Forbidden Hertfordshire: 7 places you CAN'T visit in the county

There are some places in Hertfordshire that cannot be seen by members of the public - and some which have disappeared forever

There are some places in Hertfordshire that cannot be seen by members of the public - and some which have disappeared forever - Credit: Annie Spratt/Unsplash

Hertfordshire is full of intriguing historic homes, ancient ruins and vast natural areas.

Many of these spots are open to the public - some of them are free, while others are paid-for.

But not all spots can be frequented, with some closed to the public or only open on certain days of the year.

Others that were once in situ have now disappeared from the map completely and can no longer be seen - even from afar.

Here's our list of places that members of the public can't visit in Hertfordshire:

1. Hanstead Village, near St Albans

Hanstead House is on the site of a village recorded in the Domesday Book

Hanstead House is on the site of a village recorded in the Domesday Book - Credit: Griggs (Estate Agent)/Archive

Hanstead Village near St Albans is listed in the Domesday Book as being owned by the Abbey of St Albans.

Little is known about the location, other than that it housed 26 villagers, three smallholders, a slave, a thousand pigs and four Frenchmen.

A large manor was built at the location during the 1920s in the 55-acre Hanstead Park.

Not only is the village 'deserted', it doesn't even feature on modern day maps. The manor was split up into 11 private apartments in 2020.

Most Read

2. Harperbury Hospital, Radlett

Harperbury Hospital was once a care centre for patients living with mental health and learning difficulties

Harperbury Hospital was once a care centre for patients living with mental health and learning difficulties - Credit: dxa5on/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Harperbury Hospital was built using the remains of World War One hangers.

It became a care centre for patients with mental health and learning difficulties.

A large part of the hospital was closed in 2001, and a new centre named Kingsley Green opened in 2009 in the London Colney area.

Demolition began at Harperbury Hospital in 2018.

3. Benington Lordship Gardens, Benington

Benington Lordship Gardens welcomes visitors on just a few occasions of the year - including for a viewing of snowdrops

Benington Lordship Gardens welcomes visitors on just a few occasions of the year - including for a viewing of snowdrops in late winter and early spring - Credit: Richard Aggus

Benington Lordship Gardens is a private house and gardens in Benington, near Stevenage.

The park features lakes, historic features and large green areas.

Benington Lordship welcomes visitors on just a few days each year - among them the Snowdrops in February and the Chilli Festival in August.

A list of opening dates is on the website: http://beningtonlordship.co.uk/garden-openings/

4. Royston Priory Cinema, Royston

The Royston Priory cinema was built in 1933 and shut down in 2000

The Royston Priory cinema was built in 1933 and shut down in 2000 - Credit: Archant Archive

Royston Priory Cinema originally opened in 1933.

It replaced the original Royston cinema which, in 1913, was destroyed in a fire.

The picture house had a capacity of 600 and seated guests in a theatre-esque circle and stalls arrangement.

Royston Priory shut its doors in September 2000. Stuart Little was the last film they showed, according to Herts Memories.

The land is now privately owned and the building was demolished in 2002.

5. Stonebury Village, near Buntingford

A bus stop near a country road.

A bus stop and a farmyard are now all that hold the name Stonebury. - Credit: Google Maps

Stonebury is a deserted village just south of Buntingford.

Like Hanstead, Stonebury has disappeared almost entirely. 

Fields and farmland now occupy the site where the village once stood.

Only a bus stop and a farmyard keep the name Stonebury alive. 

6. RAF Hunsdon, Hunsdon

RAF Hunsdon features wartime relics, but it is not open to the public.

RAF Hunsdon features wartime relics, but it is not open to the public. - Credit: Google Maps

RAF Hunsdon, near Harlow, features on the Urbex Devil blog.

As of 2021, the site, off St Margaret's Road, featured Stanton-type air raid shelters and a selection of military vehicles scattered in the undergrowth. 

It is not open to the public.

7. Derelict Methodist Church, Hemel Hempstead

Nash Mills Methodist Church, which has been vandalised on several occasions since its closure more than a decade ago

Nash Mills Methodist Church, which has been vandalised on several occasions since its closure more than a decade ago - Credit: Google Maps

Nash Mills Methodist Church in Barnacres Road, Hemel Hempstead, has become derelict since its closure more than a decade ago.

The building has been targeted by vandals in the past, with break-ins and suspected arsons reported since 2016.