Driving Through Bedmond? Beware the Witch!

Bedmond, a small village in the Three Rivers district of Hertfordshire, has a story or two to tell. With archaeological findings from as far back as the early Stone Age, it certainly has some history. It is situated only twelve miles or so from St. Albans Car and Van Hire, and is in the parish of Abbots Langley.

Although many of its historic landmarks have now been pulled down, such as the Ovaltine Dairy Farm (a beautiful black and white thatched building, part of which was a copy of the model dairy farm which Marie Antoinette owned in Versailles), and The Travellers’ Rest public house, notoriously reputed to be a regular stopping place for Dick Turpin, the village does have some interesting buildings.

Bedford’s Church of the Ascension, is affectionately known as the Tin Church. Built in 1880, it is an early example of the pre-fabricated buildings that were sent to the Colonies for ‘instant’ churches, and one of only two such churches in England - although the only one with a spire. The corrugated-iron exterior of the Tin Church also has a stained glass east window, and the interior is simple and timber-lined, but described as having ‘warmth and beauty’. It is still regularly attended during services, and is now a Grade II listed building.

There are also two very old public houses still flourishing in the village - The Bell, probably established about 1618, and The White Hart, which may have been an ale house since 1733. The Travellers’ Rest, although no longer there, had stood in the once named Porridge Pot Hill (now called Church Hill). There are two explanations for the name of the hill. One is that porridge was the meal given to the many travellers who passed through the village, and the other is that a witch lived in the dip at the bottom of the hill, and the strange smoke-like mist which gathered in the dip on autumn mornings, was the steam rising from her porridge. Interestingly the steam still occurs…dare you drive the dip to see if the legend is true?

Posted on February 15th 2015

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