"Hadley Wood - where fox and wabbit say good night" Hertfordshire by iris2002

Hertfordshire Travel Guide: 459 reviews and 1,492 photos


Charming, quaint and just north of London - Hadley Wood (near Barnet) was my first stop when moving to the UK.

And I have fond memories as I rented a lovely house of a friend with adjoining fields and forest --- a real country life, only 30 min. to commute into the heart of London.


Hertfordshire has always been a popular place to live.

Archaeological relics date its first residents back to the early Stone Age, although it was the Romans that later left a more lasting impression.

Roman occupation ended in the fifth century with the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons. The new rulers founded their own towns such as Hertford which was built as a fortress, and the county became a frontier in the struggle against the Danes.

The Normans, creators of the Domesday Book, were the next settlers in the county leaving their mark in a series of castles such as those at Hertford, Bishop's Stortford and Berkhamsted.

Over the next few centuries, proximity to London made the county a popular retreat for the nobility, whose grand homes often welcomed visiting royalty.

The industrial revolution had a significant impact on Hertfordshire - the county saw a spectacular growth of population. It was in response to this that Victorian pioneer Ebenezer Howard came up with his plan for a Garden City. Letchworth was chosen in 1903 as the first site for this experiment in town planning. Pressure for space continued and in 1946 the New Towns Act was passed. Stevenage was the first of these New Towns, planned to combine residential, shopping, industrial and leisure areas in discrete self-contained `neighbourhood communities'.


The Early Mesolithic Period (10,000-6500BC)

In Hertfordshire most of the evidence from this period is found in the lower Lea and Colne river corridors. These appear to have been particularly favoured areas for settlement. At this time the levels of the sea and rivers were much lower than today. As a result, many of the sites are now buried beneath the deep deposits which were formed as the sea level began to rise from about 8000 BC. Although these buried sites are difficult to locate, the fact that they are buried means that they tend to be well preserved and organic remains such as wood, bone and plants are sometimes found preserved in the deposits. The area around Broxbourne has produced some of the most important early Mesolithic remains in Britain.

Unfortunately, much of the archaeological deposits in the Lea and Colne valleys have been destroyed by development, particularly gravel extraction, and what remains is also under threat. The remaining archaeological resource of the Lea and Colne valleys can therefore be regarded as one of the most critical archaeological assets of Hertfordshire.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Tranquility and a bit of oldy-worldy feel
  • Cons:now way too expensive as it lies in the commuter belt of London
  • In a nutshell:lovely memories of having deers and foxes and wabbits in my backgarden :)
  • Last visit to Hertfordshire: May 2001
  • Intro Written Aug 31, 2007
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iris2002 Used To Live Here!


“Mostly barefoot, outside my comfort zone ... ”

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