Area Guide: The pretty Hertfordshire village of Sandridge

The Queen's Head, with St Leonard's Church in the background. Picture: Archant

The Queen's Head, with St Leonard's Church in the background. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

A quaint village surrounded by countryside within a short drive of St Albans, Sandridge offers residents the best of both worlds.   

Its bustling village centre is packed with amenities, with three pubs, a church and a shop all arranged on and around the junction of High Street and House Lane.

This part of the village has a solidly rural feel, Sandridgebury Lane even moreso, with farmland and a Scout hut located off the narrow road.

Amenities

Sandridge Village Hall, High Street. Picture: Archant

Sandridge Village Hall, High Street. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

The Village Hall provides a community hub, while neighbouring Spencer Hall and its recreation ground are the centre for sport in the village.


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Darby's general store offers a friendly place to buy a paper or a drink or snack. 

The village is also home to three popular pubs: The Rose and Crown, The Green Man and The Queen's Head.

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Green space

In 2008 the Woodland Trust announced plans to create a new forest north of Sandridge, transforming 858 acres of former farmland into what is now the largest continuous area of new native woodland in England. More than 600,000 trees have been planted at Heartwood by volunteers, and visitors are encouraged to explore the site — which boasts beautiful bluebells in the spring — on bike, horse or foot. 

Jersey Farm Woodland Park provides a further 55 acres of lush greenery, wildflower meadow and more, which connects the village to neighbouring Marshalswick and Jersey Farm.

Additional caravans for a site in Sandridge have been rejected by SADC.

Sandridge's village sign. - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Between Sandridge and Wheathampstead is the famous Nomansland Common, named after the 15th century dispute between the abbeys of Westminster and St Albans.

There are also a couple of playgrounds in the village, one behind St Leonard's Church and another by the village hall, which are ideal for under 12s. 

History

The earliest recorded mention of Sandridge - or "Saundruage" (meaning a place of sandy oil serviced by bond tenants) - was in 796, when the parish was part of the revenue of the Mercian kings.

The settlement went on to be mentioned in the Domesday Book; it had a population of 29 households in 1086, placing it among the largest 40 per cent of settlements recorded.

Historic St Leonard's Church celebrated 900 years since its consecration in 2014. Parts of it date back to 796 however, while the main structure we see today was built in 1114.

St Leonards Church

St Leonard's church. - Credit: Archant

In 1939 a secret wireless intercept station was constructed at the top of Woodcock Hill. It was the first base dedicated to diplomatic interception with radio operators listening to the wireless traffic between Germany, Italy and Japan, among others.

Messages intercepted at Sandridge were sent to Bletchley Park for decryption.

Famous former residents of the village include John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, and his infamous wife Sarah, a friend of Queen Anne. Also, Dappy from Brit hip hop/pop group, N-Dubz.

Property

High Street, Sandridge. Picture: Archant

High Street, Sandridge. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

While far from cheap, Sandridge properties are a little more affordable than those in neighbouring St Albans. Homes currently on the market in the village include a two-bed first floor flat on High Street for £340,000 and a two-bed ground floor maisonette on Langley Grove for £325,000. 

School

Located in spacious grounds on Woodcock Hill, Sandridge School is a one-form entry primary, ranked 'good' in all areas in its last Ofsted inspection. It has a nursery class, breakfast and after-school clubs and forest school activities. It also has a purpose-built music studio, a school band comprising of 27 pupils and a 50-strong choir.

Nearby secondaries include Sandringham and St Albans Girls' School (STAGS), both rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted.

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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