Wheathampstead's 10,000-year timeline celebrated with heritage trail

PUBLISHED: 13:43 09 July 2014 | UPDATED: 13:43 09 July 2014

Project team with some of the new Wheathampstead heritage trail information

Project team with some of the new Wheathampstead heritage trail information

Archant

The final phase of a local heritage trail has been completed, allowing walkers to take in some of the most beautiful parts of Hertfordshire's countryside.

Villagers marked completion of the Wheathampstead heritage trail with the unveiling of five new interpretative panels, the release of a parish-wide walking map and launch of a comprehensive website.

The joint project between the village’s parish council, Wheathampstead and District Preservation Society and Wheathampstead for Enterprising Business was funded by a £38,500 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund together with £14,500 match-funding from various other organisations.

Former St Albans Mayor Cllr Annie Brewster, acting as the Heritage Lottery Fund project leader, said: “The project started as a way to encourage visitors into the village to support our High Street but it has also delighted local residents to learn more about our 10,000-year timeline.”

She said it was the second in the series of walking maps which now extends the trail over six new walks of between 4.3 and 7.9 miles.

The walk allows visitors to take in some of the most beautiful parts of the countryside while learning about the colourful history of over 72 sites.

These range from the scheduled ancient monument of Devil’s Dyke and Lord Melbourne’s and Lord Palmerston’s Brocket Hall to the chimney remains of John Bunyan’s cottage and George Bernard Shaw’s home in Ayot St Lawrence.

Chairman of the parish council, Cllr David Johnston, who managed the project’s implementation, said: “We can now offer residents and visitors beautiful countryside walks and a peek into our rich history all in one go. The website is the gateway to our history and a fabulous resource for students, residents and visitors.”

The new maps are available from the council’s offices in Marford Road, inside the red telephone box in High Street, or see the website

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