In a quiet residential street just a four-minute walk from Arnos Grove tube station and…
The story of Morven Park begins as early as the 14th century. The medieval town of Potters Bar - on the edge of Hertfordshire - was the site of a toll along the Great North Road. The remains of this original settlement; the toll house and the old Great North Road are buried beneath Morven’s grounds. Morven was donated to the National Trust by Mr A.B. Sanderson in two parts, the first 20 acres in 1928 and the rest of the park - including the house - in 1934. Mr Sanderson’s wishes were very clear, 'that Morven be used for some local benefit such as a Cottage Hospital or Library, and if let for some such purpose the rent received be used for upkeep of the house, the park and play grounds'. In keeping with this, the house is currently a care home (not open to visitors). The park itself is open daily for everyone to enjoy.
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About the area
As Hertfordshire is so close to London, many of its towns have become commuter havens. St Albans, less than 19 miles (30km) from the capital, has retained its distinctive character, along with many historic remains. The Roman city of Verulamium is situated in a nearby park, and excavations have revealed an amphitheatre, a temple, parts of the city walls and some house foundations. There are also some amazing mosaic pavements.
The abbey church at St Albans is thought to have been built on the same site where St Alban met his martyrdom in the 3rd century. The abbey was founded in 793 by King Offa of Mercia, and contains the saint’s shrine, made of Purbeck marble. Lost for years, it was discovered in the 19th century, in pieces, and restored by the designer of the red telephone box, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. The abbey also contains some wonderful medieval wall paintings. Nicholas Breakspear was born in St Albans, the son of an abbey tenant. In 1154 he took the name Adrian IV, and became the first, and so far only, English pope. Another famous son of Hertfordshire was Sir Francis Bacon, Elizabethan scholar and Lord High Chancellor, born in Hemel Hempstead in 1561.
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