Area Guide: Harpenden’s neighbour, the hamlet of Kinsbourne Green
PUBLISHED: 12:22 10 July 2020 | UPDATED: 11:01 15 July 2020
Located on the northern edge of Harpenden, Kinsbourne Green is a rural hamlet with the convenience of all of the neighbouring town’s amenities on its doorstep. We found out more about it.
While some consider it a part of Harpenden, Kinsbourne Green is very much a place in its own right, with a mixed bag of amenities, including a post office, a dentist and a garage door shop.
Its easy access to the M1 and Harpenden train station make it a handy spot for commuters, while it also benefits from proximity to the neighbouring town’s shops, bars and restaurants.
Locals also love the Common, which is a popular green space well used by joggers and dog walkers.
Kinsbourne Green’s streetscape is ever evolving. Charlie’s Chinese restaurant, once a Luton Road landmark, was demolished in 2016 to make way for six new homes.
Another property to bite the dust was Highlands on Annables Lane, the most expensive property sold in Hertfordshire during 2016. It changed hands for £5,125,000 and was promptly demolished, a new property built in its place.
Homes currently on the market in the local area include a four-bed detached house on Derwent Road for £825,000 and a three-bed terrace on Greatfield Close for £575,000.
St Mary’s was built in 1869 as a combined church and school - but while the school closed in 1955, the church remains at the heart of the Kinsbourne Green community. It has a Sunday school for children aged three to 11 and a trained pastoral team that visit people in need in the community. Kinsbourne Common Hall, which flanks St Mary’s, is a favourite with parents as a children’s party venue.
There was once a methodist church in Kinsbourne Green, though declining numbers resulted in its closure in 2002. The church was sold to developers in 2003 and houses were subsequently built on the site.
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Kinsbourne Green is close to some of Harpenden’s most popular – and over-subscribed – state schools. For primary students, Wood End and Roundwood are both rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, while Roundwood Park (also ‘outstanding’) is the closest secondary school.
There were once four pubs in Kinsbourne Green, but only The Fox remains. The Whip is now a house known as Whip Cottage, The First and Last was demolished in 1974 and Charlie’s – originally known as The Harrow – went the same way.
The Fox – formerly known as The Smyth Arms – is a popular, family-friendly gastropub with a modern British/Mediterranean menu.
Littlefield Farm has been selling Christmas trees for decades. Furthermore, they provide excellent service, offering hot apple punch on the weekends alongside their own home-grown apples. They were awarded the Local Farmer Christmas Tree Grower of the Year award in 2005 and later procured a tree for Number 10 Downing Street.
Nearby Annables Farm is home to The Farmschool, a charity established in 2014 to help young people connect with farming and the environment. The venue is also available for corporate hire.
The Turner’s Hall fire
Drama and controversy ensued on the night of November 4 1826, when a fire began in the lamb house at Turner’s Hall Farm, and later spread to the stable and barn. The fire consumed the stables, the barn – which was full of corn – and the majority of the livestock.
While everyone on the farm grounds was distracted, a band of gypsies from the nearby heath looted the manor house. They also took the most valuable contents, such as jewellery and furniture, and even looted the wine cellar, drinking it all.
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