St Mary the Virgin, Westmill
Westmill is located in Hertfordshire
Location within Hertfordshire
Population264 [1]
305 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid referenceTL368270
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtSG9
Dialling code01763
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°55′30″N 0°00′36″W / 51.925°N 0.010°W / 51.925; -0.010

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.[2] 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.[3] Its route is followed here by the A10 trunk road. There is a skeleton bus service to Buntingford.[4]

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.[5]

Historic buildings

The large medieval parish church, dedicated to St Mary the Virgin and restored in the 19th century, shows signs of a Saxon origin.[6] It is one of a large number of historic buildings in the village. One, a thatched cottage named Button Snap at Cherry Green, was owned by the writer Charles Lamb from 1812 to 1815.[7] 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."[8]

The church is part of a joint benefice of Aspenden and Buntingford.[9] The commons were enclosed in 1819.[3]

The former 16th century watermill is now a private house.


The village has a pub/restaurant, the Sword Inn Hand,[10] and a village hall,[11] where a children's nursery is held.[12]

Notable residents

See also

The Hundred Parishes


  1. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  2. ^ 2001 Census - Key statistics for parishes in Hertfordshire Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b c British History Online. Westmill. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  4. ^ Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  5. ^ Disused Stations site. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  6. ^ Friends of Westmill Church. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  7. ^ Listed Buildings in Westmill, Hertfordshire Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  8. ^ Charles Lamb: Selected Writings, edited and introduced by J. E. Morpurgo (New York, NY: Routledge, 2003 [1993]), p. 281.
  9. ^ St Mary the Virgin, Westmill. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  10. ^ Sword inn Hand, TripAdvisor.Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  11. ^ hertsdirect.org. Retrieved 20 October 2014.[dead link]
  12. ^ Westhill Nursery prospectus. Retrieved 20 October 2014. Archived 24 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Henry Pepys's ODNB entry: Retrieved 16 September 2011. Subscription required.; the name was pronounced "Peppis", not "Peeps" by this branch of the family: Gillian Avery: Introduction. In: The Journal of Emily Pepys (London: Prospect Books, 1984. ISBN 0-907325-24-6), p. 11.
  14. ^ Friends of Westmill Church...
  15. ^ Murder at Westmill (1848). Retrieved 29 July 2014.

18 'Hertfordshire History: the Westmill Murder' on YouTube.