Next door to my old house Court Cottage and St. Mary's Church, the large manor house Offley Place is rumoured to be built on the site of King Offa's palace. Now owned by Hertfordshire County Council, it hosts conferences and weddings in the elegant buildings and grounds, as well as being a residential training centre.
Other notable buildings nearby include a couple of converted windmills and a Royal Observer Corps underground bunker:
Date opened: July 1959
Date closed: September 1991
Location: On an overgrown mound east side of a bridleway 300 yards North of Luton Road and immediately to the south of A505 in the north west corner of a field.
Description: OPEN - All surface features remain intact with some flaking of the green paint. A metal dome on the ventilation shaft indicates this was a master post. When inspected in 1998 the hatch was locked, the padlocks have now been cut off and the internal lock has been cut out so the hatch is now open. The post is flooded to within one foot of the ceiling of the monitoring room. Some of the compound fencing still remains. A line of telegraph poles to the post were in place when inspected in 1998, these have now been removed.
Remaining surface buildings: None
Date of visit: 12.10.1998 and 1.9.2002
OS Grid Ref: TL13582711
Great Offley Windmill
Type: Tower (now truncated)
Year: Built c.1850, last used 1895
Location: 3/4 mile West Of Great Offley Church
Description: Was a 5 storey tower with 4 pairs of stones, 4 double-shuttered patent sails, ogee cap with a ball finial, gallery and fantail. The mill ceased work around 1899 and was reduced to a stump in 1926. All that remains today is a 2 storey red brick stump with a shallow conical roof. The roof was blown off in the gales of 1987, and has been replaced by the present owner who is the daughter of the last farmers to live at Mill Farm. (Private). [See this old picture (123KB .gif image) of before it was truncated.]
OS Grid Ref: TL133269
Kings Walden /
Breachwood Green Windmill
Year: Built 1329 (?!), last used 1900
Location: 1 mile West Of Kings Walden Church
Description: Red brick tower. Six storeys high. Was approx. 41ft. high to the curb and 24ft. 2inch. overall base dia, with 23inch. thick walls at base. At end of gravel track from Windmill Road, beside a public footpath. Since this info was undertaken the mill has been finished restoration and is now lived in. (Private).
OS Grid Ref: TL145232
© copyright Malcolm Smith 2002-08-16 - last updated 2008-05-06 - links verified 2008-05-06