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Nomansland Common

Nomansland common is approximately 130 acres (52.5 ha) of common land of which Wheathampstead parish council owns 35 acres (95 ha) the remainder being owned by the Althorp Estate and located in Sandridge parish. Nomansland is reputed to have got its name because of the bitter rivalry and frequent disputes between the monasteries of St Albans and Westminster. Both claimed the land was within their respective parishes of Sandridge and Wheathampstead.

It is believed that this area was used for grazing as early as 4000BC.

During the 1700s Nomansland was notorious for highway robberies, Dick Turpin and Tom King used to meet there regularly on their way to other counties. The most infamous robber in these parts was Lady Ferrers of Markyate, dubbed the Wicked Lady.  During this time a gibbet was erected at the top of the hill towards St Albans, as a warning for thieves.

Horse races were held here regularly between 1829 and 1837. In 1829 King George VI won the St Albans cup and it is thought the first proper steeplechase in England was held here in 1830.

There used to be a river running parallel to the main road from Wheathampstead to St Albans but this has now gone underground and runs where the outfield of the cricket pitch dips and turns under the cricket pavilion.

In 1429 a Puddingstone was placed to mark the boundary between Sandridge and Wheathampstead. This stone can be seen on the outfield of the cricket pitch close to the road.  For more information on Nomansland, its history and Puddingstone see the virtual museum on the Wheathampstead Heritage web site.