Bricket Wood

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Template:Infobox UK place Bricket Wood is a village in the county of Hertfordshire, England, Template:Convert south of St Albans and Template:Convert north-northeast of Watford.
It is part of the archaically named civil parish of St Stephen, as there is no church connection to its affairs as the third tier of local government. It is in the St Albans district who share provision of local government services with Hertfordshire County Council.

Its railway station is served by a London Midland service that runs between St Albans Abbey and Watford Junction stations, the service is stopping and both towns are three frequents stops away.

Close to the village stands Hanstead House, built by Sir David Yule in 1925, who is buried in the grounds. It was subsequently bought by Herbert W. Armstrong to serve as his second Ambassador College campus. Hanstead House was for many years a training centre for HSBC but closed officially on 23 December 2011, on the premise that future training needs for the group will be accommodated in other venues.

History

The area of Bricket Wood was mostly occupied by farmers until Bricket Wood train station was built in 1861. In 1889 brothers Henry Gray and William Gray bought up land in the area and built Woodside Retreat Fairground. The fairground attracted hordes of visitors to the area from London and nearby towns and a small village developed around the station. In 1923, a rival fairground named Joyland was built nearby by R.B Christmas. Both resorts were closed in 1929, Christmas used his leftover land for building bungalows.

During the 1930s the area became popular with naturists after Charles Macaskie set up a naturist camp on the outskirts of the village. Naturists bought up plots of land on the edge of the village and built their own communities, which at first didn't have electricity or running water. The village also began to attract Wiccans after Gerald Gardner set up Bricket Wood coven.

During the 1950s estates were built to house workers for nearby aviation company Handley Page, estates have also been built since to accommodate demands for commutable housing near London. Turning a scattered rural development into a compact village. [1]

Activities

Morris Dancing

The village is home to the border Morris Dancing team Wicket Brood, one of the best known teams in the area.

Naturism

Template:Unreferenced section The village of Bricket Wood has been host to at least six naturist clubs: Fiveacres Country Club, Spielplatz, The Sun-Folk Society, Gardenia (originally named Silverbirch), Diogenes Sunlight Society (also known as The Phoenix Recreational Society), and The Suncampers. Of these, Gardenia has now closed and been built on, Diogenes became the Diogenes Sun Club when it moved to near Maple Cross. The Suncampers have gone but the three remaining clubs are all still open.

The clubs have been there for many years. Fiveacres Country Club was founded in 1927 off Oakwood Road and is the UK's oldest naturist club on the same site. Spielplatz was founded by the Macaskies in 1929 after visiting Fiveacres and they purchased their own site in the village in Lye Lane, The Sun-Folk Society started in 1931.

Wicca

In 1954 Gerald Gardner published his book "Witchcraft Today" to advance his own practice of Wicca as a modern religion. He established his first coven at Bricket Wood. Gerald Gardner operated his coven from Fiveacre Country Club in Bricket Wood.[2]

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Notable residents

  • Frank Turner (1922-2010), three-times Olympic gymnast, died at his home in the village.

References

External links

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