Hertford Heath

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Hertford Heath
Holy Trinity Church, Hertford Heath - geograph.org.uk - 135402.jpg
Holy Trinity, Little Amwell
Grid reference: TL350113
Location: 51°47’5"N, 0°2’38"W
Postcode: SG13
Local Government
Council: East Hertfordshire

Hertford Heath is a small village in Hertfordshire near the county town, Hertford. It is a union of two villages which have grown into one: Hertford Heath and Little Amwell. As the parish council has put it:

Our village has no claim to fame, no illustrious sons, no ancient church, no manor house, no landed gentry. Not even one proper village, but a growing together of two, Hertford Heath and Little Amwell.

Parish church

The parish church is Holy Trinity Church (Little Amwell) in the north of the village. It is Grade II listed.[1] It is a little church which from the outside is a modest Victorian church in the Early English style but which has bright, almost Byzantine styling within.

Holy Trinity was built in 1863 by Ewan Christian for the new vicar the Rev David Barclay Bevan. The Marquis of Townshend gave the land.

When the Rev Charles Barclay came to the parish in 1881 he set about a revival. The Mission Room was built in 1882 and his wife Florence began a Men’s Bible Class on Sunday afternoons which was to last for more than thirty years. Florence in time became a famous authoress, her books were translated into several languages. The Barclays provided the drinking fountain on the green, which survives to this day; mains water did not come to the village until 1909.


Hertford Heath stands on a heath above the River Lea valley, on its south side. Almost all of the village is 300 feet above sea level, and most of the surrounding fields are farmland, whether arable land grazing for cattle and horse.

About the village

The village has modest amenities including a convenience store, numerous public houses and eateries and a service station.

The Goat Inn at the junction of Vicarage Causeway and Downfield Road is the oldest building in the village; maps pre-dating 1756 show it standing. It is now one of Hertford Heath's numerous pubs, a country pub overlooking the village green.

The College Arms was formerly the Jolly Pindar, and before that, the East India College Arms; it was linked to the then East India Company College (1805), now Haileybury College.

The Village Hall - plays host to events such as the local Farmer's Market and the Annual Horticultural Society Show

The Hertford Heath Nature Reserve[2] and the Balls Wood Nature Reserve[3] cover nearly 200 acres of surrounding countryside and woodland.

Historical interest

A settlement of the Catuvellauni tribe was here where Hertford Heath now stands. In 1956 builders laying concrete for the garages in Trinity Road, came across a Belgic grave from about the period AD 40-50, early Iron Age pottery was discovered and remnants are available to view in the British Museum.

From the 12th to the 17th century the main road from London came past the present site of Haileybury College and then across the Heath and along Mount Pleasant to Hertford. Queen Elizabeth I moved Parliament from London to Hertford during the plague years and one imagines the regal dignitaries as they journeyed across the muddy, rutted heath. Legend has it that Dick Turpin in the 18th century lurked hereabouts.

The oldest building in the village is a pub, The Goat. Early maps show only The Goat and a small cluster of houses round about it. In 1756 The Goat was used for billeting troops.

The East India College, now Haileybury College was begun in 1806, the bricks baked of local clay, as were some cottages in the village; Little Amwell bricks. The last house built with these yellowish bricks was Crossways in Vicarage Causeway. The building of the College brought much-needed work to the village.

In 1916, a passing Zeppelin dropped bombs, making several craters around the Vicarage, causing damage but no causalities. The War Memorial was given to the village by the Barclay family and unveiled by Mrs Barclay at a ceremony a few weeks before they left the village in 1920.

In the Second World War, a landmine fell on the night of Saturday 19 April 1941 and the Village Hall was considerably damaged by the blast. A V1 (Flying Bomb) came down on the allotments in London Road on the night of 24 – 25 July 1944 and although there was some damage there were no casualties.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Hertford Heath)