Area Guide: The Hertfordshire village of Colney Heath
- Credit: Archant
Conveniently located between St Albans and Hatfield, just off the A414, is the village of Colney Heath. We found out more about it.
A thriving village of around 6,000 inhabitants, Colney Heath is rich in history.
It was once a busy trade route into London; three of south Hertfordshire’s 36 coal posts are found here - two on the Common and one on Coursers Road - marking London’s ancient customs boundary and thus the limit of Metropolitan Police authority. Coal tax was introduced in the 17th century to help pay for the cost of rebuilding London after the Great Fire in 1666 and duties were levied until 1897.
Colney Heath Common, a 60-acre Hertfordshire Heritage site, can be found bordering the River Colne. Once owned by the Abbot of St Albans Abbey, until the dissolution of the monasteries, it is the last remnant of the old manorial lands of Tyttenhanger.
Sir Thomas Pope acquired the land in 1547, sustaining local people with common rights to graze. During the mid-18th and 19th centuries, the Heath became the haunt of highwaymen and was renowned for prize fighting, cock fighting and card gamblers. Over the years, the area diminished due to land enclosure and losses to make way for residential development.
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Today, there is open public access to the Common. Visitors can enjoy a good network of nearby footpaths, the Alban Way being a particular local favourite.
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The village pub, the Crooked Billet, is loved by locals and visitors, particularly cyclists and walkers. Long-term owners Wally and Julie are proud to offer a wide selection of real ales from local breweries as well as a range of hearty pub grub.
Other amenities include a newsagent, a post office, a hairdresser and The Rice, a popular Indian takeaway.
The well-used village hall is a meeting point for many clubs and is also available for event hire.
St Mark’s Church is part of the Church of England and has been offering its evangelical services online during lockdown. The church is hoping to resume normal services during August.
Colney Heath lies south of the A414 and the M25 is easily accessible, with an interchange less than two miles away. Bus routes connect Colney Heath to St Albans, and St Albans City and Hatfield stations offer direct rail services to London.
Sports and leisure
The recreation ground, situated behind the primary school, is home to Colney Heath Football Club. Founded in 1907, the club has teams for men, women and kids.
Green fingered locals can rent allotment plots in Gloucester Park, just off Hill End Lane, Highfield, from the parish council.
Properties in the area range from pretty period cottages to modern new build homes.
According to Rightmove, the average sale price in the village over the last year was £475,538, up 1 per cent on the previous year but down 6 per cent from the 2017 peak of £506,395.
Homes currently on the market include a four-bed semi on Bullens Green Lane for £650,000 and a one-bed flat on High Street for £220,000.
Then there’s the Grade II listed Mill House on Coursers Road. It was originally a smock mill in the 1850s and was converted for residential use at the turn of the last century. It’s currently on the market with a guide price of £2.5m.
Colney Heath School is a small primary and nursery with around 200 pupils on roll, ranked ‘good’ by Ofsted.
The closest secondaries include Nicholas Breakspear Catholic School in St Albans (‘good’) and Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School (‘outstanding’).
The village has been twinned with Boissy sous Saint Yon in France since 1982. Colney Heath Parish Council chose Boissy because it was the same size as Colney Heath and the same distance from Paris as Colney Heath is from London. The Town Twinning Association hosts many social events in the Village Hall. On the outskirts of the village, on the way to St Albans, are two new roads, St Yon Court and Boissy Close, named after Colney Heath’s French twins.