London Colney shown within Hertfordshire
|Area||513 sq mi (1,330 km2)|
|- Density||19 /sq mi (7.3 /km2)|
|OS grid reference|
|Civil parish||London Colney|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||ST ALBANS|
|Ambulance||East of England|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
|UK Parliament||St Albans|
|Website||London Colney Parish Council|
It is near St Albans and part of the St Albans District. At the time of the 2001 census the population of London Colney ward was 7,742. It is considered a satellite or dormitory village of St Albans, where some villagers travel to work and shop. The long-running 84 bus route runs through London Colney towards St Albans, and Uno bus routes 602, 636, 658 and 659 also connect the village with St Albans, Hatfield, Watford, Borehamwood and Luton.
By repute it is the second largest village in the United Kingdom, after Cottingham near Hull (even though Burnham in Buckinghamshire, with a population of 11,630, is in fact much larger than London Colney).
The civil parish was formed in 1947 from part of St Peter Rural.
London Colney Primary School was initially due to open on September 4, 1939. It was then closed on the same day, as war was declared. It opened properly a day later.
In the early morning of 12 May, 1941, a German spy, Karel Richter, descended by parachute near London Colney. Richter buried his equipment and hid for a couple of days. Driven out by hunger (he had mistakenly buried his food parcel as well), Richter was approached by two lorry drivers who asked him the way to London. Suspicious of Richter's non-committal reply and foreignness, the lorry drivers then approached Constable Alec Scott and mentioned the strange man. Scott found Richter who asked to be taken to a hospital as he was feeling unwell. Scott called his superiors who quickly sent a car to pick up Richter and take him to jail.
London Colney has a great selection of open water fishing in the River Colne and associated lakes.
The village was on the boundary of the 1860s London Coal Tax area; two posts still stand.
Colney Fields shopping park is located there.
The village boasts too many pubs compared with its relatively small size, in common with nearby St Albans. Starting from the southern end of the High Street, the pubs are: The Colney Fox (formerly The WaterSplash Hotel); The Bull; The Green Dragon; The Golden Lion; and The White Horse. The Swan pub stood on the northern side of the river for over 300 years before its demolition in the early 1970s. The Bell pub (at the roundabout on the Southern extreme of the village) became a McDonalds restaurant in the 1990s. The White Lion and the Kings Head are in the process of being converted to residential accommodation.
The Mosquito Aircraft Museum, now known as the de Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centre, established in 1959, is located at Salisbury Hall on the south side of the M25 motorway.
The High Street crosses the River Colne (a tributary of the Thames joining at Staines-upon-Thames) at the multi-arched brick-built Telford Bridge (a listed building). The original fording point can still be seen on the Western side of the bridge, with the Bull and Green Dragon pubs conveniently situated on opposite sides of the ford. Nearby flooded gravel pits form a nature reserve for wild birds. The A6 used to pass through the village. The bypass was built in 1959, to join with the A414 at the north end of the village. The A6 became the A1081.
A minor scandal occurred in 2005, when local resident Jake 'the Snake' Roberts was convicted of cruelty to animals after not feeding his pet snake. The story appeared in the Herts Advertiser newspaper, and noted that the former WWF wrestler lived in Whitehorse Lane.
London Colney Parish Council publishes a magazine three times per year, called The London Colney News. The magazine has been produced continuously since 1984.
Sport and leisure
- Hayward, James (2013). Double Agent Snow: The True Story of Arthur Owens, Hitler's Chief Spy in England. London: Simon & Schuster UK Ltd. ISBN 978-0-85720-854-5.
- West, Nigel (1981). MI5 - the True Story of the Most Secret Counterespionage Organization in the World. Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.: Stein and Day. ISBN 0-8128-2859-3.
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