Therfield Heath

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Therfield Heath
Site of Special Scientific Interest
Therfield Heath.jpg
The open country of the Heath
Area of Search Hertfordshire
Grid reference TL331372
Interest Biological
Area 143.3 hectares
Notification 1984
Location map Magic Map

Therfield Heath is a biological Site of Special Scientific Interest[1][2] and Local Nature Reserve[3][4] on the chalk escarpment just north of Therfield, Hertfordshire; since it lies south-west of the town of Royston it is also known locally as Royston Heath. It has a testing racetrack for horses on its slopes and is a popular spot with dog walkers and birdwatchers. The Heath is a common on which sheep are still regularly grazed.

The site offers very good views towards the north, over the valley of the Cam as far as Cambridge. The Heath is a golf course but nevertheless provides some fine walking. At the foot of the heath sits the thriving Heath Sports Club (HSC), with facilities including a gym, squash courts, bar and bistro. The HSC is home also home to Royston Hockey Club, Royston Rugby Club & Royston Runners amongst others.

The heath contains a long barrow, thought to be neolithic, and several bronze age round barrows, all of which English Heritage classes as scheduled ancient monuments. The round barrow cemetery is the largest known example of its type in Hertfordshire.[5][6] Therfield heath was reportedly favoured by king James I as a hunting ground.[7]

The highest point of the Heath is Therfield Hill. This top reaches 168 m (551 ft), the highest point for twelve miles in every direction with a relative height of about 72 m. The top is crowned by a water tower.

The water tower on the summit of Therfield Hill

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Therfield Heath citation". Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  2. ^ "Map of Therfield Heath". Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "Therfield Heath". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Map of Therfield Heath". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "1010428 - The National Hertitage List for England". 
  6. ^ "1010431 - The National Hertitage List for England". 
  7. ^ "A History of the County of Hertford". 

Coordinates: 52°01′02″N 0°03′43″W / 52.01727°N 0.06183°W / 52.01727; -0.06183