Area Guide: The charming Hertfordshire village of Flamstead

PUBLISHED: 10:02 12 June 2020

Flamstead enjoys an idyllic rural setting. Picture: Archant

Flamstead enjoys an idyllic rural setting. Picture: Archant

Archant

A pretty village renowned locally for its scarecrow festival and strong community spirit, Flamstead is a lovely place to live. We found out more about it.

The annual scarecrow festival is Flamstead's main event. Picture: DANNY LOOThe annual scarecrow festival is Flamstead's main event. Picture: DANNY LOO

Located on the edge of the Chilterns, about five miles west of Harpenden, Flamstead is home to around 1,400 residents.

Rich in history, the village is mentioned in the Domesday Book and is believed to date back to Roman times.

Properties

Flamstead Scarecrow Festival 2018. Picture: DANNY LOOFlamstead Scarecrow Festival 2018. Picture: DANNY LOO

Flamstead has around 500 homes, 65 of which are listed. Of particular interest are the almshouses opposite The Three Blackbirds pub, which are dated 1669, and the pub itself, the western wing of which was built in the 16th century.

Being surrounded by this level of charming character homes doesn’t come cheap, however: according to Rightmove, homes in the village had an overall average price of £609,438 over the last year.

There are only a handful of properties currently on the market in Flamstead, ranging from a four-bed detached house on Trowley Bottom for £920,000 to a three-bed semi on Trowley Hill Road for £495,000.

The Three Blackbirds is one of three pubs in Flamstead. Picture: ArchantThe Three Blackbirds is one of three pubs in Flamstead. Picture: Archant

Church

In the heart of the village is the Church of St Leonard’s. The church is difficult to date as it was developed in stages, but it’s estimated to trace back to Saxon times.

Its tower dates from 1140 and a list of parish priests dating back to 1223 is recorded there.

As well as being a well-attended place of worship, the church is today a centre for community events.

The village is home to a diverse range of properties. Picture: ArchantThe village is home to a diverse range of properties. Picture: Archant

Flamstead Scarecrow Festival

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The village’s annual scarecrow festival has become hugely popular since its inception in 2002. Visitors pay an entrance fee before touring the village, checking out the scarecrows and voting for their favourites. Residents have made over 120 scarecrows each year, attracting thousands of visitors over the three day festival. The 2018 event raised around £23,000, which was put towards the transformation of the church.

The Spotted Dog, High Street. Picture: ArchantThe Spotted Dog, High Street. Picture: Archant

Sadly, last year’s festival had to be cancelled after the untimely death of a much-loved resident.

Organisers are hopeful that this year’s event will be able to take place in August.

Sport and recreation

Some of Flamstead's period cottages. Picture: ArchantSome of Flamstead's period cottages. Picture: Archant

There are many groups and societies active within the village. Cricket and football are played on the recreation ground, while a tennis court and outdoor table tennis are also available. Further entertainment is provided by a recently-installed children’s playground and a local pony club which takes little ones from age five.

Travel

For such a rural location, Flamstead has excellent transport links. The M1, M25 and London Luton Airport are all close by, and the village also benefits from bus routes to Luton, Dunstable, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead. The closest train stations are in Harpenden and Hemel.

St Leonard's Church, Flamstead. Picture: ArchantSt Leonard's Church, Flamstead. Picture: Archant

School

Flamstead Village School is a half-form entry primary with a morning nursery, ranked ‘good’ by Ofsted.

Nearby secondaries include The Astley Cooper School in Hemel (‘good’) and The Stockwood Park Academy in Luton (‘requires improvement’).

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)

Independent alternatives include Beechwood Park School in Markyate, which takes girls and boys from nursery through to the end of Year 8. Beechwood Park gave its name to a song by The Zombies, written by the group’s bassist Chris White, who grew up in Markyate.

Pubs

Flamstead has three popular pubs, The Rose & Crown, The Spotted Dog and The Three Blackbirds. While they’re currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Three Blackbirds is offering a takeaway service, including Sunday lunch or fish and chips delivered to your door.


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