Old News

The Sale of Osterhills, St Albans

From the Herts Mercury, 7th April 1827




At the Verulam Arms Inn, St Albans, on Wednesday, the 11th day of April, 1827, at two o’clock, in two lots;

COMPRISING six handsome inclosures of rich arable Land, situate at the entrance into St Albans, and by the side of the New London Road, leading from St Albans to Redbourn, and commanding beautiful views of the surrounding country, containing forty-seven acres or thereabouts, and inclosed by a ring fence, presenting an eligible spot for the erection of a respectable villa. The land may readily be laid into pasture, and the whole would form a most beautiful and park-like appearance; also a desirable Homestead, situate in St Michaels-street, St Albans, consisting of a large yard, two barns, two sheds, and other building purposes.

The above valuable property is copyhold of inheritance of the Manor of Kingsbury.

Full descriptive particulars, with conditions of sale, may be had at the Red Lion Inns, Dunstable, Luton, Hatfield and Barnet; Rose and Crown, Watford; Kings Arms, Hemel Hempstead; Bull, Harpenden, and Redbourn; Swan, Wheathamsted and Hitchin; Garraway’s Coffee House, London, place of sale; of Mr Geo. Edwards, solicitor, and Richard Gutteridge, auctioneer, Market-place, St Albans, where a map of the estate may be seen.

Once it had been sold a fine villa was built at the top of the hill, with fine views, and further information about it is given on the following pages:

Early Mad Houses in St Albans and Harpenden

SCOTT, Oster Hills, St Albans, late 19th century

The Sale of Oster Hills, St Albans in 1892

In about 1835 the Union Workhouse was built in the little valley between Osterhills and the town of St Albans, and and in the later part of the 20th century became the City Hospital and the house (which is still standing) became the Nurses' Hostel.

The fields between the house and the New London Road almost certainly included the very important archaeological site at Folly Lane, where an important Celtic chieftan was buried in about 50AD, shortly after the Romans arrived in the area and founded the city of Verulamium alongside an important Celtic town. Near the grave a temple was erected where it is possible that sacrifices by beheading were carried out. [St Albans is named after the first British Christian martyr - who was beheaded, possibly in 209AD on a hill overlooking the Roman city.]

If you can add to the information given above tell me.