A rural idyll close to Wheathampstead and Harpenden, the leafy hamlet of Gustard Wood is situated in the Hertfordshire countryside north of St Albans. We found out more...

Once thought to be a vast area of woodland, Gustard Wood remains mostly rural today - somewhere to walk, rest and to play golf.

Where is Gustard Wood?

Herts Advertiser: Gustard Wood.Gustard Wood. (Image: Archant)

With its large homes and very rural setting, Gustard Wood may feel like it’s in the middle of nowhere.

However, it’s only around seven miles from Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield and St Albans.

Harpenden is closer still, with just four miles dividing the hamlet from its much larger neighbour and its train station with fast rail links into London.

Coming with a sought-after AL4 postcode, Gustard Wood is north of Wheathampstead and close to the Herts villages of Kimpton to the north and Ayot St Lawrence to the east.


Living in this peaceful idyll isn't cheap, with homes regularly priced in excess of £1million.

Gustard Wood feature properties on roads such as Lamer Lane, Firs Drive, and Lime Avenue in Blackmore End.

Herts Advertiser: A three-bedroom detached house for sale in Lower Gustard Wood.A three-bedroom detached house for sale in Lower Gustard Wood. (Image: Google Maps)

Currently on the market is a Grade II-listed three-bedroom detached character cottage in Lower Gustard Wood with a guide price of £830,000 with Frost's.

The original property dates back to the 1600s and was once used as a public house named 'The Royal Exchange’ in the mid-1800s, before being lovingly restored to a family home.

Close to Mid Herts Golf Club, the accommodation comes complete with an impressive inglenook fireplace surrounding a wood burning stove, and a modern bathroom with separate roll-top bath and walk-in shower.


The first reference to Gustard Wood is in about 1272 when it was written Goshamstedwoode.

Later it was recorded as Gustamwode, Gustewood and more recently Gustard Wood.

Gustard Wood takes its name from the Old English for 'gorse' or 'juniper'. Both grew there on Gustard Wood Common.

During World War One, the largest of the auxiliary hospitals was the Federated Malay States Hospital at Blackmore End, which provided 214 beds in the house and grounds.

It was funded by subscriptions from supporters both here and abroad.

St Peter’s Church

Herts Advertiser: St Peter's Church in Lamer Lane.St Peter's Church in Lamer Lane. (Image: Archant)

St Peter’s Church, in Lamer Lane, was opened in 1910 as an outlying daughter church in the parish of Wheathampstead, serving the then growing communities of Gustard Wood and Blackmore End.

The cost of the building was largely provided by Mrs Laura Pearce, in memory of her late husband, Rev. William Peter Pearce, a former rector of nearby Ayot St Lawrence.

In the 100 or so years since, St Peter’s has become a much loved landmark and place of Christian worship, and has enriched the work of St Helen’s, its parent church in Wheathampstead, in the process.

According to the St Helen’s and St Peter's website: "The church consists of a chancel and nave, constructed in Bath stone and knapped flints with a central bell turret in Bath stone and a porch in English oak."

Amenities and leisure

Herts Advertiser: Mid Herts Golf Club is one of the oldest golf clubs in the country.Mid Herts Golf Club is one of the oldest golf clubs in the country. (Image: Archant)

Nestled in the Hertfordshire countryside at Lower Gustard Wood, in Lamer Lane, is Mid Herts Golf Club.

As one of the oldest golf clubs in the country, and with an 18-hole course designed by five times Open Champion James Braid, Mid Herts offers a true golfing test and experience for any golfer.

Mid Herts Golf Club was first established in 1892 when permission to play golf on Gustard Wood Common had been granted by the Lords of the Manor, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

Nine holes were ready for play less than seven months later, in February 1893, and a clubhouse was constructed in 1897 on the current site at a cost of £107.

The course was enlarged to 18 holes in 1923 under the guidance of James Braid.

Herts Advertiser: The hamlet is within seven miles of St Albans, Welwyn, Hatfield and Harpenden. Picture: ArchantThe hamlet is within seven miles of St Albans, Welwyn, Hatfield and Harpenden. Picture: Archant (Image: Archant)

Since then, more land to the south has been acquired and the original wooden clubhouse has been replaced with a brick building, which has been extensively redeveloped and refurbished over the years.

The club's first professional was Horace Rawlins, who went on to win the US Open Championship in 1895.

The Cross Keys in Ballslough Hill is a charming, traditional 17th century pub with exposed beams and a large inglenook fireplace.

Located in a quiet wooded area in the Hertfordshire countryside, the family-friendly pub accommodates many local walkers, rambler groups, and cyclists who pop in for a spot of lunch.

It has a large garden with children’s play area.

A bed and breakfast service is also available with two en-suite rooms.

B&B accommodation is also on offer at The Tin Pot, a former inn located at 33 Gustard Wood.

If you are looking for something more cultural, the villages of Kimpton, Whitwell, Knebworth and Ayot St Lawrence are all nearby, with tales of historic figures, drama, scandal, deception and love to be found around every corner.

Shaw’s Corner, the former home of acclaimed playwright and author George Bernard Shaw, is just two miles away in Ayot St Lawrence, and will provide the whole family with a delicious dose of literary history.


The closest schools are in Harpenden and the neighbouring villages.

They include Kimpton Primary School, which is rated 'good', according to its 2021 Ofsted inspection, Sauncey Wood in Harpenden, and St Helen's in Wheathampstead (both rated 'good').

Secondary options include the new Katherine Warington School on Lower Luton Road, Harpenden.

As seen on TV

One homeowner put Gustard Wood on the map in 2019 when her property won the St Albans episodes of TV's The Best House in Town.

Chrissie Adams spent two years transforming her 1970s detached house into a striking modern home, which triumphed against stiff competition in the BBC1 show.

Mid Herts Golf Club also featured in BBC’s Countryfile in January 2016.

Herts Advertiser: This area guide is sponsored by Frost's, who have offices in St Albans, Marshalswick, Wheathampstead and Harpenden (www.frosts.co.uk/branches)This area guide is sponsored by Frost's, who have offices in St Albans, Marshalswick, Wheathampstead and Harpenden (www.frosts.co.uk/branches) (Image: Archant)