Little Gaddesden

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St. Peter and St. Paul Church at Little Gaddesden, where many Egerton family members are buried in the Bridgewater Chapel

Little Gaddesden is a village and civil parish in the English county of Hertfordshire three miles north of Berkhamsted. As well as Little Gaddesden village (population 694), the parish contains the settlements of Ashridge (population 53), Hudnall (population 139), and part of Ringshall (population 81).[1]

Part of the parish was formerly in Buckinghamshire. This includes Witchcraft Bottom, notable as the alleged location where the last witch in Buckinghamshire was tried and hanged. The village of Little Gaddesden borders both Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire, whilst being situated in the county of Hertfordshire.

Little Gaddesden and the surrounding area of the Ashridge Estate is owned and managed by the National Trust. This area has been used in many films, notably: First Knight, Stardust, the Harry Potter series, Son of Rambow and more recently Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe. TV programmes filmed here include Marchlands, Midsomer Murders Lewis, Cranford, and a Jamie Oliver[2] advertisement for Sainsburys.

Little Gaddesden has many period properties, of note: Ashridge House, (designed by Sir James Wyattville along with gardens and grounds designed by Sir Humphrey Repton and Capability Brown - Golden Valley) The Manor House situated on the Green along with John O’Gaddesden House and Marian House, Little Gaddesden House along Nettleden Road heading towards the hamlet of Nettleden and the Old Rectory past the village shop heading to Ringshall.

Lamsey Farm - geograph.org.uk - 193359

The Ashridge Estate that surrounds the village is a 5,000-acre (20 km2) area of open countryside and woodland on the edge of the Chiltern Hills, with a rich variety of wildlife including fallow dear, muntjac and the renowned red kite. There are large areas of mature woodlands with carpets of spring bluebells and fine autumnal displays, along with the panorama from the Bridgewater Monument. In the early 17th century, Thomas Egerton, 1st Viscount Brackley, had purchased Ashridge House, one of the largest country houses in England, from Queen Elizabeth I, who had inherited it from her father who had appropriated it after the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539. Ashridge House served the Egerton family as a residence until the 19th century. The Egertons later had a family chapel (the Bridgewater Chapel) with burial vault in Little Gaddesden Church,[3] where many monuments commemorate the Dukes and Earls of Bridgewater and their families.[4] Among those buried here is the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater,[5] famous as the originator of British inland navigation and the Bridgewater Canal.

Little Gaddesden is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (ANOB) and a Conservation Area protected by the National Trust.

There is a vigorous community life with 30 different clubs and societies. The oldest of these is probably the Women's Institute (founded in 1919) and the Royal British Legion.

Local amenities include the famous Ashridge Golf Course, Alford Arms public house, Bridgewater Arms public house, Little Gaddesden village shop and post office, Munn's Farm Shop, Grove Farm, Little Gaddesden Primary School, Little Gaddesden Cricket Club, Ivinghoe Beacon, Pitstone Windmill, Frithsden Vineyard, Gaddesden Place, the Gaddesden Estate, Walter Swinburn racing stables, Stocks House, Ashridge Business School also known as Ashridge House, London Gliding Club, Dunstable Downs and Whipsnade Zoo.

Nearby villages and Hamlets: Aldbury, Great Gaddesden, Gaddesden Row, Frithsden, Nettleden, Potten End, Ivinghoe, Northchurch, Ringshall, Studham, Dudswell, Wigginton, Dagnall, Flamstead.

Local residents are kept updated on events in Little Gaddesden through the Gaddesden Diary, published seasonally. The Parish News also provides a further summary.

Famous residents who live in the village, include: Football Commentator John Motson, F1 Driver Mark Webber,[6] Ex Footballers Luther Blissett and Tim Sherwood, Actor Adrian Scarborough, News Correspondent Fiona Bruce and Radio Presenter Roger Bolton. Singer Sarah Brightman was brought up in the village. Ronnie Wood a member of the Rolling Stones owns a house in the village.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Population figures are taken from Hertfordshire County Council: Population and household counts for Hertfordshire settlements - 2001 census.
  2. ^ http://www.hemeltoday.co.uk/news/Jamie-Oliver-in-TV-advert.6296483.jp
  3. ^ Bridgewater Chapel at Little Gaddesden Church, accessed 24 July 2015
  4. ^ Monuments in the Bridgewater Chapel, accessed 24 July 2015
  5. ^ Bridgewater Chapel at Little Gaddesden Church, accessed 24 July 2015
  6. ^ http://www.cyclingactive.com/news/f1-driver-mark-webber-opens-170-mile-chilterns-cycleway

Further reading[edit]

J. Leonhardt, A Century Remembered: The Millennium Book for Little Gaddesden, Ringshall, Hudnall and Ashridge, Rural Heritage Society, 2002, ISBN 0-9542174-0-3.

External links[edit]

Toll Road through Ashridge

Coordinates: 51°48′N 0°33′W / 51.800°N 0.550°W / 51.800; -0.550