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Offley, Great Offley, or Offley St Leger, Hertfordshire

Historical Description

Offley, Great Offley, or Offley St Leger, a village and a parish in Herts. The village stands among chalk hills, 1½ mile SSE of the boundary with Beds, and about 3½ miles WSW of Hitchin station on the G.N.R. and M.R., and has a post, money order, and telegraph office, of the name of Offley, under Hitchin. The parish contains also Little Offley, Welbury, Cockernhoe Green, and part of Mangrove hamlet. Acreage, 5569; population, 1268. There is a parish council consisting of nine members. The manor belonged to King Offa, passed to the St Legers, the Hoos, the Boleyns, the Spencers, and the Salusburys, and, with Offley Place, belongs now to the Hughes family. Welbury House, a large mansion standing in a park and wood of 324 acres, is a seat of the Gosling family. Offley Place is a chief residence standing in a park of about 45 acres. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of St Albans; net value, £180 with residence. The church is an ancient building of brick and stone in the Perpendicular style; consists of chancel, nave, aisles, S porch, and an embattled western tower; has, on the S wall, an inscription recording that King Offa lived and was buried here; and contains a white marble monument by Nollekens to Sir Thomas Salusbury and his wife Sarah, some ancient brasses, and an elaborately carved Perpendicular font. There is a Wesleyan chapel at Offley, and another at Cockernhoe.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyHertfordshire 
Ecclesiastical parishOffley St. Mary Magdalene 
HundredHitchin and Pirton 
Poor Law unionWatford 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Offley, Great Offley, or Offley St Leger from the following:

Land and Property

A full transcript of the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Hertfordshire is online.

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Hertfordshire newspapers online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitations of Hertfordshire, 1572 and 1634. Edited by Walter C. Metcalfe, F.S.A. is available on the Heraldry page.