Area Guide: The popular Hertfordshire village of Sandridge

Sandridge high street

Sandridge high street - Credit: Archant

A mile north of St Albans, surrounded by countryside, is the pretty village of Sandridge. 

High Street, Sandridge. Picture: Archant

High Street, Sandridge. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

This Hertfordshire hotspot centres on a clutch of amenities, including three pubs, a church and a shop, on and around the junction of High Street and House Lane.

This part of the village has a solidly rural feel, while Sandridgebury Lane is even moreso, with farmland and a Scout hut located off the narrow road.

Amenities

The Village Hall provides a community hub, while neighbouring Spencer Hall and its recreation ground are the centre for sport in the village.

Sandridge Village Hall, High Street. Picture: Archant

Sandridge Village Hall, High Street. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Darby's general store offers a friendly place to buy a paper or a drink or snack, and the village is also home to three popular pubs: The Rose and Crown, The Green Man and The Queen's Head.

The Rose & Crown in Sandridge.

The Rose & Crown in Sandridge. - Credit: Roger Protz

Green space

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In 2008 the Woodland Trust announced plans to create a new forest north of Sandridge, transforming 858 acres of former farmland into what is now the largest continuous area of new native woodland in England.

More than 600,000 trees have been planted at Heartwood by volunteers, and visitors are encouraged to explore the site — which boasts beautiful bluebells in the spring — on bike, horse or foot. 

Jersey Farm Woodland Park provides a further 55 acres of lush greenery, wildflower meadow and more, which connects the village to neighbouring Marshalswick and Jersey Farm.

Additional caravans for a site in Sandridge have been rejected by SADC.

Welcome to Sandridge. - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Between Sandridge and Wheathampstead is the famous Nomansland Common, named after the 15th century dispute between the abbeys of Westminster and St Albans.

There are also a couple of playgrounds in the village, one behind St Leonard's Church and another by the village hall, which are ideal for under 12s. 

History

The earliest recorded mention of Sandridge – or "Saundruage" (meaning a place of sandy oil serviced by bond tenants) – was in 796, when the parish was part of the revenue of the Mercian kings.

The settlement went on to be mentioned in the Domesday Book; it had a population of 29 households in 1086, placing it among the largest 40 per cent of settlements recorded.

Historic St Leonard's Church celebrated 900 years since its consecration in 2014. Parts of it date back to 796 however, while the main structure we see today was built in 1114.

St Leonard's Church, Sandridge. Picture: Archant

St Leonard's Church, Sandridge. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

In 1939 a secret wireless intercept station was constructed at the top of Woodcock Hill. It was the first base dedicated to diplomatic interception with radio operators listening to the wireless traffic between Germany, Italy and Japan, among others.

Messages intercepted at Sandridge were sent to Bletchley Park for decryption.

Famous former residents of the village include John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, and his infamous wife Sarah, a friend of Queen Anne. Also, Dappy from Brit hip hop/pop group, N-Dubz.

Property

While far from cheap, Sandridge properties are a little more affordable than those in neighbouring St Albans.

The Queen's Head, with St Leonard's Church in the background. Picture: Archant

The Queen's Head, with St Leonard's Church in the background. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

There's currently just one home for sale in the village: a three-bed semi on Langley Grove, for offers over £650,000. 

School

Located in spacious grounds on Woodcock Hill, Sandridge School is a one-form entry primary, ranked 'good' in all areas in its last Ofsted inspection. It has a nursery class, breakfast and after-school clubs, forest school activities and a purpose-built music studio.

Nearby secondaries include Sandringham and St Albans Girls' School (STAGS), both rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted.

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