Wednesday, 8 May 2013

River Ver Prae

River Ver
The Ver flows south eastwards

Post to the north Shafford

Gorehambury Drive
Maynes Farm. The Farmhouse is 17th but was refronted in the 19th when the axis of house was changed. It is in red brick but the side nearest the farmyard includes some flint. In front of the house is a 17th red brick wall and this encloses the garden and includes some iron railings. Barn, 17th timber framed and weather boarded building. Another weather boarded barn is 15th or earlier and with an almost intact aisled construction. Farmhouse and barns have recently been renovated.
Devils ditch.  This runs south west from the farm buildings back to Gorhambury Drive. This fifteen metre wide ditch may have marked a boundary– even running between the Ver and the Lea. The name associating it with the devil seems to date from the Reformation.

Churchyard Meadow.
St Mary de Pre nunnery for women, which lay in 'churchyard meadow' west of the Roman town. Traces are visible on aerial photographs. What may have been the church survived as a barn until the 19th and it is likely that remains still survive below ground -  some of which were found when a gas pipeline was laid..  The nunnery originated from 1194 and was a home for leprous women.  By the early 16th leprosy was dying out and there were various concerns about the institution, and eventually it closed with no inmates.

Watling Street (Redbourne Road)
The line of Roman Watling Street, leaves Redbourn Road at Bow Bridge and later meets Gorhambury Drive.
The St Albans & South Mimms Turnpike Trust are said to have had a gate here at the boundary of Redbourn Parish.
Bow Bridge. Takes Watling Street over the Ver
Milestone – this says “London 22.. St Albans 1 ½. Redbourn 2 ½
Old Pondyards. This 17th house was probably built as a lodge and storehouse in connection with the Fish Ponds of Gorehambury but soon after became only housing. It is a tall square red brick building.
Fish Ponds. Swamp and poplar plantation on the site of the Gorhambury estate ponds.
Pre Mill. This was derelict mill was most recently a saw mill. This is however a medieval mill site. In the 16th the mill pumped water to Gorhambury House. There may have been an earlier mill here – a Ditchmill is mentioned in the 12th which could have been there. There is a sluice in the river associated with the mill.
Pre Mill House. Red brick square-plan house of around 1800
The Garden House. This is a ‘carvery’ in what was previously Pre Hotel. This was The Prae, a 19th country house in stuccoed and painted brick and with a long veranda
Willow plantation

Sources
British History online. St.Michaels. Web site
British Listed Buildings. Web site.
Dyer. Discovering Prehistoric England
Garden Hotel. Web site
Pastscape. Web site
River Ver. Web site
St.Albans City Council. Web site

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