Area Guide: The Hertfordshire village of Frogmore
- Credit: Archant
A small village sandwiched between St Albans and Radlett, there’s more to Frogmore than you might expect.
Frogmore seems initially to be a short stretch of Watling Street and not a lot more.
In fact, there is plenty to see behind the mix of period cottages and more modern homes that line this busy road, including a stretch of the River Ver trail.
There are indications that the Frogmore area was already an important centre in the years preceding the Roman Conquest. Watling Street, the main road connecting Verulamium with the newly-established Roman base in London, was laid out by the Roman army and still follows the same course. There have also been further excavations in Frogmore and Park Street that have revealed traces of Neolithic, Saxon and Norman inhabitants, with several artefacts residing at the Verulamium Museum.
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Frogmore House – not to be confused with the Windsor property where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding reception took place – was refronted by architect Francis Wigg in the early 1800s. When his family sold the house in 1890, they built and endowed three almshouses further along Watling Street.
Stockbroker Sidney Brunton, who bought the estate from the Wiggs, altered the gardens and created an ornamental canal to divert the River Ver’s course, allowing it to flow attractively alongside the house. Much of this setting has now been replaced by the village’s mobile home park.
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Trains from neighbouring Park Street connect to St Albans Abbey and Watford. The M25 is just moments away, while St Albans and Radlett’s many amenities are within three miles by car.
Frogmore Pits are described as the local sand and gravel industry’s legacy. They attract a mix of locals and visitors keen to explore this picturesque piece of Hertfordshire. Car parking is available via Hyde Lane, or The Moor Mill Beefeater on Smug Oak Lane, Bricket Wood, is another good starting point – or end point, if a hearty meal is also required.
Homes currently on the market in Frogmore include three-bed period conversion, The Old School House, for £625,000 and a two-bed penthouse apartment for £300,000.
Given its small size, it’s not surprising that only 11 homes were sold in Frogmore last year, with Rightmove recording an average price of £391,704.
Church and community
Bulit in 1859, Holy Trinity church was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, leader of the Gothic Revival within architecture.
The imposing building stands proudly in the centre of Frogmore with an impressive bell tower, arched windows and angular structure, a credit to Scott’s design portfolio.
Holy Trinity is also a community hub, regularly playing host to children’s parties, business meetings and family events.
There are many groups that meet here regularly, including senior and toddler groups, plus a handful of youth groups that are directly affiliated to the church.
Community group the Park Street and Frogmore Society celebrates all that is good about these two villages. Established in 1995 to promote local history and conservation, the society holds six open meetings a year, all of which include a presentation by an invited speaker discussing a topic related to local nature or history.
The two primary schools most local to Frogmore were both rated ‘good’ by Ofsted at their last inspections.
Park Street Church of England Primary School and Nursery is, as its name suggests, a religious school. It says on its website that, “underlying everything we do is the aim to provide a caring and supportive environment, through Christian teaching and example”.
How Wood Primary School celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. In its short Ofsted inspection in 2017 it was described as a “warm, caring, happy, safe and stimulating environment in which pupils thrive both academically and personally”.
The secondary school closest to Frogmore is Marlborough Science Academy (‘good’) which is further down Watling Street in St Albans.