Area Guide: The village of Woolmer Green
PUBLISHED: 14:48 26 May 2017
A homely village with a little bit of everything, Woolmer Green merges the bliss of rural life with all the practicalities of the city.
Woolmer Green has many desirable qualities, though its proximity to nearby towns and villages is the most sought after.
For explorers and history buffs the quaint, historic villages of Datchworth, Codicote, Bramfield, Tewin and Knebworth are all within two miles of Woolmer Green, worthy of fantastic family days out.
Likewise, within five miles of Woolmer Green there are three major towns; Hitchin, Welwyn Garden City and Stevenage, all providing a fast paced, thriving atmosphere with plenty of activities, bars, restaurants and shops to take advantage of.
Janet Pearce, Woolmer Green parish clerk and resident, said: “Woolmer Green is situated on the old Great North Road so is on the main route that links many of Hertfordshire’s major towns. This makes it a convenient place to live for easy travel.”
Welwyn North station, in Digswell, is just 3.4 miles away from the village with trains to central London only taking 30 minutes. Alternatively, Knebworth station can be walked to in about 20 minutes, with trains to London taking the same amount of time. A regular bus service runs in the village and provides locals with transport to Hertford, Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City. To top it off, Luton airport is less than 15 miles away from Woolmer Green, the perfect location for jet-setters looking for the ultimate convenience. Janet added: “Woolmer Green has the best of both worlds; country living combined with easy access to lots of nearby facilities.”
Eat and Drink
The Chequers Inn is an option for families looking to stay a night or two in the beautiful village. With three light and airy double bedrooms you can spend a couple of days exploring the neighbouring villages for a bargain price. Interestingly there is a small zoo in the beer garden of The Chequers Inn, exhibiting birds, rabbits, pygmy goats and marmoset monkeys. Somewhat bizarre, but a wonderful place to take the family for a slap up meal, a pleasant stay and an eventful afternoon surrounded by wildlife. The seasonal menu covers all tastes and is made using freshly prepared produce.
The Red Lion, the oldest pub in the village, is a family orientated pub with a play area and ample seating for cosy Sunday roasts with the family or casual drinks with friends. An extensive list of real ales and prestigious gins make this place the first stop for aficionados.
For a small village, Woolmer Green is used efficiently by locals and business owners. With a takeaway restaurant, independent fashion store, a veterinary surgery, confectionary shop, children’s centre and beauty salon in tow there are plenty of convenient amenities available to locals.
There is evidence to suggest that Woolmer Green has been inhabited since the 1st century BC, followed by Iron Age settlers who used the land for farming. Life in Woolmer Green was mainly agricultural and feudal until the nineteenth century when the population of nearby towns expanded.
In the 1930s a local woodcarver, Harry MacDonald, whittled a miniature village in his Woolmer Green workshop, and decorated his garden with a variety of complex carvings to drum up business. Local people were awestruck by the creation and paid regular visits to the workshop, buying original pieces from the carver himself. Harry’s barn was a landmark of the village until it was demolished following his death in the 1970s.
The Woolmer Green community make great use of the village hall facilities, using the site to attend clubs, classes and village events. With such an active and sociable population, Woolmer Green village hall boasts classes in dance, karate, badminton, Pilates and carpet bowls. It is also available for rent, as a spacious venue for celebratory events and performances - a wrestling event is booked in this month’s calendar!
Scenic walks are also another popular option for locals, with pathways leading out to the surrounding villages. Janet added: “If you wander down any of the side roads you will soon find yourself strolling in beautiful countryside.”
St Michael’s Primary School has been in Woolmer Green since the early 1900s, though there is evidence to suggest that there was a school in the village in the mid-1800s, before education was made compulsory. The school is a loved and valued part of the community, with pupils from the 1930s continuing to share their childhood memories of the place, some recalling their games of tag, marbles, hopscotch and skipping. There are many families of previous attendees that have remained in the village, their mothers and fathers having also been pupils at St Michael’s - one of them is now the school’s lollipop lady!
Woolmer Green is a true home from home. With friendly locals, beautiful spaces and plenty of rural charm you will be hard pushed to find a place like it.