Area Guide: The popular Chiswell Green area of St Albans
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
A residential area with a strong suburban feel, Chiswell Green has plenty of good sized homes suitable for the family market.
According to Rightmove, the overall average selling price for a property in the area last year was £586,032. The majority of homes sold were semi-detached properties, which changed hands for an average of £586,821.
2017 prices were 6 per cent down on the previous year and similar to the 2015 level of £587,695.
Homes currently on the market include a five-bed detached bungalow on Watford Road with an asking price of £1,195,000 and a one-bed flat on Albany Mews, priced at £200,000.
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With the M1 to the west, the M25 to the south and the A1(M) to the east, Chiswell Green is ideally placed for access to the UK’s major road routes.
St Albans City station, with its fast rail link to London St Pancras, is a short drive away, while How Wood or Park Street stations are accessible on foot and will have you in Watford within 15 minutes.
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The name ‘Chiswell’ is derived from ‘chisel’, used in place names for gravel or shingle. Chiswell Green has been a popular excavation site throughout the centuries and many interesting historic artefacts have been unearthed there.
Archeologists are able to paint a picture of ancient Chiswell Green life from various soil formations and organic materials dug up at the site, providing evidence of ancient quarrying methods and our ancestors’ resourcefulness.
The hollows in St Julian’s Wood/Greenwood Park are reputedly the remains of this quarry and would have once played a crucial role in building and trade.
In the late 19th century the village had a forge facing onto Watford Road and the surrounding farmland. The old forge and 15th century house eventually became an inn around 1854, which is now known as The Three Hammers.
The Grade II listed pub serves authentic British cooking and real ales in a cosy, characterful setting with period features and welcoming staff. Much of its original beer garden has been converted into a Co-Op store, despite strong opposition from locals.
The Noke is a 110-bedroom hotel with a restaurant, pool, leisure club and six meeting rooms.
A new addition to the area is Valentina’s Italian on Watford Road. The authentic eatery has already won rave reviews for its popular menu, which includes everything from coffee and cakes to pasta and ice cream.
Younger children are well served by Killigrew Primary and Nursery School on West Avenue and Prae Wood Primary School on King Harry Lane . Both are two-form entry schools and were rated ‘good’ by Ofsted at their last inspections.
The closest secondary school is Marlborough Science Academy (‘good’) on Watling Street.
A fee-paying alternative is St Columba’s College on King Harry Lane, an independent Roman Catholic school for boys aged between four and 18.
Sports and leisure
Greenwood Park is a popular and picturesque recreation area, with a well-used playground and a community centre consisting of three halls and a licensed bar. The centre is regularly used by locals for celebratory events, charity activities and clubs.
The hall is marked out for badminton, netball, basketball, volleyball and football and is a popular spot for sporting buffs and clubs alike.
Greenwood Park County Cricket has two teams, which play throughout the summer in home and away matches.
Chiswell Green Riding School has been teaching all ages and abilities for over 20 years and offers group lessons and private tutoring from novice to experienced riders. They run activities through the school holidays including horse care and stable management, gymkhanas and hacks in the many different countryside locations that surround the area.
If you’re not keen on taking part in sports, why not take a long stroll from Chiswell Green to Bricket Wood, St Albans town or Cottonmill? There are plenty of historic sites to take in and the River Ver offers beautiful scenery and glimpses into Hertfordshire wildlife.