Focus on Wheathampstead
Wheathampstead is a rare haven of rural peace close to St. Albans, Harpenden and Welwyn Garden City with great communication links to London and Luton airport. The High Street with its local shops provides a focus for the community.
It has an amazing history, sometimes referred to as “The First Capital”, its timeline stretches back 10,000 years. It includes many fascinating stories including a Celtic chieftain fighting off Roman invaders, a Lady Highwayman and a Polar Explorer from Scott's ill-fated expedition to the South Pole. Wheathampstead has a rich historic heritage and in recent years has developed a Heritage Trail which is well worth exploring as it helps bring history to life.
It has some 150 acres of open space and playing fields, making a trip to the village ideal for those who enjoy a crisp winter stroll. The spaces include two nature reserves – Butterfield and Marshalls Heath – and two County Wildlife sites – Bower Heath and Gustard Wood, The River Lea runs through the heart of Wheathampstead at the bottom of the High Street where it meets Station Road and there is a pub with one of the most intriguing names, The Wicked Lady. Its sign depicts a highwaywoman, complete with eye-mask, tricorn hat and pistol in her hand.
Places of interest in and around Wheathampstead
Shaw’s Corner - George Bernard Shaw lived here from 1906 until his death in 1950. It is a popular tourist attraction for those with an interest in the arts. You can see many of Shaw's literary and personal belongings on show there including his Oscar and Nobel Prize. Devils Dyke- is a popular place for visitors to the village. The massive ditch is thought to have been constructed during the final part of the Iron Age and it was probably here that Julius Caesar defeated the British King called Cassivellavinus in 54 B.C.
John Bunyan’s Chimney - is the only remnant of a cottage where John Bunyan, the author of The Pilgrims Progress, is said to have stayed and preached.
St Helens Church - It is the most distinguished building in Wheathampstead with some sections dating back to the Saxons. The east end of the church dates from the 1230s, the tower from 1290 and the main building from the 14th century.