North Mymms is a civil parish in the English county of Hertfordshire with a total of 45 listed buildings or monuments in the Parish.
The Parish was created by an enclosure act of 1778 whereby North Mimms Park and the Brookmans and Gobians estates enclosed large areas of land creating the parish we have today, perhaps explaining some of the unusual parish boundaries.
The civil parish includes:
St. Mary’s Church North Mymms: The 13th C Grade II* listed parish church of St Mary's stands in the park of North Mimms; in addition to the church there are 5 listed buildings or monuments in or nearby. It is the burial place of the Coningsby’s who built North Mymms house also there is a monument to Robert Knolles of North Mymms Place, dated 1458, and a large monument to Lord Somers, Baron Evesham, and Lord Chancellor in the time of William III,
North Mymms Place: The Jacobean house of 1599 belonged to the Coningsby family. During the ownership of Thomas Coningsby, a Royalist leader in Hertfordshire, the house was plundered by the Parliamentarians. The house has over the years had many owners and is famous for its collection of tapestries, panelling and fittings. An early 17th-century painted frieze of the "Nine Worthies" was rediscovered in the 20th century. The last family who owned the estate was the Burns family who were great benefactors to Welham Green giving land for the benefit of the community, Major General Sir George Burns, one time one time Colonel of the Life Guards and Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire was the last owner, the House now a private training centre and the park now owned by a nephew of Sir George.
North Mymms House which is grade II listed has 5 other grade II listed features. Has been the location for a number of film locations from the 1983 film The Wicked Lady, starring Faye Dunaway while the exterior appeared in a film with Will Hay, Agatha Christie's Marple's The Mirror Crack'd. Members of the royal family often visited, it being a favourite of the Queen Mother.
Bell Bar, once a busy hamlet on the Old Great North Road had 5 pubs to service the demands of thirsty travellers and to provide stabling and rooms for the night it lost much of its traffic when Mr Gaussen of Brookmans had the road diverted so it wouldn’t cut across his ground, the last pub in the hamlet to close was the Old Swan on the corner of Bell Lane and the Great North Road, The Cock O’ the North offers both food and drink on the main road itself. Farming was an important part of the areas existence with Elm Farm at the top of Bell Lane and Lower Farm towards the main road, A1 Dairies had their own farm at the very top of Bell Lane near to where the Brookmans Mansion once stood, Mr Gaussen would not have liked that, within living memory the traffic was stopped on the Great north Road to allow the cows to cross for milking.,
Brookmans Park: The name originates from the Brookmans Estate owned by William Gaussen who in 1840’s purchased Gobians house and estate and promptly demolished the house and integrated the estate into his own. An early owner of the Gobians estate was Sir Thomas More, in 1516, he published his most important work 'Utopia' written at Gobians but he opposed king Henry VIII in his divorce so forfeited his life in 1535. In 1956 North Mymms Parish Council acquired the land and the lake now known as Gobions Open Space, open to all. Brookmans house was burnt down in 1891 the family living in the converted stable block. And in the early 1920’s the Brookmans estate was sold and Brookmans Park was created acquiring its railway Station in 1926 enabling it to be the modern village it has become it has an excellent range of local shops, schools and near to the centre is a United Reform Church with rooms to rent for local meetings, shows and societies
To the south of Bookman’s Park is the home to the Hawkshead Campus of the Royal Veterinary College, part of the University of London. The campus also includes the Equine Referral Hospital and the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals.
Little Heath, a settlement in the south of the Parish that lies both in North Mymms Parish and Potters Bar in Hertsmere the North Mymms part includes Christ Church and lofty castellated gateway now called "The Folly". Grade II* listed. Built in 1744 by Jeremy Sambrook it was once a grand entrance to the Gobians estate with an avenue of trees leading to Gobians house. Osbourne House built in the 1850’s is grade II listed. The Parish Council has a modern children’s play area in Hawkeshead Road.
Marshmoor. An area on both sides of the Railway line, that to the east housing along the old Great North Road and on the West within Welham Green is a large industrial estate giving local employment. The name of the area coming from the fact that area is still very marshy; it is believed that the railway had to be laid on a bed of bracken and small branches to prevent it sinking into the ground.
Water End. The name of the Water End hamlet literally comes from where the waters of the Mimmshall Brook end by disappearing down local features called swallow holes found in the area behind the “Woodman”. The holes are naturally formed in the underlying chalk taking the water away to near Ware. In times of heavy rainfall these swallow holes are unable to cope with the volume of water and it overflows going under the A1M and the interesting named Tea Kettle Bridge which was next to the Water End Girls School, now under the A1M, flooding the dry river bed opposite the war memorial, joining the source of the River Colne near Colney Heath.
The hamlet of Water End was on one of the main roads from Barnet to St. Albans and Warrengate Road would have been busy with hay wagons going to London and the same wagons coming back laden with manure all to service London’s huge number of horses.
The population of Water End at one stage was bigger that Welham Green and it may also have been the original North Mymms village as until the early C20 it had a village pound where stray animals would have been impounded, the hamlet would have provided labour for North Mymms Park and surrounding farms.
In the 1920’s the Barnet by Pass was built to take traffic from North London to the North, taking it way from the Old Great North Road that ran to the east of Welham Green. The new volume of traffic created a number of small businesses such as café’s, petrol stations, garages etc. along its length and Water End would have enjoyed its slice of this prosperity. The Water End Café and Southern Cross garage joining the Woodman and Maypole pubs as Water End’s part of this.
The coming of the A1M in the late 1970‘s then took all the business away completely changing the character of the hamlet making it the sleepy back water it is today.
Water End boasts some 5 Grade II listed buildings including both its pubs (one now a private dwelling)
Welham Green. Originally a collection of farms including Marshmoor, Parsonage, Potterells, Puttocks, Skimpans and Welham Green, farms and associated cottages it has over the years developed into a sizeable village with its own parade of shops, extensive estates were built in the 1950’s to house the ever growing local population, Welham Green has its own junior school St. Mary’s with day nursey, the Parish Memorial Hall built in 1957 in honour of the Parish’s dead of both world wars next to it is the social club, nearby is the Youth and Community Centre with a day nursey school, the North Mymms Horticulture Society holds its 3 exhibitions of local flowers, produce and crafts every year there, and a Catholic Church St. Thomas Moore. 2 local pubs The Sibthorpe Arms and the Hope and Anchor (listed) offer respite to the thirsty.
The Parish Council offices are located next to the Parish bowling green with its very active club, the tennis courts, children’s play area and the Parish football fields, A large industrial and distribution estate sits alongside the Welham Green Railway Station opened as recently as 1986, 5 listed buildings are clustered around Nash’s corner named after a local family who built many houses in the area and were of course decorators and undertakers.
Welham Green has number of local families that have roots tracing back to the very early days of the Village. On the edge of the Village on the road to Brookmans Park lies the Potterells estate once housing one of the grandest houses in the area, during WWII it was used as a furniture store, and after the war when no one wanted large country houses it lay empty and it’s lead was lost from the roof allowing its once proud interior to become wrecked and the outer walls to crumble, it was demolished and its outer buildings converted in into very attractive houses. Potterells lodge is now the local doctor’s surgery servicing the area.