Area Guide: The peaceful hamlet of Gustard Wood

PUBLISHED: 13:01 11 March 2020 | UPDATED: 09:35 12 March 2020

Lamer Lane, Gustard Wood. Picture: Archant

Lamer Lane, Gustard Wood. Picture: Archant

Archant

A rural idyll close to Harpenden and Wheathampstead, this leafy Hertfordshire hamlet is home to the best house in the St Albans area. We found out more...

Gustard Wood isn't short on green spaces. Picture: ArchantGustard Wood isn't short on green spaces. Picture: Archant

With its very rural setting, Gustard Wood feels like it's in the middle of nowhere - but it's actually within seven miles of Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield and St Albans.

Harpenden is closer still, with just four miles dividing the village from its larger neighbour and its train station with fast rail links into London.

Amenities and leisure

Mid Herts Golf Club is the area's best-known attraction. Picture: ArchantMid Herts Golf Club is the area's best-known attraction. Picture: Archant

By the end of the 19th century it was agreed by landowners that Gustard Wood Common and its neighbouring forest would be converted into a golf course. Nine holes were ready for play by 1893, and the famous golfer and course designer James Braid later developed it into an 18-hole course.

Today the Mid Herts Golf Club is one of the oldest English courses, and is well known for being unusual and challenging.

The Cross Keys on Ballslough Lane is a traditional 17th century pub with exposed beams, inglenook fireplace and a quirky, higgledy-piggledy structure.

The child-friendly pub has a huge garden and accommodates local walkers, rambler groups and cyclists who pop in for a spot of lunch. A bed and breakfast service is also available.

The Tin Pot B&B is a former inn. Picture: ArchantThe Tin Pot B&B is a former inn. Picture: Archant

B&B accommodation is also on offer at The Tin Pot, a former inn located at 33 Gustard Wood.

If you're looking for something more cultural, the historic villages of Kimpton, Whitwell, Knebworth and Ayot St Lawrence surround Gustard Wood.

The former home of playwright and author, George Bernard Shaw, known as Shaw's Corner, is just two miles away and will provide the whole family with a delicious dose of literary history.

St Peter's Church, Lamer Lane. Picture: ArchantSt Peter's Church, Lamer Lane. Picture: Archant

St Peter's Church

You may also want to watch:

The church was opened in 1910 as an outlying daughter church in the parish of Wheathampstead, serving the growing communities of Gustard Wood and Blackmore End.

The cost of the building was provided generously by Mrs Laura Pearce of Tunbridge Wells in memory of her late husband, a former vicar of Ayot St Lawrence.

The hamlet is within seven miles of St Albans, Welwyn, Hatfield and Harpenden. Picture: ArchantThe hamlet is within seven miles of St Albans, Welwyn, Hatfield and Harpenden. Picture: Archant

In the 100 years since, St Peter's has become a much-loved landmark and place of Christian worship, and has enriched the work of St Helen's, its parent church, in the process.

History

During World War 1 an auxiliary hospital was built in Blackmore End, providing care and recovery for the injured with over 214 available beds. Locals and supporters from further afield kept the hospital running with their donations.

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)

Property

There are just two properties currently for sale in Gustard Wood, both priced at £1,450,000 - no, this particularly rural idyll definitely doesn't come cheap! These five-bed budget-busters are both located in a peaceful setting, adjacent to Gustard Wood Common.

Chrissie Adams outside her Gustard Wood home, as seen The Best House In Town. Picture: Sidney Street ProductionsChrissie Adams outside her Gustard Wood home, as seen The Best House In Town. Picture: Sidney Street Productions

As seen on TV

One homeowner put Gustard Wood on the map last year when her property won the St Albans episodes of BBC1's The Best House in Town. Chrissie Adams spent two years transforming her 1970s detached house into a striking modern home, which triumphed against stiff competition in the BBC1 show.

Related articles

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Herts Advertiser