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Hertfordshire Gazetteer


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Hertfordshire Gazetteer

Brent Pelham and Piers Shonks

‘A mighty dragon made its lair under the roots of an ancient yew tree and wrought havoc in the surrounding countryside. Piers Shonks, Lord of the Manor of Pelham, fought it accompanied by three huge hounds. He finally triumphed by thrusting a long spear down the dragon’s throat. Read More »

The Brocket Arms, Ayot St Lawrence

This old pub, parts of which date to the 14th Century, was a stop of point for pilgrims on their way to St Albans Abbey. It is not far from Minsden Chapel, which is also haunted. A local legend suggests a tunnel exists from the pub to the Chapel or to the ruined church in the village, which is most likely a memory of the route taken by pilgrims. Read More »

Burnham Green

The area is said to be haunted by headless horses, especially in the vicinity of a sunken lane to Welwyn village.

Sunken lanes are trackways, which pass below the level of the surrounding countryside, often with steep banks. Many are considered very ancient, the remnants of old trackways perhaps dating as far back as the Bronze Age. Read More »

Chapman Haunting, Cheshunt

Protecting the names of witnesses and the identity of a haunted location is a good and ethical practice for investigators to adhere to, however, sometimes it does make identifying historic cases difficult. The following account is taken from 'The Haunted Homes and Family Traditions of Great Britain' by John Ingram (1897). Read More »

The Devil's Dyke

Two giant earthworks named the Devil's Dyke and the Slad, enclose and area of around 40 hectares to the South of St Albans. The area was excavated in 1932 by Sir Mortimer Wheeler, and the ditch was found to have had an original depth of nearly thirteen metres making it a huge undertaking. Read More »

Hatfield House

Hatfield House, standing in a park near to St Etheldreda's church in the old part of Hatfield, is said to be haunted by a ghostly coach and horses. They drive up to the house, through the doors and up the stairs.

Directions:
In the old part of Hatfield off the A1000.

Jack o' Legs

This folktale was kindly brought to our attention by Alma Oakley of Weston in Hertfordshire.

Weston churchyard is reputed to be the final resting place of the Weston Giant: Jack o' Legs. Two stones mark his grave. One is positioned at his head and another at his feet, a distance of eight feet apart. Read More »

Knebworth House

Knebworth has a number of legends and ghost stories, it was home to Sir Bulwer Lytton, the Victorian author with an avid interest in the occult. He was certainly involved with many people who were major players in occult thought from that time, including Eliphas Levi, the famous French Magus who visited Knebworth on several occasions. Read More »

Minsden Chapel

Minsden Chapel is now nothing more than a ruin, standing isolated amidst trees in the Hertfordshire countryside. The site is very atmospheric, given its isolated position and long history. The haunting of the chapel is one of the best known in Hertfordshire, mainly because it has been widely investigated. Read More »

Rosehall, Sarratt

The great author and investigator Peter Underwood gave the following answer to what inspired him to get involved in the paranormal field. Read More »

Royston Cave

Underneath the streets of Royston, below the ancient Icknield way lies a secret cave, rediscovered in 1702 and dating back perhaps a thousand years. The cave, which is a bell shaped hole carved from the solid chalk, has a multitude of early Christian carvings depicting saints and religious scenes. Read More »

Ruth Osborn, Thomas Colley and the Black Dog

The following story from ‘English Fairy and Other Folk Tales (1890)’ by Edwin Sidney Hartland concerns a Black Dog that haunted the site of a gibbet in which the body of a witch killer was displayed. Read More »

The Six Hills, Stevenage

The six hills which occupy prominence in the town are tumuli or Round Barrows dating from the Bronze Age. According to legend the hills are spade fulls of earth taken from Whomerly wood and thrown at the town by a giant (or the Devil) intent on destruction. His last shot went well off mark and knocked the steeple off Gravely Church two miles away. Read More »

St Albans Abbey

St Alban's Abbey

St Albans has a multitude of ghosts and strange stories, many of which are attached to the magnificent abbey. St Albans has been occupied from very early in its history, the Roman town of Verulamium once stood in the valley, in the area where the public park now lies. Read More »

St Mary's Church, Ashwell

A headless ghost dressed in black is supposed to haunt the churchyard.

Directions:
Reached via a minor road off the A505 at Slip End.

The Rose & Crown, Hemel Hempstead

The Rose & Crown, Hemel Hempstead

The Rose and Crown in Hemel Hempstead was originally a butchers shop. In 1537 the owner is recorded as brewing mead for his workers. The ale business grew until it took over and the oldest ale house in the Old High Street, Hemel Hempstead began. Read More »

Two Haunted Counties - A Ghost Hunter's Companion to Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire by Tony Broughall & Paul Adams

Two Haunted Counties

As it says on the back cover of the book, a twelfth century Gilbertine priory, a Chrysler car factory, a de-sanctified church and a Georgian period lavatory are just a few of the haunted localities from the case files of 1970s ghost buster Tony Broughall. Read More »

The White Hart, Hemel Hempstead

The White Hart is said to be haunted by the ghost of a young man who was murdered while fighting off a press gang. He is thought to have died at the bottom of the stairs, where the figure of a man has been seen with a look of terror on his face.

Wigginton Common

During the English Civil War, Wigginton Common served as camp for some of Cromwell's troops. They used it as a base from where they could bombard Berkhamstead castle. There have been reports of Roundheads, seen on the common in the evening at twilight as the light begins to fade. Read More »

Hertfordshire Business Directory



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