Goff's Oak

Formerly part of the Parish of Cheshunt


In 1861 a new District Church, dedicated to St James, was erected at Goff's Oak, in the parish of Cheshunt, by subscription; it is of a cruciform shape, with a tower and spire. A district was appropriated to it in 1871; it is a Perpetual Curacy, with pew rents, of an annual value of about 130.

Crawley's Guide to Hertfordshire, 1880


Goff's Oak (2 miles W. from Cheshunt Station, G.E.R.) is a hamlet which owes its name to the fine oak, a part of which still stands near the Goff's Oak Inn at the S. extremity of Cheshunt Common.

Hertfordshire Little Guide 1903


Goff's Oak is a pretty little place, with many interesting features about it. Its numerous cottages - there is only one good-sized house - lie, irregularly disposed on either side of the road, often behind ample gardens beautiful with lilies and larkspur, rocket, wallflowers, hollyhocks, and other old-time flowers. It gains its name from a famous old oak tree said to have been planted by one of William the Conqueror's heroes, Sir Theodore Godfrey, to whom lands here had been assigned (hence Godfrey's - Geoffrey's Oak - Geoff's ­ Goff's Oak). The venerable tree, of which only the trunk now remains, has a girth of over twenty feet at three feet from the ground. It reminds one of the beautiful lines of Dryden:

From Harold's Town, 1905


Goff's Oak and Cheshunt Common, circa 1843
from Cheshunt in Hertfordshire


The Monarch Oak, the Patriarch of the Trees,
Shoots rising up, and spreads by slow degrees;
Three centuries he grows, and three he stays,
Supreme in state ; and in three more decays.


The Horse Pond, Goffs Oak, Cheshunt


The oak tree blew down in 1950

(Cheshunt's Past in Pictures)

In December 2007 Sheila White wrote: You feature the book Cheshunt in Hertfordshire by the late Jack Edwards (much loved local historian & librarian at Cheshunt for many years). I have another book of his - Goff's Oak and Theobalds Past published in 1982 (a number of copies of which are held at Goffs Oak Library and can be borrowed).  It is essentially a collection of over 160 19th & 20th century post cards and photos plus some engravings from earlier times - a real gem. (Jack Edwards published a number of other such books on various parts of Cheshunt)

For Books see Cheshunt

If you know of other books, websites, etc, relating to this place, please tell me.

Page updated January 2008