Area Guide: Frogmore
PUBLISHED: 15:00 05 November 2015
Home to a structure built by one of the most celebrated Gothic architects in British history. And cakes too.
Frogmore is a Hertfordshire village that sits 3 miles north of Radlett and is just south of St Albans. It’s located in St Stephen civil parish, in the St Albans district. It has been documented in several historic publications, such as Daniel Paterson’s travel guide of 1796, on the route from London to St Albans and in 1870-72 in John Marius Wilson’s Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales. The latter described Frogmore as: “a chapelry in St. Stephen parish, Herts; near the Northwestern railway and the Grand Junction canal, 2 miles SSE of Hemel-Hempstead. It has a post office, of the name of Frogmore End. It was constituted in 1859. Population: 975. Houses: 199. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Rochester. Value: £128.”
Times have changed when it comes to property values in Frogmore since the Imperial Gazetteer’s report. It’s home to an array of homes at varying prices, It boasts stunning property such as River House, our Home of the Week a month ago. This home has an unsual feature – a turret like roof forming an eye-catching tower on the outside and a breath-taking ceiling on the inside.
At the other end of the size spectrum is the much cuter park home in Frogmore Home Park, up for £125,000. And somewhere in the middle of the two is the £575,000 4 bedroom town house for sale in Curo Park, Frogmore, described as a modern end of terrace house. Curo Park itself is an area within Frogmore, conveniently located between St Albans and Radlett, both towns benefiting from mainline train stations into London.
The Park Street & Frogmore Society was formed to promote interest in local history and nature, covering the three villages of Park Street, Frogmore and Colney Street. It welcomes all ages, holds six open meetings (held at Park Street Village Hall) each year, with speakers, and organises guided walks. It has a close relationship with the St Albans Museum service.
Frogmore is associated with the Countryside Management Service and Groundwork-Hertfordshire, carrying out conservation tasks in the local area as well as the St Albans Green Belt Association and the Park Street and District Residents Association.
Cakes, cars and cuticles
Sadly, Frogmore’s last pub – The Old Red Lion – was permenantly closed a few years ago. The site is now occupied by Steven Eagell Toyota, which is St Albans main branch of Toyota. The neighbouring areas of Radlett and Park Street offer various dining and dinking opportunities.
Nonetheless, Frogmore is home to the Orange Blossom Cake Company. All cakes are freshly made from scratch for each customer using superior ingredients, including fairtrade chocolate, organic cocoa, free-range eggs, fairtrade sugar and British butter. The service they offer allows you to instruct precisely what cake you’re hoping for, or they offer to work with their customers to create a cake design based on the theme or colour scheme of your choice.
Need a mani/pedi? Louise’s Nails and Beauty is also to be found in Frogmore, offering a selection of pampering services.
Frogmore has its own cricket club which plays in Park Street and the Halian Veterinary Centre is on hand to tend to the needs of your poorly cats and dogs.
Architecture and history
Potentially the biggest draw to the village is the 19th Century Holy Trinity church designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott who was the leading architect of the Gothic Revival.
The church was built in 1859, after the original church in the village - the church of St. Stephen - fell into a state of disrepair.
In 1827 Scott had moved to London to begin formal training with the architect James Edmeston, who later complained that Scott ‘wasted his time sketching medieval buildings’. The term ‘Gothic Revival’ applies to the 19th Century use of designs based on the art and architecture of medieval Europe. Designers drew on Gothic architectural features such as pointed arches, trefoils, quatrefoils and naturalistic foliage. During the 1860s fashion favoured the ‘Reformed Gothic style’ which was based on 13th Century French models. Scott particularly admired French Gothic architecture. These influences were all inspirational tools for the creation of Holy Trinity, Frogmore.
He designed or altered over 800 buildings during his working life, including many of today’s iconic structures, such as the Midland Grand Hotel at St. Pancras Station, the Albert Memorial, King’s College Chapel, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Outside of London, he was also responsible for the main building at the University of Glasgow, and St. Mary’s Cathedral.
Many years before Scott’s time, there are indications that the Frogmore area was already an important centre in the years preceding the Roman Conquest (AD 43). Watling Street, the main road connecting Verulamium with the newly established Roman base in London, was laid out by the Roman army and still follows the same course. Why not take a drive along the road and experience a bit of the Roman Empire...
More recently Granada Publishing, whose imprints included Grafton and Panther Books, were based at Frogmore until it was sold in 1983.
For a small village within the St Albans area, Frogmore certainly has its place in history.