Much Hadham

Published: 26th July 2011
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The pretty village of Much Hadham is situated in East Hertfordshire roughly halfway between the towns of Bishop's Stortford and Ware. The village has a population of around 1300 and is the largest of the 'Hadham' villages which include Little Hadham, Hadham Cross and Hadham Ford.

The village runs along the mile length of the high street and has a wide range of splendid architectural buildings from throughout the ages. The high street is lined with timber and brick houses, with the oldest understood to be from the 15th century. The history of the village is thought to date back to Saxon times and is evident from the manor house, making it one of the oldest villages in Hertfordshire. The village also used to be the site of a significant Roman pottery with kilns having been unearthed since.

The manor house still contains the 14th century timber hall and was the birthplace of Edward Tudor, father of the first Tudor king and therefore the beginnings of the Tudor dynasty. The manor at the time was home to the Bishops of London who resided there for 800 years using it as a summer palace. They prospered the village including the unusual extension of the church to make it more imposing and grand.

Along the high street is the old Red Lion coaching inn which dates from the 15th century though is now private houses. It used to be part of the old road from London to Cambridge and a stopping point for travellers. Village legend suggests that there is an old tunnel within the inn that connects it to St Andrews church used as an escape for clergy in Oliver Cromwell's time.

The village has also been home to famous celebrities over the years including Bob Monkhouse, The Pet Shop Boys and Chas and Dave.

Within the village there are a range of facilities along and just off the high street. There are two traditional pubs, a small supermarket and post office, a couple of garages, a hairdresser and two primary schools serving the community.

There are plenty of things to see and do around the village including many footpaths and bridleways for walking and cycling. The woods to the east of the river are worthy of a visit in spring when the many bluebells are in flower. Gardening is a passion around the village with an open garden event organised every year for charity, plus the village has won the 'Hertfordshire Best kept Village' award numerous times.

The high street is home to the Forge Museum and Victorian Cottage Garden, telling the story of blacksmiths within the village over the years. Nearby Perry Green is the home of Henry Moore and the Henry Moore Foundation which displays his artwork and opens to the public.

A thriving village community life is still evident with a calendar of events and plenty of clubs, societies and groups to take part in. A summer fete is organised every year in August with lots of family fun and entertainment.

The village has active sports links which include Much Hadham Football Club, Hadham Villa Football Club, cricket facilities used by Sawbridgeworth Cricket Club and Great Hadham Golf Club just to the north of the village.

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