Close to Wheathampstead and Harpenden, the leafy hamlet of Gustard Wood is a rural idyll north of St Albans. We found out more...

Gustard Wood is a mostly rural location, providing the perfect place to walk, rest and to play golf.

Although it may feel like the middle of nowhere, with its large homes and very rural setting, the hamlet is only around seven miles from Welwyn Garden City, St Albans and Hatfield.

Herts Advertiser: Lamer Lane in Gustard WoodLamer Lane in Gustard Wood (Image: Newsquest)

Harpenden is even closer, with just four miles between Gustard Wood and its much larger neighbour, with links to London from Harpenden train station.

The hamlet is north of Wheathampstead and close to the villages of Kimpton to the north and Ayot St Lawrence to the east.


With its highly sought-after AL4 postcode, living in this peaceful location isn't cheap - with homes regularly priced in excess of £1million.

Properties currently on the market include a detached five-bedroom house for £1,350,000, and a 200-year-old detached four-bedroom home for £1,250,000.

Herts Advertiser: Gustard Wood is a rural idyll near Wheathampstead and HarpendenGustard Wood is a rural idyll near Wheathampstead and Harpenden (Image: Newsquest)


Gustard Wood was first referenced in around 1272, when it was written as Goshamstedwoode

Other spellings which were recorded later include Gustamwode and Gustewood.

The hamlet takes its name from the Old English word for 'gorse' or 'juniper', both of which grow on Gustard Wood Common.

Gustard Wood was home to the largest of the auxiliary hospitals during World War I - the Federated Malay States Hospital at Blackmore End.

The hospital provided 214 beds in the house and grounds, and was funded by supporters both locally and abroad.

St Peter's Church

Located in Lamer Lane, St Peter's Church was opened in 1910 as an outlying 'daughter' church in the parish of Wheathampstead.

The church served the then-growing communities of Gustard Wood and Blackmore End.

Herts Advertiser: St Peter's Church in Gustard WoodSt Peter's Church in Gustard Wood (Image: Newsquest)

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

In the more than 100 years since, St Peter's has become a much-loved local landmark and centre of Christian worship - as well as enriching the work of its parent church, St Helen's in Wheathampstead.

According to the church's website, the building consists of a chancel and a nave, constructed in Bath stone and knapped flints with a central bell turret in Bath stone and a porch in English oak.


Mid Herts Golf Club - one of the oldest golf clubs in the country - is nestled in the countryside in Lamer Lane, Lower Gustard Wood.

The club's 18-hole course was designed by five times Open Champion James Braid, and offers a true test of skills and experience for golfers.

Herts Advertiser: Mid Herts Golf Club is one of the oldest golf clubs in the UKMid Herts Golf Club is one of the oldest golf clubs in the UK (Image: Newsquest)

Mid Herts was first established in 1892, when the Lords of the Manor - the Ecclesiastical Commissioners - granted permission for golf to be played on Gustard Wood Common.

Nine holes were ready to play by February 1893, and in 1897 a clubhouse was constructed on the current site at a cost of £107.

In 1923 the course was enlarged to 18 holes, under the guidance of James Braid.

Since then, the club has acquired more land to the south, and the original wooden clubhouse has been replaced with a brick building - with extensive redevelopments and refurbishments over the years.

The first professional golfer to emerge from the club was Horace Rawlins, who won the US Open Championship in 1895.


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

A family-friendly pub, the Cross Keys accommodates walkers, rambling groups and cyclists, and has a large garden with a children's play area, as well as bed-and-breakfast accommodation.

Another B&B option is The Tin Pot, a former inn at 33 Gustard Wood.


The nearest schools to the area are in Harpenden and the surrounding villages.

These include Kimpton Primary School, Sauncey Wood Primary School in Harpenden and St Helen's in Wheathampstead, all of which were rated 'good' by Ofsted.

Secondary school options include the new Katherine Warington School in Harpenden.

Claims to Fame

In 2019 Gustard Wood homeowner Chrissie Adams appeared on the St Albans episodes of BBC1's The Best House in Town, which her property won.

Chrissie spent two years transforming her 1970s house into a striking modern home.

Mid Herts Golf Club also featured on 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 HarpendenThis area guide is sponsored by Frost's, who have offices in St Albans, Marshalswick, Wheathampstead and Harpenden (Image: Frost's)