Area Guide: The historic Hertfordshire village of Kings Langley
- Credit: Archant
With Hemel Hempstead to the north, Watford to the south, St Albans to the east and London easily commutable by train, Kings Langley is a well connected place to live.
The village lies south of the Chiltern Hills, about 20 miles north-west of central London.
A popular carnival is held there each June and the Warner Bros. Studios are a major tourist attraction in neighbouring Leavesden.
Another of Kings Langley’s claims to fame is that Ovaltine was once manufactured here. The factory has now been converted into a housing development but its art deco façade remains.
The village was once home to a royal palace of the Plantagenet kings of England.
In 1276 the manor of Chilterne Langley was purchased by Queen Eleanor, wife of King Edward I. She built a hunting palace complete with its own deer park on a hill above the village, which was renamed Langley Regina in her honour before eventually becoming Kings Langley.
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A Dominican friary was established too, although it fell into disrepair after King Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries and little remains of it now. Sadly, the same goes for the palace and the church that accompanied the priory, although elements were reused in the village’s Church of All Saints.
All Saints is the tomb site of Edmund of Langley (1341-1402), the first Duke of York. The Langley part of the name means ‘long wood or clearing’.
Amenities include Three Villages Children’s Centre, Kings Langley Library and the Premier Inn hotel. There’s also a beauty salon, a physiotherapy centre and a range of shops including a pet store, a branch of Boots and a Spar.
The M25 passes just south of the village on a viaduct across the River Gade valley. North of junction 20 with the A41, a dual-carriageway bypasses Kings Langley and goes to Tring. The old route through the village is now classified as the A4251.
There is a train station in Kings Langley, which runs services to Tring and London Euston, Birmingham, Crewe and Milton Keynes Central. Apsley and Garston train stations are close by.
According to Rightmove, the average home sold in Kings Langley last year changed hands for £525,945.
However, most of the properties sold were detached, selling for an average price of £767,472.
Prices were 3 per cent up on 2016 and 20 per cent on 2015, when the average selling price was £438,434.
Homes currently on the market in Kings Langley include a six-bed country house with pool and nine acres of grounds for £2,250,000 and a three-bed terrace for £525,000.
Kings Langley Primary School takes 60 children each year and was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted at its last inspection. It has a full-time nursery and breakfast and after school clubs.
Kings Langley School (‘good’) serves girls and boys aged 11-18 and prides itself on its Christian values.
The independent Rudolf Steiner School is built on the grounds of what was formerly the palace. It caters for children aged three to 19 and is set in 10 acres of impressive grounds. It offers an alternative curriculum to state schools, featuring gardening, handwork, pottery, woodwork, metalwork and drawing. It was found to be inadequate at its last inspection.
Sport and leisure
Kings Langley has a football club, a cricket club and a sports complex in the form of Sportspace, which offers golf and swimming facilities and timetabled classes including yoga.
Phasels Wood Scout Camp and Activity Centre on Rucklers Lane, is popular with youth groups and opened in 1937.
Food and drink
Popular places to eat in and around the village include The Unicorn pub, Fred & Ginger Coffee Shop, Oscars Pizza and tea and coffee shop Bean Here. Dalling & Co is a European café serving Spanish and British food with a wine bar and gluten-free options.
Other great eateries include Inspired Café Bar, The Rose & Crown pub and The Saracens Head, which serves Tring beers and has a traditional British pub atmosphere.