A Publication by Chris Reynolds

The History of Bernards Heath

by Chris Reynolds


St Albans



Bernards Heath

The booklet, A Short History of Bernards Heath, is no more than a brief summary of the research into a proposed full length book about the Heath. Several draft sections of the proposed book, covering general topics relation to Hertfordshire, will be posted on this site, and it may be that the complete "book" will eventually be posted as a web site.

Topics posted so far:

How Bricks were made by hand.

The History of Straw Plait

Early Mad Houses in St Albans and Harpenden (re: Oster Hills)

The Agricultural Workers Strike, Sandridge 1873

Reference files posted:

The Inns & Public Houses of St Albans  in the 19th Century

St Albans Brickmakers (in progress)

Draft Notes for a detailed History of the Heath (pdf files)

Very extensive research was carried out in the 1990s but it is unlikely that I will ever be able to complete the research and write a complete book. For this reason I am recovering some of the old text files from my archives and posting them here so that the information I collected can be used by others. I have left the original "ACTION" notes where I had identified areas where further research needed to be carried out. In addition further work needed to be done on the Spencer archives in the Northamptonshire Records Office.

Note - some of the following include tables containing news extracts. By default these come from the Herts Advertiser.

Selective Notes on the 1726 Survey of Sandridge. Notes relevant to Bernards Heath taken from the original survey in the British Library. See also Sandridge Survey 1726.


The Windmill (later Windmill Farm) on Bernards Heath circa 1700

Windmills on Bernards Heath. Information on the windmills and wind millers on Bernards Heath.

Early References to Heath Farm. Notes on the two farms, and their farmers, which later merged to form Heath Farm in the 19th century.

Heath Farm - Robert Smith Tenancy. Robert Smith farmed Heath Farm from about 1830 (when the Heath Farm farmhouse was built). His son Edmund Smith died in 1870.

The Heath Farm Fields in the 19th century. Based on flipcharts used by Beryl Grove for a talk to the St Albans Arch and Arch Society.

Cheapside Farm, Sandridge. This farm, which adjoins Heath Farm, was on occasions farmed by the Smith and Reynolds families.

Further note files will be added later but need some editing before going online.

The Following Talks have been given which involve Bernards Heath

A Short History of Bernards Heath

The Brickmakers of St Albans

Brick Pits & other old holes

Poaching and Petty Thieving in St Albans

The Road through Harpenden


October 2016   Talks added
December 2017   6 Bernard History archive notes added