Shenley is a quiet village within reach of all amenities - located immediately east of Radlett and about five miles south of St Albans. We found out more...

The village, which is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, was originally an Anglo-Saxon settlement called 'Senlai', which means 'fair clearing or wood'.

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One the bank of the village pond is the instantly recognisable 'cage' or 'lock-up'.

This domed construction, with a single arched wooden door, was built in the 1700s to serve as a prison for the parish constabulary.

The cage was built before a national system of policing was instituted, so it was common for villages to have their own provincial lock-ups.

Criminals from the village would be detained provisionally before being sent to a larger town for trial.

An inscription can still be seen on the structure, which says 'Do well. And Fear not' and 'Be sober. Be vigilant'.

Herts Advertiser: Shenley's cageShenley's cage (Image: Newsquest)


Shenley's most significant development in recent times is Harperbury Park, a 206-home scheme build on the site of the Harperbury Hospital mental health facility, which was demolished in 2018. 

Currently for sale in the village is a four-bedroom detached property on Russet Drive for £830,000 and a two-bedroom cottage on Rectory Lane for £585,000. 


The village is less than a 10-minute drive away from Radlett railway station, which has excellent links to London.

Bus routes to north London boroughs and other areas of Hertfordshire also run through Shenley on a regular basis.

Sport and leisure 

Shenley cricket ground is famed for its impressive 19th century pavilion, which was designed by none other than famous English cricketer W. G. Grace (1848 - 1915).

Grace was commissioned at the request of the esteemed Porter family, who owned substantial landholdings around Shenley at the time.

Herts Advertiser: Shenley Cricket Pavillion

The ground is known as The Denis Compton Oval after the legendary Middlesex and England cricketer.

Described by the Evening Standard as "possibly the most beautiful ground in England, and therefore the world", the ground is held in high regard internationally.

Each summer The Dennis Compton Oval plays host to U19 international matches and women's cricket.

Meanwhile Shenley Park is home to an orchard, meadow and a two-acre walled garden with its own amphitheatre.

The park also has  tea room with an adjacent playground, making it a popular spot for families.


Shenley's only remaining pub is The White Horse on London Road. A premium gastropub, it offers a comprehensive British and Mediterranean-inspired menu which serves everything from salads to steaks.

Herts Advertiser: The White Horse, ShenleyThe White Horse, Shenley (Image: Google Street View)


Most of the local children are served by Shenley Primary School at the heart of the village, which has around 190 children on roll. The school was rated 'good' at an Ofsted inspection in September 2023.

A fee-paying alternative is Manor Lodge on the periphery of the village, which is an independent primary school for children aged four to 11. 

Jewish parents may also be interested in Clore Shalom (‘good’), a single form entry Jewish primary school that teaches the national curriculum alongside traditional Jewish studies. 

Other options nearby are the independent Haberdashers' Aske's boys' and girls' schools, which are just off Watling Street on the fringes of Elstree.

The closest state secondary schools to the village include Hertswood Academy in Borehamwood (rated ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted) and the partially selective Dame Alice Owen's School in Potters Bar (rated 'outstanding').  


St Botolph’s church, which is now a private dwelling, served as the village parish church until the construction of St Peter’s in 1826. 

However shortly afterwards St Peter's lost huge swathes of its congregation when many properties within Shenley became incorporated into the expanding settlement of London Colney.

As such, in 1839, the rector of Shenley, Thomas Newcombe, commissioned the building of another church – St Martin’s – which remains the parish church of Shenley. 

English Baroque architect Nicholas Hawksmoor (1661-1736) lies in St Botolph's graveyard - now private land - which is also the final resting place of Formula One champion Graham Hill, who lived in Shenley during the 1970s.

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)