Throughout the summer, the Abbots Langley Local History Society has been adding self-guided walks to their website, including more recently, a route following the Roman roads that once passed through the parish.
The latest addition to the series is a walk over the fields and along the hedgerows depicted on the Tithe Map of 1839. Surprisingly, some of the trees and hedgerows that once surrounded Abbots Langley survive to this day.
The walk begins at the Manor House (pictured), which was the home of Francis Combe, a wealthy miller from Hemel Hempstead, until his death in 1641.
When it was demolished in 1953, Jacobean oak panelling was salvaged to be used in the renovation of Washington Old Hall in Tyne and Wear, which recently featured in Channel 4’s George Clarke’s National Trust Unlocked.
Another surviving remnant of the Manor House is the billiard room, which is now the community police station.
From here, the walk leads you to Tanners Wood, over what were once meadows, and then to the Horse’s Field and Leavesden Country Park, which were arable.
In the 19th century, carts carried grain and fodder from Abbots Langley into London and returned the next day with London muck (sewerage, domestic refuse and industrial waste) which was used as a cheap source of top-dressing or manure to fertilise the fields.
To find out more about the walks and other activities visit allhs.org.uk and click on ‘Self-Guided Walks’.