Walkern ('Walchra' in Domesday) is a village and civil parish in East Hertfordshire. It is located on the River Beane about two miles from Stevenage, and is noted as the home of Jane Wenham, who was in 1712 the last woman in England to be convicted of witchcraft.


The village has several shops including Walkern Stores, a convenience store, 'Beaubelles' a locally run hair and beauty salon, 'The Posy Palace' a flower shop, 'Jolie' a shop that features homestyle products, 'The Brewery Tearoom' serving fine teas and cakes, a drum shop (City Music Drums), petrol station, a Christmas shop on the North side of the village and a public gallery near the White Lion public house. Other pubs include the Yew Tree which also offers Chinese cuisine.


The village also features a primary school, doctors surgery, recreation ground and a range of seasonal clubs; according to the time of year there is cricket, football and many other clubs running. These function out of the 'Walkern Sports and Community Centre' towards the end of the village near the War Memorial and opposite an old mill.


The River Beane crosses the village street of Church End in a ford, which is overlooked by the medieval Bridgefoot Farm and thatched Wych Elm cottage. The parish church of St Mary the Virgin is the oldest village church in Hertfordshire, with a Saxon wall and rare chalk rood (crucifix) dating back to the middle 10th century. St Mary's also has a fine Purbeck marble effigy of William de Lanvalei, baron of Walkern in the early 13th century and one of the 25 sureties named in the Magna Carta elected to ensure that King John adhered to the 'Law of the Land' set down in the charter in 1215.


With thanks to Wikipedia for its wiki about Walkern, and to the Walkern History Society for the use of their photographs, www.walkernhistorysociety.co.uk


Click here for William de Lanvalei

Population: 1570
County: Hertfordshire