Strategically located between the important commercial centres of Harpenden, St Albans and Welwyn Garden City, the pretty village of Wheathampstead, is steeped in history and nestles in the Lea Valley, surrounded by some of Hertfordshire’s finest countryside.
Listed in the Domesday Book as Watamestede, the first settlement can be traced back to 50 BC and the important Iron Age fortifications, Devil’s Dyke and Beech Bottom Dyke are still evident, close to the village, today. Wheathampstead was closely associated with Roman Verulamium and, local legend has it, that in 54 BC, Julius Caesar defeated Cassivellaunus, where the village is now situated, finally forcing the British tribes to submit to Roman rule.
Little remains of the original Saxon church, St. Helens, in the centre of the village, and the present place of worship is predominantly of 13th and 14th century construction. To the south of the village Nomansland Common was once the haunt of the infamous Wicked Lady highwaywoman, Lady Katherine Ferrers (1634 – 1660) and the scene of her fatal shooting is marked by the eponymous public house that still thrives there today.
Today Wheathampstead is noted for excellent transport links, with mainline Thameslink rail stations close by in Harpenden and St. Albans. For the road commuter, the A1 (M), is some 3 miles to the east and Junction 9 of the M1, at Redbourn, is easily accessible.
State schooling options include St Helen’s Primary School and Beech Hyde Primary and Nursery, while St Albans High School for Girls has a highly regarded Preparatory campus in the village. There is a wide variety of options for secondary schooling in Harpenden and St Albans plus further education colleges and University campuses situated in Hatfield, Luton, Welwyn Garden City and St Albans.
The village benefits from a diverse range of local amenities including a Tesco Express, excellent artisan bakery and butchery outlets , a Post Office General Store, and other retailers such as a bespoke jeweller, an electric bike centre and high-end lighting and bathroom specialists. In addition there is a public library, doctor and dentist practices and hairdressers for both women and men. The Swan Public house occupies a prominent High Street position, and the former Bull, now Miller & Carter Steak House occupies a 16th century building on the banks of the river Lea. Auberge du Lac at Brocket Hall and L’Olivo Italiano, in the village, offer international standard fine dining and ‘good food’ public houses can be found in nearby semi-rural locations. The village caters for the most popular international cuisines with dine-in and take-away options.
For the outdoor and sporting enthusiast, Wheathampstead and the immediate surrounding area offers a multitude of possibilities with golf at Mid-Herts club in Gustard Wood and also Brocket Hall. Cycle tracks, bridle paths and public footpaths criss-cross the Lea and Mimram valleys, the Lea provides some outstanding coarse fishing and there are clubs for all ages and genders covering all major sports.