Village History

Facts and legends...

Hertford Heath sits on high ground between the towns of Hertford and Hoddesdon, The Lea Valley encircles the village to the north and east.

Many buildings in the village only came into being with the arrival of the East India College at Haileybury in 1806. Before then there were only a few small dwellings and the Goat Public House sited in the parish of Little Amwell, whose Church of the Holy Trinity stands by the village green.

Little Amwell was an outpost of Great Amwell but is not mentioned in historical records before 1530.  The history of the area can be traced much further back than this date.

Ancient Times

The neighbouring countryside witnessed the clash of Britain and Roman, Saxon and Dane and then Saxon and Norman.  There was a settlement of the Catuvellauni tribe living locally before Julius Caesar invaded in 54BC, and in 1956 when builders were digging prior to laying concrete for garages in Trinity Road, an Iron Age Belgic Chieftain’s cremation grave, dating back to the second half of the first century BC was found.

Trinity Road was built on a field once called Grimstead Haw, suggesting that the Saxons who gave it that name had found remains of a forgotten people who had once lived there.  Excavations in the 1970’s revealed remains of settlements dating back to Neolithic times.

Ermine Street runs through the villageErmine Street runs through the villageRunning through the village was Ermine Street, a Roman Road, originating in London.  The road passed by the Roundings and continued from Hertford Heath Motors to the site of the former Townshend Arms, across the fields to Rush Green and on to York.

The Middle Ages
Tudor Times
Growth in the 19th Century
20th Century Expansion
The Present Day

Beating about the BushWorld War 2 in Hertford HeathThe Parish Council would like to thank local historian Pam Kimpton for her assistance in compiling the information on this page.  If you’d like to find out more about the history of Hertford Heath, Pam has written two illustrated books.

For more information, contact Pam on 01992 550 694

The Great Pram Race

Back in the early 1970s a group of locals sat in the Galley Hall and worked on a master plan to create a local race to rival Formula One!

By 1976, the Great Pram Race attracted visitors from miles around and became the talk of Hertfordshire.  Sponsorship of prams by local companies led to the event attracting not only celebrities but film-makers too.

Peter Sellers commentary

The Galley Hall hosts at the time were Pauline and Roy.  Pauline had been an actress and used her theatrical contacts to persuade a top producer, James Hill to make a feature film about the event. He lined up the legendary Peter Sellers to add his own special brand of comedy and the result was a marvellously entertaining film that helped to raise even more money for charity.

The only remaining copies are a little grainy by today's standards, but see if you can spot anyone you know.

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