Walkern Park and Bassus Green
The first record of a hunting park in Walkern is in 1325. At 400 acres it was one of the largest in Hertfordshire. In 1373 John Bassett was keeper, and his family gave their name to Bassett’s (Bassus) Green. Holmes Farm, outside the western edge of the park, is thought to mark the dwelling occupied by Richard Att Holme, another of the 14th century keepers of the park, and was the residence of several keepers. During the 14th century, Walkern park keepers were paid 2 pence a day for their services.
In 1379 the park had an area of 398 acres and in 1435 the charge on the land was 26/8d beyond the cost of sustaining the wild animals. John Hotoft was named keeper in 1427 and John Humberstone in 1428. Humberstone seems to have been a farmer of some standing – there are several family memorials in St Mary’s. In 1420, during the reign of Henry V, John Humberstone is described as a yeoman of Walkern and had City connections. There is a record, describing him in 1428 as keeper of the park warren at Walkem.
The park contained a ?Lodge? comprised of several buildings including a hall, a bakehouse and possibly had its own chapel. By the mid 17th century Walkern park had become ‘deparked’ and the Lodge became a farm, now known as Walkern Park Farm