Lemsford 27 June 2012

Lemsford 27 June 2012

Did you know that Lemsford, a village of 120 dwellings and 2 pubs, lies astride the old Great North road and at an important ford in Roman times?

Andy Chapman, from the village history society, was our guide for this evening walk on a rare bright evening in the midst of a dismal summer.

The steep hill on the old road out of Lemsford passes ancient cottages on its way towards the Red Lion and the Wagon and Horses at the top of Digswell Hill and the coach drivers of the past were grateful for the fresh horses they acquired at the Sun in Lemsford. The path into Brocket Park passes the attractive old mill buildings, now renovated as the headquarters of the Ramblers Association. The building still contains a working waterwheel which now produces hydroelectric power for the offices.

The beautiful parkland of Brocket Hall, crisscrossed with public footpaths, was a revelation to many of the group. Andy was able to tell us of its rich and at times notorious history involving Lord Melbourne, Lady Caroline Lamb, Byron and Palmerston as well as more recent inhabitants. The visit was enhanced by the stories of two of our party who had associations with the hall. One as a ‘Brocket babe’, born there when it was a maternity hospital during WWII, and a lady whose relative was in service at the hall 60 years ago.

Returning via the Victorian village church we arrived back at the old coaching inn, the Sun, where 15 of us were made welcome and enjoyed a good meal joined by 4 members of the history society.
We were fortunate to have in Andy and a fellow society member born in the village 80 years ago, excellent guides to an attractive area.

Lemsford Mill explained by Andy Chapman (left) and colleague

Lemsford Mill explained by Andy Chapman (left) and colleague

Lemsford - Palladian bridge in Brocket Park

Lemsford - Palladian bridge in Brocket Park

Lemsford - Palladian bridge in Brocket Park

Lemsford - Palladian bridge in Brocket Park