The Herringbone Spire Multi-cache
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This straightforward multi-cache takes place in and around the grounds of St. Mary’s Church in Old Town Hemel Hempstead, and incorporates the Charter House and Walled Gardens.
The cache route is predominantly buggy friendly, with just a few steps to bump up or down. The adjacent Gadebridge Park and Old Town High Street provide ample resting stops for old and young. The co-ordinates given above are for the entrance to the nearest pay and display car park beside the church, but there are multiple alternatives around including some on street parking. It is 10p for an hour, or free after 6pm and free all day Sundays.
The Norman church was built circa 1150 and took around 40 years to build. It is one of the most complete examples of Norman architecture in Hertfordshire. It is relatively original in construction and the main modification is its most prominent feature – the spire – which was added around 1340. This elegant construction is approximately two hundred feet tall, contains eight bells, maintains its original oak timbers and features detailed fluted leading in a striking herringbone pattern.
The Charter House
N 51 45.487 W 000 28.401
This sign faces the site of an ancient Bury. The Charter Tower formed the entrance into the second Bury House which was rebuilt between 1540 and 1595 by the Coombe family, and the remains of their coat of arms can just be made out on the face of the tower. In local legend, it is reputed that Henry VIII stayed here with Anne Boleyn and as a mark of his gratitude he handed Hemel Hempstead’s charter from the upper window of this Tower.
What year was the Charter handed to Hemel Hempstead?
Answer = 15A9
The Walled Gardens
N 51 45.509 W 000 28.370
These beautifully tended gardens are outlined by the original boundaries of Richard Coombe’s palace which ceased in 1790, and was replaced by the town registry office which is located the other side of the Charter House information board.
What year did “Nell” pass away.
Answer = 199B
St. Marys Church
N 51 45.544 W 000 28.329
As you wander around the church you may be able to see that the walls are occasionally constructed from Hertfordshire Pudding Stone, a local stone from glacial times, which looks like rounded pebbles in a flinty cement. The red brick found on the outer walls is possibly from a villa of Roman origin in Gadebridge park. To protect any buried artefacts, metal detectors are not allowed in the park. Near to the old Corn Exchange you are looking for a gravestone for the Austin family.
From the gravestone you need to find when Tom was 'entered into rest'?
Answer = 18C5
The Church Spire
This is one of the most prominent landmarks of Old Town Hemel, and is topped with a traditional cross and cock weather vane. The spire integrates a clock that was a gift of the Earl of Marchmont in 1784, and still works today.
How many clock faces are built into the spire?
Answer = D
How many sides does the spire have?
Answer = E
Please use stealth when you have located the cache, as the area can be extremely busy at all times.
North 51 45.(A+2)(B+1)E
West 000 28.D(A+D)(C+D-5)
The final cache location is prone to flooding, but the cache is waterproof. Please make sure you replace it the correct way up and ensure there is nothing obstructing the seal so it remains watertight. May i say a BIG THANK YOU to The Berko Monkeys for letting me adopt this. Also may i recommend taking some wipes as your hands may get a bit muddy.
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