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  Grovehill, Piccotts End, Woodhall Farm and Phoenix

Grovehill Chronicle Text 1

Cupid Green. A Lost Hamlet

Cupid Green, a hamlet that has had from time to time fumes, dust and rubbish, sited there because the prevailing wind blows the dust away from the town.

 

Although the Cupid Green area at the north eastern edge of Grovehill has long been the site of dirty, dusty and dangerous industries local farmers do not recall any dust or fumes, did they just accept them as normal?

 

When one says Cupid Green today people immediately think of a roundabout at the end of the Link Road, the council depot and refuse dump but as I have learned more I find that it was a thriving village.

 

With 200 inhabitants and many houses some of which remain.

 

A farm, Corner Farm, now Corner Farmhouse.

 

A church, Cupid Green Church, now disused.

 

An ancient pub shown on old maps as 'Rosemary Branch', a branch of which indicated a public house and which probably became:

 

A pub, The Cupid. The front door opened almost straight on to the road. Women didn't enter the saloon bar. The new road was built quite a distance from the houses that remain there. I have been given photos of The Cupid which I will add as soon as I can.

 

Very wide verges or 'greens' that I had assumed were for common grazing, cows, pigs, chickens, but I am now told that it was an old 'drover's road' used to bring livestock to the Hemel Hempstead market and slaughter houses in the High Street. The animals would have grazed at the roadside. Some of these greens can still be seen either side of the road.

 

There was a tiny general store and a petrol station which had previously been a blacksmith's, with his pond to quench the hot iron being across the road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From time to time the arrival of a piece of information takes my breath away. David Clarke did this with this photo taken by his father of the Redbourn Road with The Cupid pub on the right.

 

To read David Clarke's memories click on the button.

 

In the mid 1940's Cupid Green acquired a street lamp and a phone box.

 

Two people there have cared for feral cats. Where did these come from? Is the cat that is still there descended from them or did a New Town cat displace them?

 

St Agnells Lane that leads off was a narrow lane.

 

 Why does the (old) Redbourn Road which comes up from Randals Park (now called Pennine Way) kink at Corner Farm before it goes on to Redbourn?

 Is the road older than the farm?

 Did the road go through the farmyard at one time? Is it possible that there was a farmhouse there predating the droving roads to the market in the High Street?

 

Clay was dug from the ground here and fired into bricks in kilns.

 

Later Hemelite was constructed from ash compressed into light building blocks

 

Goodness knows what was in the dust that blew across from the chemicals of the firework factory.

 

A foundry was transferred from the High Street.

 

When the Buncefield oil storage depot exploded a mile way the results of the explosion were felt from miles away.

 

The Nickey Line puffed and chugged its coal dust and smoke as it fed the need for power.

Now all Cupid Green means to people is somewhere to dispose of their refuse.

 

What a long way this is from the hamlet edged with farm workers cottages, The Cupid and common grazing for their pigs or cows. The very wide verges are still there, maybe because they are still 'common' land. I wonder whose orchard the apple tree beside the petrol station belonged to. Why is it so close to the road?

 

An old map pre 1877 has the words Rosemary Branch somewhere around Cupid Green. A rosemary branch was hung up to identify a local public house. Possibly this house later obtained a licence and became The Cupid.

 

Coming from Redbourn the road joins Agnells Road (as it was called) at Cupid Green, by Corner Farm, now the Barn there were two pubs, The True Blue Inn and The Cupid.

 

Someone told me: 'Happy days! It was a very friendly pub, it had to be, it was so small. The public bar was separated from the posh bar by a bead curtain. At the end of the night you had to be careful as you went out because the road was only a couple of feet from the pub door.'

 

Soldiers were stationed in Cupid Green in barracks to service the searchlight at Holtsmere End. There were fears that the Enemy planes would shoot down the searchlight beam and hit the farms.

Cupid Green Church Corner Farm Pubs & the Canal Memories of Cupid Green Cu Green 35