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Eastbrook Hay Farm - geograph.org.uk - 41297.jpg
Eastbrook Hay Farm, Flamstead
Grid reference: TL078145
Location: 51°49’7"N, 0°26’15"W
Population: 6,900
Local Government
Council: Dacorum

Flamstead is a village in north-western Hertfordshire, close to the junction of the A5 and the M1 motorway at junction 9. The River Ver flows through the village; a minor stream here and often dry.


The original of the name of the village has not been determined for certain, but it believed to come from the River Ver, which was once the Verlam or Werlam (one of the Old English names for St Albans was Werlameceaster, just as it had been Verulamium to the Romans). Hence Flamstead may have been Werlamstede ("Ver place").

Another, unrelated village named Flamstead End is found near Cheshunt in eastern Hertfordshire.

The village

Flamstead stands on a ridge above the River Ver, which runs on its north side; to the south the village extends downhill to the adjoining hamlet of Trowley Bottom.

The first documented record of the village was in 1006, and it was also recorded in the Domesday Book eighty years later. In the Middle Ages it was important enough for a market and fair to be held there, though it is now mainly a dormitory village for neighbouring towns, several of which can be reached by bus from the village. The current population is around 1,150.

From a distance the village is dominated by the parish church of St Leonard, with its characteristic "Hertfordshire Spike" spire. St Leonard’s (Church of England) is believed to stand on the site of a ninth century Saxon chapel, though the oldest parts of the present structure date from around 1140. Features of interest include mediæval wall paintings, the Saunders Memorial of 1670, and a fine fifteenth century rood screen. The village also has a Methodist church,

Other notable buildings in Flamstead include the almshouses in the High Street, built in 1669; the Three Blackbirds pub opposite (one of four in the village), partly dating from the sixteenth century; and several attractive cottages of similar age. Flamstead has 65 listed buildings.

Flamstead has a primary school, though older local children have to travel to secondary schools elsewhere in Hertfordshire. The present school dates from the late 1950s, and the previous school building adjacent to the churchyard is now the Village Hall.

The Old Watling Street in the parish, as its name suggests, follows the route of the original Roman road. The modern A5 runs roughly parallel with it but closer to the River Ver.

Beechwood Park School, now a preparatory school, was once the site of a Benedictine nunnery and then a Tudor mansion. It lies in the parish, though it is closer to the neighbouring village of Markyate.

Since 2002, an annual Scarecrow Festival has been held in Flamstead to raise funds for the upkeep of the church and for local charities.

In 2008 Channel 4's Time Team discovered a previously unknown major Roman temple complex near Watling Street at nearby Friar's Wash. The programme about the dig was first broadcast on 4 January 2009.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Flamstead)