The Village Pump, Anstey
Early 20th century postcard in the Robert H Clark Series

ANSTEY, a parish in the hundred of Edwintree, county of Hertford, 3 miles (S.E.) from Barkway, containing 440 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, in the archdeaconry of Middlesex, and diocese of London, rated in the king's books at 21.13.4., and in the patronage of the Master and Fellows of Christ's College, Cambridge. The church is a cruciform ediface, with a central tower, and is said to have been built from the ruins of a castle erected by Eustace, Earl of Boulogne, soon after the conquest, traces of which are still visible.

The Topographical Dictionary of England, 1831

The Village, Anstey
Postcard in the Robert H Clark Series posted

About 2 m, N. of Hare Street, on the hills 1 m. E. of the road, and nearly at the head of the valley, is ANSTEY.

Here we find an interesting castle mound and a fine church. The castle was built by Eustace, E. of Boulogne, in the time of the Conqueror. Additional outworks were made in the time of King John, but these were destroyed by order of Henry III. There is a deep moat round the lofty mound on which the keep stood, but there are no remains of masonry.

The manor became crown land in the 15th cent" and was granted by Henry VIII. first to Katharine of Aragon, and then to Anne Boleyn. It afterwards belonged to Sir Rowland Lytton of Knebworth.

The church is a fine cruciform building. It was nearly rebuilt in the time of Henry III. by Richard d'Anstie, with the materials of the demolished castle. The central tower, however, rests on Norman piers, and the font, which has figures with tails of fishes at the four angles, is also Norman The greater part of the church is Early English and Decorated. In the chancel are ancient oak stalls. In the South transept is a mutilated effigy beneath an arch, which is supposed to be that of Richard d'Anstie. In the chancel is a Latin inscription to Benedict Beavecock, d. 1635. There is a picturesque lich gate to the church yard.

Foster, Tourist's Guide to Hertfordshire, 1891

Cheapside, Anstey - posted 14 August, 1928

published T B Latachmore & Son, Brand Street, Hitchin

To Miss N. Cassidy, 159 Essex Rd, Leyton, E 10

Dear Noreen, I am having a lovely time down here. Peter II is a dear little chap, his birthday is on April 21st. You will like him. Hurry up and come down here as they are cutting corn . I nearly caught a rabbit yesterday. With love to Mum and Jack.   Peter

Anstey (6 miles N.) is a pleasant parish on the Quin, a feeder of the Rib. It includes Puttocks End and some smaller hamlets. A moated mound in the grounds of Anstey Hall marks the site of a Norman stronghold. It is recorded that Henry VIII gave Anstey Castle successively to each of his first three wives. 

The cruciform church displays four fine Norman arches beneath the tower; the font also is Norman. The stone effigy in the south transept is said to be that of Richard de Anestie to whom the 14th century work in this church is attributed. The splendid choir stalls with well-carved misereres are of this dating. This church possesses two extremely ancient chests. The bells were cast 500 years ago about the same time that the handsome porch was added. The interesting old lychgate, with lock-up should be noticed.

Braughing Rural District Official Guide 1971


Area maps

St George Parish Church

Some modern pictures of Anstey on Geograph

by mym

by John Salmon
by John Salmon

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