Park Street, Hertfordshire

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Coordinates: 51°43′19″N 0°20′20″W / 51.722°N 0.339°W / 51.722; -0.339

Park Street
The Overdraught , Pub Park Street Herts. - geograph.org.uk - 28025.jpg
One of the remaining, two public houses
both with restaurants
Park Street Railway Station.jpg
Park Street train station platform
Park Street is located in Hertfordshire
Park Street
Park Street
 Park Street shown within Hertfordshire
Population 6,781 (2001 census - whole ward)
OS grid reference TL148040
Civil parish St Stephen
District St Albans
Shire county Hertfordshire
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town ST ALBANS
Postcode district AL2 2
Dialling code 01727 (87)
Police Hertfordshire
Fire Hertfordshire
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament St Albans
List of places
UK
England
Hertfordshire

Park Street is a quite small Hertfordshire village[n 1] in the parish of St Stephen on Watling Street by the river Ver in the City and District of St Albans that is separated from the small city by a buffer to the north.

Park Street has for its c.1000 residents, a petrol station, several tyre and automotive services businesses, two food-serving public houses and is of late and initially disparate medieval origin.[1] The village has the penultimate train station of the Abbey Line from Watford Junction, which opened in 1858.

Park Street is also a larger local government ward (the largest settlement of which is How Wood and which includes part of Bricket Wood). The area comes within the Metropolitan Green Belt. Resident's employment is mainly to nearby cities however the sixth largest pubs group in the United Kingdom, the Orchid Group who specialise in dining, uses the converted mill house in the village[2] and east of the street in Frogmore is a substantial business centre and light industrial estate.

Location[edit]

Park Street is approximately 2½ miles in travel from St Albans by following Watling Street (the old Roman road from London to Chester and Holyhead) and then a post-Roman off-shoot, St Stephen's Hill, into the medieval city centre.

Just south of the A405/A414 North Orbital Road, Hertfordshire which has a direct spur to the M25 (J21A) and Watford, the A405, excellent road links and reasonable rail links are within the village boundaries.

The A405, A414, A5183 (formerly A5, Watling Street) and the former M10 motorway (now numbered as part of the A414 as of 1 May 2009), join at Park Street Roundabout. This was featured for many years in the road signs section of the Highway Code.

To the east and south-east of the village lies the disused Handley Page aerodrome. This was being exploited for gravel extraction by Lafarge Aggregates. The land is involved in a local dispute about a Rail Freight Terminal planned to be built on a vast area of land, which includes plans to refresh the village.

Railway station[edit]

Park Street railway station is the first station after St Albans Abbey on the St Albans Branch Line. The train service on this line is known locally as the 'Abbey Flyer'. The railway was built in 1858 as a branch line from the London & Birmingham Railway, and Park Street station has been on its current site since 1890. Before being moved to its current position, on Watling Street, it was situated just near Hyde Lane off Park Street Lane, near the current How Wood station.

There was another railway line, built in 1866, which linked the above London and North Western Railway branch line to St Albans, to the newly constructed Midland Railway's main line from Bedford to St Pancras, at Napsbury. It was a goods line in brief use, closed by 1910, called the Park Street Branch and was operated by the Midland Railway. The railway bridge bridge near Sycamore Drive was demolished around 1948 after being damaged by a giant propellor being delivered to the Handley Page aircraft works. It is still possible to see some of the bridge brickwork here which is just by 'The Overdraught' pub. Another, over the River Ver at the back of Sycamore Drive still survives. Beyond the bridge over the River Ver this line crossed what became the Handley Page aircraft factory runway. This runway was in use until the mid-1960s for the maintenance and testing of the V bomber fleet.

A 1960s metal bridge carries the Abbey Line trains sometimes affectionately dubbed the Abbey Flyer over the main road, replacing a previous brick one.

Schools[edit]

Park Street has two primary schools, Park Street Church of England Primary School[4] and How Wood Primary School.[5]

The nearest secondary school is Marlborough School,[6] near the 'King Harry' public house in St Albans.

Public houses[edit]

There are just two pubs in the village: The Falcon and The Overdraught, there were previously seven other pubs in Park Street/Frogmore/Colney Street : 'The Red Lion' closed in 2009, and 'The Swan' closed in 2008. In Frogmore, 'The Red Cow' closed 2001/02, and 'The Lamb' closed in the early 1970s. In Colney Street there used to be three pubs: 'The Black Horse' which was demolished in 2003, 'The George and Dragon' which closed in the early 1990s; and 'The Jolly Farmer', which closed in the 1930s.

'The Overdraught' used to be called 'The White Horse'.

Until the early 1970s, 'The Lamb' was situated opposite the entrance to Handley Page aircraft factory. Once the factory closed the last landlord couldn't make a living and, so legend has it, he and his wife closed the pub, locked themselves in and drank the pub dry before being ordered out by the brewery.

The Falcon is reputed to be on the site of a "Pilgrim's Rest", which was a series of places to house the pilgrims to St Alban's shrine in the 1600s.

Local economy[edit]

Main employers are outlined in the lead section.

As you enter Park Street from the north, from the roundabout on the A405, there is a BP petrol station which also contains a Marks & Spencer food store. Into the closer building-fronted heart of the village, past the Mill and near the traffic lights is a newsagent and convenience store. To the right, in Park Street Lane, is Park Street Guns gunshop.

BT also have an exchange just opposite this.

Parks and sport[edit]

Park Street has three parks:

  • Recreation Ground by sports fields on Park Street Lane: Park Street Football Club and the cricket (sport) ground and pavilion.
  • Mayflower Road Park
  • Frogmore Lakes Park, to the south of the village just past the gravel pits, popular for fishing.

There also used to be a big park along Burydell/ Bury Dell Lane, replaced by the vegetable allotments, this was in use at least until 1900.

History[edit]

The immediate village has fourteen heritage-listed buildings (one of which is half-timbered) on Watling Street - the majority of the rest brick built early Victorian buildings - notably though Toll Cottage is 17th century on Bury Dell just to the east.[7] Most significantly to this area would have been the passing trade for villagers to sell their ale and produce along Watling Street and easy access to the markets in the nearby pre-Roman settlement, see History of St Albans.

There used to be a Sub Post-Office in the village and more shopping here however both How Wood and St Albans provide the largest range of shops.

Landmarks[edit]

The main landmark in the village is a Mill, which was converted into offices in 1984. During the conversion an old World War II bomb was found in the "Old Smithy's" garden.[citation needed]

There is also a Village Hall, accessed from the A5183. Opened in 1936, it is now in the long slow process of being upgraded. Using volunteer labour and grants a new kitchen has been built with modern appliances including two double ovens and a six burner hob. There is also a disabled toilet with baby changing facilities. Extensive building facilities, insulation and extensions have been funded by generous individual donations and grants from Lafarge Aggregates, Hertfordshire County Council and the St Stephen Parish Council.[citation needed] Further improvements will take place as time and money permit. Several new grants are now being applied for. This is the local polling station.

Park Street Baptist Church is situated on Penn Road.

Fairhaven Flats were built in the 1960s; before which a notably early double cavity walled house stood on the site, called Fairhaven.

On screen[edit]

The James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies is the most famous film associated with Park Street. It was partly filmed at the Film Studios opposite Frogmore Caravan Park on Watling Street.[citation needed]

These studios were later used by a German TV Shopping Channel, liquidated in 2002/2003[citation needed] and the studios and factories have now been demolished (February 2008) and the site has been developed as housing.

The gun shop in Park Street, Park Street Guns, was used for a scene in the Michael Winner film "Dirty Weekend".[citation needed]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The population relates to all of the local government ward; see ward map for population at statistics.neighbourhood.gov.uk

References[edit]

  1. ^ Park Street's nearby anglican church of the Holy Trinity, originally simply named 'a chapel of ease to St Stephen' was built in 1841-2 is in the heart of Frogmore but was according to the listing entry research by English Heritage built to serve the more than 2000 scattered parishoners of the 4 miles (6.4 km) by 5 miles (8.0 km) parish of St Stephen, St Albans, where only 3 poor outlying cottages were within one mile of St Stephens, now a close suburb of St Albans in the 1840s, see English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (1347115)". National Heritage List for England . Holy Trinity Church, on the Frogmore border
  2. ^ Pub explorer website
  3. ^ English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (1001400)". National Heritage List for England .
  4. ^ http://www.parkstreetprimary.org.uk/
  5. ^ http://www.howwood.herts.sch.uk/
  6. ^ http://www.marlborough.herts.sch.uk/
  7. ^ English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (1103170)". National Heritage List for England .

External links[edit]