St Mary the Virgin, Westmill
305 (2011 census)
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||East of England|
Westmill is an English village and civil parish in the East Hertfordshire district of Hertfordshire, with an area of 1036 hectares. A population of 264 was recorded in the 2001 National Census. It lies just to the south of Buntingford, beside the River Rib.
The Prime Meridian passes to the east of Westmill, as does the Roman road Ermine Street, which ran from London to Lincoln and York. Its route is followed here by the A10 trunk road. There is a skeleton bus service to Buntingford.
West Mill railway station on the Great Eastern Railway's Buntingford Branch Line from St Margarets to Buntingford opened on 3 July 1863. Passenger traffic thrived until the mid-1950s and the rise of car ownership. The line and station closed to passengers on 16 November 1964. The station buildings had been demolished by 1968.
The large medieval parish church, dedicated to St Mary the Virgin and restored in the 19th century, shows signs of a Saxon origin. It is one of a large number of historic buildings in the village. One, a thatched cottage named Button Snap at Westmill Green, was owned by the writer Charles Lamb from 1812 to 1815. It was through the widow of his godfather, Francis Fielde (died 1809) that Lamb, as he put it, "came into possession of the only landed property which I could ever call my own."
The church is part of a joint benefice of Aspenden and Buntingford. The commons were enclosed in 1819.
The former 16th century watermill is now a private house.
The village has a pub/restaurant, the Sword Inn Hand, and a village hall, where a children's nursery is held.
18 'Hertfordshire History: the Westmill Murder' on YouTube.