Gustard Wood

A hamlet in



F.M.S. Hospital, Blackmore End, Gustard Wood
Photograph by A. E. Nicholls (of Luton)



During the First World War the largest of the Auxiliary hospitals was the Federated Malay States Hospital at Blackmore End, which provided 214 beds in the house and grounds and was funded by subscriptions from supporters both in Britain and abroad.

Herts at War Exhibition.


Soldiers relaxing outside the General Stores
Gustard Wood, c1917

Picture from
Tales from Old Wheathampstead & Gustard Wood



See also

Military Hospitals in World War One.

The first reference to Gustard Wood is in about 1272 when it was written Goshamstedwoode Later it was recorded as Gosthampstedewode, Gustamwode, Gustewood and more recently Gustard Wood.

The meaning really depends on the "t" near the beginning. If the "T" came later the place name is equivalent to the Old English for  "Goose Homestead Wood." However if the "t" has always been in the pronunciation but was not recorded in 1272 it was probably "Gorst Homestead Wood".

"Gorst" is the Old English for the plant known as Gorse or Furze - but is also used for a different plant - juniper. Both gorse and juniper both now grow on the nearby common but the juniper is a tree while the gorse is a smaller and less prominent shrub. One can then think of Gustard Wood being the Homestead in the Juniper Wood.

Based on The Place-names of Hertfordshire

Old News

Assault in Wood in 1868 - Frederick Wright of Gustard Wood, Wheathampstead, sentenced for attacking John Field. See Answer WRIGHT, Wheathampstead, mid 19th century

Thomas Wheeler, murderer of Edward Anstee, was born at Gustard Wood.

The builder and brickmaker Joseph Fenwick Owen lived at Gustard Wood.

If you know of other books, websites, etc, relating to this place, please tell me.

A Book on Gustard Wood, Wheathampstead

Anthony write to say that there a new book out St. Peter's Church Gustard Wood (1910 - 2010) A Living History by Rodney D Locks. It is  available from Rodney for 5.00 plus 88p postage.

Anthony has been assisting on the Wheathampstead War Memorial project which is preparing for the anniversary of the start of the First World War, and he tells me that there is a memorial tablet in St Peters.
November 2008   Page updated
August 2011   History of the name
September 2011   Gustard Wood book
October 2014   Info on Blackmore End