500 homes, 65 of which are listed. Of particular interest are the almshouses opposite The Three Blackbirds pub, which are dated 1669, and the pub itself, the western wing of which was built in the 16th century.

The Three Blackbirds is one of three pubs in Flamstead. Picture: Archant

The Three Blackbirds is one of three pubs in Flamstead. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Being surrounded by this level of charming character homes doesn’t come cheap, however: according to Rightmove, properties in the village had an overall average price of £614,250 over the last year.

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Church

St Leonard's Church, Flamstead. Picture: Archant

St Leonard's Church, Flamstead. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

In the heart of the village is the Church of St Leonard’s. The church is difficult to date as it was developed in stages, but it’s estimated to trace back to Saxon times.

Its tower dates from 1140 and a list of parish priests dating back to 1223 is recorded there.

As well as being a well-attended place of worship, the church is today a centre for community events.

Flamstead Scarecrow Festival

The Flamstead Scarecrow Festival 2018. Picture: DANNY LOO

The Flamstead Scarecrow Festival 2018. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

The village’s annual scarecrow festival has become hugely popular since its inception in 2002. Visitors pay an entrance fee before touring the village, checking out the scarecrows and voting for their favourites.

Residents have made over 120 scarecrows each year, attracting thousands of visitors over the three day festival. The 2018 event raised around £23,000, which was put towards the transformation of the church.

Sadly, 2019’s festival had to be cancelled after the untimely death of a much-loved resident, while Covid stopped the 2020 and 2021 events from taking place. 

There are big plans for the festival's return next year, however, as this will be its 20th anniversary. 

Sport and recreation

There are many groups and societies active within the village. Cricket and football are played on the recreation ground, while a tennis court and outdoor table tennis are also available. Further entertainment is provided by a recently-installed children’s playground and a local pony club which takes little ones from age five.

Travel

For such a rural location, Flamstead has excellent transport links. The M1, M25 and London Luton Airport are all close by, and the village also benefits from bus routes to Luton, Dunstable, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead. The closest train stations are in Harpenden and Hemel.

The Spotted Dog, High Street. Picture: Archant

The Spotted Dog, High Street. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

School

Flamstead Village School is a half-form entry primary with a morning nursery, ranked ‘good’ by Ofsted.

Nearby secondaries include The Astley Cooper School in Hemel (‘good’) and The Stockwood Park Academy in Luton (‘requires improvement’).

Independent alternatives include Beechwood Park School in Markyate, which takes girls and boys from nursery through to the end of Year 8. Beechwood Park gave its name to a song by The Zombies, written by the group’s bassist Chris White, who grew up in Markyate.

This area guide is sponsored by Frost's, who have offices in St Albans, Marshalswick, Wheathampstead and Harpenden...

This area guide is sponsored by Frost's, who have offices in St Albans, Marshalswick, Wheathampstead and Harpenden (www.frosts.co.uk/branches) - Credit: Archant


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