This film is part of Free

Old Northchurch Part 2

Bird’s eye view of the Hertfordshire village of Northchurch from the roof of St. Mary’s Church

Amateur film 1966 14 mins Silent


Nestled in a Hertfordshire valley, in many ways Old Northchurch is little changed today. If you retraced the steps of this adventurous amateur filmmaker 50 years on and climbed up the tower of St Mary’s Church armed with an 8mm camera, you would find yourself filming similar scenes. The traffic is a little heavier these days, and sadly, like many villages, some of the pubs and shops have not survived.

The changes at Northchurch have mostly occurred out of sight of the camera. The divide with the neighbouring town of Berkhamsted, home of the BFI National Archive’s Conservation Centre, has slowly been absorbed. But at the foot of the church is still the gravestone of one of the village's most famous past residents – Peter the Wild Boy. This German-born 'feral child', who never learnt to speak, captured the attention of King George I’s court in the 1720s, but spent much of his life at a farm in the parish of Northchurch.