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Sites of Interest

Pastoral Centre

All Saints Pastoral Centre was built in 1901 as a convent for the All Saints Sisters. It was acquired by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster in 1973. The main part of the centre is built round a quadrangle garden. Although the building has been adapted to meeting and conferencing requirements it has retained its beauty, charm and tranquillity. The centre today is privately owned.  In the grounds the site of  Chantry Island can be found, which has Scheduled Monument status by Historic England. Although this is now a wooded piece of land with a small shrine surrounded by a moat it was once an island in the middle of the River Colne which now flows a field-width to the north. It is purported that this was once the site of the priest’s home who St Alban befriended and protected by swapping cloaks, so that he, Alban, was arrested by Roman soldiers and taken to the nearby city of Verulamium, where he was executed and became the first Christian martyr in Britain.

Salisbury Hall

Formerly Shenley Manor, circa 16th Century. Amongst the notable people who have lived there are Nell Gwyn, Lady Randolph Churchill, Sir Nigel Gresley and Walter Goldsmith. In September 1939 the de Havilland Aircraft Company established the Mosquito design team in Salisbury Hall where they developed the prototype Mosquito which was subsequently built on the site. The Hall itself is no longer open to the public.

Broad Colney Lakes Nature Reserve

This is a landscape of 26 acres, shaped by gravel extraction in the 1920s. The pits were left filled with water and nature took over, creating an attractive and important home for wildlife. There are roach, perch, pike and very large carp in the Lakes. Many birds nest here and insects attracted to these trees provide them with food. There is a public footpath that runs from the Village Green along the side of Long Lake through to Shenley Lane. There are also other footpaths that lead through the reserve around Small Lake and North Lake.

De Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centretle

is just west of Salisbury Hall.  It is the home of the prototype Mosquito and also on display are a variety of de Havilland aircraft and sections, ranging from a Tiger Moth to modern military and civil jets. The collection is open to the public.

Willows Children’s Activity Farm Village

An excellent day out for the family. Many native and rare breed farm animals to see, along with some foreign attractions such as Reindeer and Wallabies. They have special demonstrations every weekend and children’s holiday activities. There is also a large farm shop with a restaurant.

Local Woods

Coppice Wood – This 7.5 hectare wood is classified as Ancient Woodland. Although it is just 620m from the High Street, it is entirely within the Ridge Parish. The wood is privately owned and jointly managed by the Woodland Trust.  Access is permitted and in the early part of the year you will find wild violets and wood anemones. In April/May the Bluebells are spectacular. A favourite with dog walkers and children.

Dudley Wood – Sits along site the larger Coppice wood and was originally  a playing field for Colney Heath Parish Council. Over the years it fell into disrepair and in the 1990s when the then Parish Clerk of Colney Heath, whose name was  Dudley Wood, was lost on the mountain on the isle of Pico (part of a group of islands off the coast of Portugal), decided to replant the field with young saplings and dedicate it to the former Parish Clerk. Parish boundaries changed in 2000 and it now sits in London Colney Parish, where the Parish Council have encouraged the trees to grow allowed the undergrowth to thicken and encourage wildlife, such as pheasants and deer.

Cooper’s Wood – Located adjacent to the Colney Fox Public House in Barnet Road has been transferred to London Colney Parish Council by Matthew Homes plc in late 2012. The wood has been cleared of rubbish, old trees pruned and new trees added as part of a woodland management project, and footpaths through the wood cleared. The Parish Council is now responsible for the management  and promotion of the wood. One of the first steps has been to name the wood after Robin Cooper, a former teacher and community activist for many years in London Colney. By taking over the management of Cooper’s Wood the Parish Councill will be able to protect this part of the village from over development and ensure that it remains an attractive environmental feature.