Wednesday, 10 April 2013

River Colne Colney Heath

River Colne
The Colne flows north east and turns eastwards
TL 20120 06071

Interesting village area between St.Albans and Hatfield. Mill and the remains of a chalk extraction industry.

Post to the north Sleapshyde
Post to the west Parkgate Corner
Post to the south Coursers Farm

Coursers Road
Coal duty post. This was on the north side of the road 50 yards west of the High Street/Tollgate Road junction. It now appears to be missing.
Coal Duty Post – this is just south of the roundabout, on the west side of the road and hidden up against a wall.
Mill House. This includes Colney Heath Mill which is a tower mill with its sails removed. It was built around 1862 and is a tarred red brick tower with a cemented top.  It worked until around 1906 albeit with a steam engine. It is now housing.
Warren Farm
Fredericks Wood. This was once ‘Fredericks Plantation’ implying that this is not natural woodland but an enclosure from Colney Heath common land. It is designated a county wildlife site.
Colney Heath Warren. It is thought that soldiers who had fled the Battle of Barnet in 1471 died here. It was used to grow food during the Second World War and has been a pitch for the Queen’s Head pub football team.
Colney Heath Farm. Farmhouse and attached barn. There is a date plaque for 1695 on this timber frame building with a barn at the far end. A barn on the north side of the farmyard is 18th in red brick.

Colney Heath
This is an acid heathlands of 60s bordering the river Colne. It is managed by the Parish Council who acquired it piecemeal in the 1950s and 1960s. It is the remains of a large common of Tyttenhanger Manor once owned by the Abbot of St Albans.  It belonged to Sir Thomas Pope from 1547 but, local people had commons grazing rights and there were also activities like prize fighting and cock fighting since it lay outside the Metropolitan Police area. In 1992 122 plant species were recorded here 18 of which were classed as scarce. The springs and river normally trickle along albeit in an artificial channel but there is a major transformation when the upstream swallow holes fill and huge volumes of water can completely cover the common.

Cutmore Drive
Factory site before housing was built.

High Street
88 Crooked Billet Pub. 19th building which is weather boarded on a timber frame
Coal post. South of the street opposite The Cock on a patch of grass
Colney Heath Village School. Built in 1966.
School – the original school was built here in 1814.  It may or may not have had anything to do with The School House now standing in the High Street. They are on the same site.
Colney Heath Village Hall. This has a plaque on it which says it was built in 1938 by voluntary labour
The Cock Pub. Now closed and likely to be housing
The Queens Head Pub. The building is 17th and 18th, timber framed with painted brick outside. A bay is said to have been used for the collection of coal tax. Now closed and likely to be housing

Roestock Lane
Chalkdrawers Arms. The name of the pub appears to relate to chalk pits locally – there are several known shafts for underground chalk mining in the Hatfield area.

Sources
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Colney Heath Parish Council. Web site.
Colney Heath School. Web site.
Domesday Reloaded. Web site
Hertfordshire County Council. Web site.
Images of England. Web site.
London Transport Country Walks
Waymarking. Web site
Whitelaw. Hidden Hertfordshire

No comments: