Area Guide: The popular Jersey Farm area of St Albans
PUBLISHED: 09:17 15 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:35 15 March 2019
A residential area on the north-eastern edge of St Albans, Jersey Farm offers a peaceful place to live with beautiful countryside close at hand.
Part of the civil parish of Sandridge, Jersey Farm was originally a green space, playing host to meadows and a farm.
Marshalswick was always an area dotted with pockets of green space. The one part of the estate that remained undeveloped was Evans Farm, which was bought by the well known tuberculosis researcher, Dr Corner. He moved to Evans Farm in 1931, renaming it Jersey Farm after his herd of Jersey cows. He died in 1945, aged 81, and his daughter Hilda continued running the farm and dairy business, eventually selling it to the Royal London Mutual Insurance Company for housing development.
Despite fierce opposition from locals, planning permission was granted to build on 118 of the 309 acres of farmland, and work commenced in 1977. Things didn’t go entirely to plan, however.
The Queen Anne farmhouse - now the site of St Brelades Place - was to have been the centrepiece of the estate, but it was devastated by fire in 1979. One section of the farm was excavated as a gravel quarry – now the Jersey Farm adventure playground.
Further plans to develop the remaining area as sporting grounds met with opposition and consequently became Jersey Farm Woodland Park, a 55-acre amenity area of woods and wildflower meadows, instead.
At the heart of the Jersey Farm community is St Brelades Place. It is home to doctors and dentists’ surgeries and several shops and eateries, including a hairdresser, a beauty salon, a cycle shop, a pharmacy and a Tesco Express, plus Indian and Chinese restaurants and a fish and chicken takeaway.
It is also home to a community centre, which hosts a playgroup, exercise classes and carpet bowls, and is available to hire for functions and parties.
Then there’s The Blackberry Jack, a family-friendly pub offering big-screen sport and affordable food. The pub was named in a competition, ‘Blackberry Jack’ being the winning entry. This came from the stories of a local tramp who lived in ‘camps’ in the blackberry bushes around the local fields, whose name was actually Bill or William. ‘Jack’ came from the name of another tramp who wore a long white coat and spent most of the time drunkenly wandering between St Albans and Borehamwood.
Jersey Farm has its own Residents Association (JFRA) which arranges events such as a fireworks display and a Christmas party for the children of the area.
Homes currently on the market locally include a two-bed flat on Milford Court for £230,000 and a three-bed semi on Cheriton Close for £475,000.
St Albans and Hatfield train stations are both a short drive away, as are the A1(M) and M25. Regular buses connect Jersey Farm to St Albans, Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City.
The closest schools are all in neighbouring Marshalswick, with popular primaries including Skyswood Primary & Nursery School (rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted), St John Fisher Roman Catholic Primary (‘good’) and Wheatfields Infant and Junior Schools (rated ‘outstanding’ and ‘good’ respectively). Sandridge School (‘good’) is another option, located just north of Jersey Farm in the pretty village of the same name.
Sandringham is the closest secondary school (rated ‘outstanding’), but like many of the more sought-after schools in St Albans it is always oversubscribed.