Area Guide: The Boxmoor area of Hemel Hempstead

Some of Boxmoor's period homes. Picture: DANNY LOO

Some of Boxmoor's period homes. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Once very much a village in its own right, Boxmoor has been absorbed into neighbouring Hemel Hempstead, with many now viewing it as a suburb of the next door town. We found out more...

Located just off the Magic Roundabout, Hemel's many amenities are just a short walk away for Boxmoor residents, who also have their own local shops and services along St John's Road.

With a post office, a GP's surgery, a pharmacy, a jewellers, a florist and an estate agency all close at hand, the slightly longer trip into town isn't always needed. 

There are also many natural walking paths beside the River Bulbourne, which make the sometimes maligned Hemel town centre feel a world away. 

The Canal in Boxmoor. Picture: DANNY LOO

The Canal in Boxmoor. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

These large open spaces are perfect for family outings and picnics, especially Heath Park where Boxmoor Cricket Club play and which also features a children's play area.

Or, you can continue on into the rolling hills around the neighbouring residential areas of Felden and Chaulden. For whatever purpose – leisurely stroll, family outing, dog-walking – Boxmoor has acres upon acres of preserved natural space freely accessible on foot from any part of the area.

Boxmoor regularly plays host to Carters vintage steam fair, and it's also the preferred spot when the circus comes to town. 

St John's Road, Boxmoor. Picture: DANNY LOO

St John's Road, Boxmoor. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

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History

The name 'Boxmoor' is derived from the box tree and the water meadows that run alongside the river.

It was once the site of a Mesolithic camp, discovered from stone tools dated 1500 to 6000BC, and there are also remains of a Roman villa from the 1st and 2nd century.

For a long period of time, Boxmoor remained undeveloped. Apart from the Fishery Inn, which served as a refreshment stop for coach and canal travellers and is still in operation today, Boxmoor was little more than grazing land for sheep.

It wasn't until the London and Birmingham Railway was forced to build its main line and station a mile to the west of neighbouring Hemel Hempstead that Boxmoor began to grow.

While the area was absorbed into Hemel during the '50s and '60s, the railway being renamed in the process, Boxmoor still retains much of its rural land and heritage.

The Box Moor Trust, founded in 1594, continues to own and protect much of the surrounding area, ensuring that it remains free for residents to use and enjoy.

Property

Boxmoor has long been a popular destination for London commuters seeking more space outside the capital.

Properties currently on the market in the village include a four-bed semi-detached Victorian villa on Horsecroft Road for £800,000 and a two-bed canal-side apartment on River Park for £299,950. 

According to Rightmove, the average selling price of a property in Boxmoor last year was £527,278. The majority of sales during this period were of terraced homes, changing hands for an average price of £429,890.

Transport

Around 27 miles north of London, Boxmoor enjoys easy access to the M1 and the M25.

Rail connections to Euston from Hemel Hempstead station take around half an hour.

Boxmoor. Picture: DANNY LOO

Boxmoor. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Schools

There are several 'good' schools in and around the village, with Boxmoor Primary, South Hill Primary, Pixies Hill Primary and St Rose's Catholic Infants' School all picking up this ranking from Ofsted at their last inspections.

Popular secondaries include The Hemel Hempstead School, a comprehensive with sixth form between Boxmoor and Hemel hospital, which is also rated 'good'.

Nearby fee-paying alternatives including Westbrook Hay Prep School, Lockers Park and Abbot's Hill.

Food and Drink

There are several restaurants and pubs in Boxmoor, including the historic canalside Fishery Inn and Fishery Wharf Cafe, which both offer a waterside view. 

Fishery Wharf, Grand Union Canal, Boxmoor.
Picture: Karyn Haddon

Fishery Wharf, Grand Union Canal, Boxmoor. Picture: Karyn Haddon - Credit: Archant

A Harvester sits directly outside the station and there are two pubs, the Three Blackbirds on St John's Road and a family-run pub (with bonus sports bar), The Post Office Arms, on Puller Road – something for everyone to enjoy.

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