Area Guide: The Hertfordshire hamlet of Tyttenhanger
PUBLISHED: 08:50 14 June 2019 | UPDATED: 08:59 14 June 2019
A leafy hamlet just a couple of miles south-east of St Albans' city centre, Tytenhanger offers the best of both worlds.
The name Tyttenhanger - or Tydenhangre - was first recorded in 1248. It is thought to mean the "wooden slope belonging to Tilda".
Between London Colney and Colney Heath, across the A414 from Tyttenhanger, is the Tyttenhanger Park estate. It includes the historic Tyttenhanger House, Grade II listed stables, a chapel and residential accommodation set in 42 acres of parkland. Henry VIII spent time there in 1528 as he attempted to avoid the 'sweating sickness' that was doing the rounds in London. The estate sold for £4.7 million last year and is currently home to various commercial offices.
Another building of note is the Grade II listed Hill End Farm, while it's said that the first steeplechase in England ran through the land now known as Highfield Farm.
There are currently just three homes on the market in Tyttenhanger - a four-bed property on Highfield Lane for £700,000, a three-bed cottage on Tyttenhanger Green for £600,000 and a four-bed terrace, also on Highfield Lane, for £550,000.
There is a Spar store, a couple of takeaways, a doctors' surgery and a barbers at the nearby Highfield shops, but the closest large supermarkets, cafes and shopping areas are at London Colney, Hatfield and St Albans.
Tyttenhanger is within easy reach of the M1, M25, A414 and the A1(M) by car. Main train stations are a short distance away at St Albans with fast services into central London.
Sport and leisure
The Charles Morris Hall is Tyttenhanger's local community centre, which is available for hire. It was built from funds left by a previous owner of Highfield Hall and is named in his honour.
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The village committee organise an annual bonfire and fireworks display, a Christmas party and regular quiz evenings, which help to maintain a strong sense of community.
Highfield Park is immediately north of the hamlet and offers 60 acres of green space, including bike paths, boules courts, orchards and a maze.
Tyttenhanger Gravel Pits are one of the best places to see a variety of interesting bird species in Hertfordshire.
The restored gravel pits and woodland area between London Colney and Colney Heath are recognised by the RSPB and Herts Birds Club.
The main pit is still used to source water to wash the sand and gravel which is extracted from an active quarry south of Coursers Road. As well as gulls, waders, sandpipers, dunlins, ruddy ducks and sand martins, butterflies and dragonflies can be seen here.
The area's fishing lakes are also popular.
There are two nearby leisure centres. Nuffield Health in Highfield Park Drive has personal trainers, a gym, pools, tennis and squash courts and club, physiotherapists and a rehabilitation gym. It is a members club.
The Highfield Park Centre on Russet Drive is owned by the Highfield Park Trust and managed by Watford YMCA. It has a gym, sports hall, tennis courts, two playing fields and seven football pitches.
The closest primary schools for children living in Tyttenhanger include Windermere and London Colney (both rated 'good' by Ofsted).
Also nearby is Samuel Ryder Academy, an 'all-through' school, which serves both primary and secondary aged children. It was rated 'good' by Ofsted at its last inspection, as was the nearby Nicholas Breakspear Catholic School.
Food and drink
The Plough is a traditional family-run pub dating back to the 18th century. It's popular among locals and is a warm, welcoming free house offering a selection of real ales, homemade food cooked to order and a garden and terrace with lovely views. Bar games, such as backgammon, draughts and dominoes are also on offer.