Area Guide: The quaint hamlet of Tyttenhanger
- Credit: Archant
The hamlet is set in idyllic countryside just a couple of miles from the centre of St Albans.
The name Tyttenhanger – or Tydenhangre – was first recorded in 1248. It is thought to mean the “wooden slope belonging to Tilda”.
The historic Tyttenhanger House is a Grade I listed building set in 42 acres of parkland, located across the A414 from Tyttenhanger, between London Colney and Colney Heath. Henry VIII spent time there in 1528 as he attempted to avoid the ‘sweating sickness’ that was doing the rounds in London.
Another building of note is the Grade II listed Hill End Farm, while it’s said that the first steeplechase in England ran through the land now known as Highfield Farm.
Homes currently on the market in Tyttenhanger include a three-bed semi on Highfield Lane for £350,000 and a two-bed flat in Highfield Hall, also on Highfield Lane, for £400,000.
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There is a Spar store, a couple of takeaways, a doctors’ surgery and a barbers at the nearby Highfield shops, but the closest large supermarkets, cafes and shopping areas are at London Colney, Hatfield and St Albans.
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Tyttenhanger is within easy reach of the M1, M25, A414 and the A1(M) by car. Main train stations are a short distance away at St Albans with fast services into central London.
Sport and leisure
The Charles Morris Hall is Tyttenhanger’s local community centre, which is available for hire. It was built from funds left by a previous owner of Highfield Hall and is managed by the residents. It has a playground outside.
The village committee organise an annual bonfire and fireworks display, a Christmas party and regular quiz evenings, which help to maintain a strong sense of community.
Highfield Park is immediately north of the hamlet and offers 60 acres of green space, including bike paths, boules courts, orchards and a maze.
Tyttenhanger Gravel Pits are the best place to see a variety of interesting bird species in Hertfordshire.
The restored gravel pits and woodland area between London Colney and Colney Heath are recognised by the RSPB and Herts Birds Club.
The main pit is still used to source water to wash the sand and gravel which is extracted from an active quarry south of Coursers Road. As well as gulls, waders, sandpipers, dunlins, ruddy ducks and sand martins, butterflies and dragonflies can be seen here. Fisherman are attracted to the area for its fishing lakes.
There are two nearby leisure centres. Nuffield Health in Highfield Park Drive has personal trainers, a gym, pools, tennis and squash courts and club, physiotherapists and a rehabilitation gym. It is a members club. The Highfield Park Centre on Russet Drive is owned by the Highfield Park Trust and managed by Watford YMCA. It has a gym, sports hall, tennis courts, two playing fields and seven football pitches.
Willows Farm is a fun place for families to feed and handle large and small farm animals. It has a café and large soft play area.
The closest primary schools for children living in Tyttenhanger include Windermere and London Colney (both rated ‘good’ by Ofsted).
Also nearby is Samuel Ryder Academy, an ‘all-through’ school, which serves both primary and secondary aged children. It was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted at its last inspection, as was the nearby Nicholas Breakspear Catholic School.
Food and drink
The Plough is a traditional family-run pub dating back to the 18th century. It’s popular among locals and is a warm, welcoming free house, serving well-kept real ales, draught lager and cider and fine wines. Their homemade food menu features a wide selection of delicious food, including specials and great choices for children. There is a large car park, a long pleasant garden for alfresco dining and a play area for youngsters. Bar games, such as backgammon, draughts and dominoes are also on offer.