Heritage Activities

PARTICIPATE, volunteer, enjoy, ...
icon with two people dancing representing activities

participate, volunteer, enjoy, …

From this page you can FIND OUT about Flamstead Heritage’s wide range of community ACTIVITIES – with something for everyone.

Then just JOIN IN. Our programme started in 2020, with the main activities taking place in 2023 and the first half of 2024. Activities in this list have been divided into three categories, but the differences between them are not that great.

For further details, please click on the links below, contact us or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instragram. The page will continue to be updated as activities take place.


School Sessions

St Leonard’s offers and welcomes organised visits from schools for a general tour of the church. A series of graffiti workshops have been running and more are planned.
AGES: 5 – 18
DATES: ongoing

Storytelling Competition

Flamstead 500 was our storytelling competition for children and young people, similar to the familiar BBC 500 words contest. It ran over the summer of 2023. The theme is St Leonard’s heritage and history. There were some great prizes for the winning entries. The two winners were interviewed on Three Counties Radio. Support for entrants’ research could be found online (our Educational Resources) and was available in person at the 2023 Scarecrow Festival.
AGES: two age groups: 7-10 and 11-16
DATES: Now closed. Prize giving was on Sunday 3rd December.
MORE: Flamstead500 storytelling competition (competition details)

Young Person’s Puppet Theatre: The Spirit of St Leonard’s

puppet marionettes on stagePerformances took place in early 2022 and was much enjoyed – both by those from Flamstead Village School who took part, and by the large, appreciative audiences.

A video of the play is available on the YPPT YouTube channel.

The story is set in St Leonard’s over the course of nine centuries – and in the dream of a little girl.

AGES: 11 and under
DATES: completed March 2022

Community Archaeology Project

Man pushing large trolley with geophysics equipmentHerts Geophysical Survey, a local community archaeology group surveyed St Leonard’s churchyard using a variety of specialist “Geophysics” equipment. The professional and volunteer archaeologists invited the Flamstead community to get involved. In addition, two talks about the techniques and local sites were given in the church attracting a fascinated audience of about 30 people.

Now we await the results.

AGES: all

DATES: Saturday 1st July 2023 (on-site); tbd (results)

MORE: Herts Geophysical Survey blog.

Art & Craft Competition

The craft competition for children and young people took place at the Flamstead Village Show in September 2023: to design and create the best “heritage mouse”. It was in four categories, with Flamstead the theme for the two younger age groups and heritage for the two older ones. There was help to get started.
AGES: under 5’s, 5-7’s, 8-10’s; 11-15’s.
DATES: September 2023

Trestle Theatre

Following the success of the Puppet Theatre, there was a further drama activity. Following a series of workshops from Trestle Theatre, St Albans, the pupils of St Luke’s School, Redbourn performed the play to a highly appreciative audience in March 2024.The story was developed by the performers and was based on a Hertfordshire legend: the “Wicked Lady” of Markyate.
AGES: performers: 13-16; audience: all ages
DATES: January to March 2024

Online Learning Resources

illustration of monk creating wall paintingThese in-depth illustrated resources (including slides, session plans & audio stories) are designed for self-study across the age range, or to support the social history, geography and religious education curriculum in schools.

They were developed early on in the project by Shackleton Education, are have been evaluated for a school setting, with positive results. They are also available now for use by individuals and helped with the research for Flamstead500 storytelling.

AGES: Early Years to Key Stage 3, adults

DATES: live now; ready for use

MORE: St Leonard’s Educational Resource (the educational materials for viewing or downloading)

Work Experience

Flamstead Heritage has hosted two students on a work experience programme and has plans for two more.
AGES: late teenage or above
DATES: ongoing

Lectures by Experts

Following the success of the first series in 2018, a second series of six “expert lectures” was arranged in association with the Flamstead Society. They all attracted large, appreciative audiences, drawn from all over the region.

12 Oct 2023, The Medieval Graffiti in St Leonard’s Church, Flamstead. Matt Champion. – more…
13 Nov 2023, Swans, Bears and Ragged Staves, Badges and Battles in the Fifteenth century. John Cherry – more…
18 Dec 2023, Ancient and Medieval Board Games. Dr Irving Finkel – more…
12 Mar 2024: Wall Paintings in St Leonard’s Church, Flamstead, and their Wider Context. Dr Miriam Gill – more…

The one remaining lecture is part of the Flamstead Arts Festival and will take place during the day on 8th Jun 2024: “St Leonard’s Building History” by Matthew Champion. This has replaced the previously planned lecture. Alongside the lecture at the Festival will be a Heritage Crafts Fair, which will feature many of the skills required for church conservation and restoration.  – more…

AGES: adults, older children

DATES: October 2023 to June 2024

MORE: Events Calendar (details of each talk and other Flamstead Heritage events)




Digital Archives

There is much material of historical and heritage interest about St Leonard’s and Flamstead stored in various collections, but which is not readily available. Flamstead Heritage is curating, digitising and uploading many of these items so they can be widely shared. You can see some of these from our Archives page on this website.

If you have any suitable materials you would like to contribute, please contact us.

AGES: all, but mainly adults

DATES: ongoing

Capture Living Memories

The idea is to capture the memories of the older Flamstead residents or past residents as audio recordings. Memory-jogging slide shows and videos accompanied by afternoon tea and music are taking place to facilitate the recordings. The first took place in June 2023, with a wonderful response from those attending.

A Candy and Andy book launch took place in March 2024, which revived memories of Flamstead in the 1960s. Several ex-residents returned for the occasion.

AGES: all, but mainly older adults
DATES: ongoing

Storytelling Evening

Redbourn Players ran a show with a dramatic reconstruction of the history of St Leonard’s and Flamstead. It drew on their recent successful performances at St Mary’s, Redbourn, with its history as the theme – and was very much appreciated by the audience.
AGES: all, but mainly adults
DATES: 15 & 16 September 2023

Heritage Activities at Scarecrow Festivals 2022-3

Flamstead Heritage’s presence at the SCF 2022 included an amazing scarecrow tableau featuring “Bruvver Banksy”, a mediaeval wall painter, created by Pam & Hartley Dean.

At the 2023 event there was a display in the new exhibition area, and support for on-site research by children entering the Flamstead500 storytelling competition.

AGES: all

DATES: 18 – 20 August 2023

Arts & Heritage Festival 2024

The Flamstead Arts Festival will take place over 4 days from 6th to 9th June 2024. Throughout the four days there will be an art exhibition. On the Saturday there will be a heritage craft fair and many other attractions. There is a special church service on the Sunday commemorating the 800th anniversary of St Leonard’s as a parish church, followed by a chance to relax in the churchyard.

The full programme is now available and tickets are being sold for the headline acts: a revue featuring Carole Boyd of the Archers and a concert by Ben Earle of the Shires. There is also opening reception. This is free but tickets must be booked in advance.

AGES: all

DATES: 6  – 9  June 2024

Community Meals and Events

Several community meals and other events continue to take place in St Leonard’s, organised both by Flamstead Heritage and others. Events have included the PCC’s Plough Supper, FoSL’s Village Supper, the live screening of King Charles III’s coronation and regular events such as coffee mornings. Guided tours at such events are being planned.
AGES: all
DATES: ongoing

Inter-cultural Links

Visits to and from a local mosque have taken place. A sell-out Persian food evening was hosted by the Three Blackbirds in November 2023.
AGES: all
DATES: ongoing

Churchyard Management & Ecology Activities

Flamstead Heritage is working with the PCC (Parochial Church Council – effectively St Leonard’s management group) to plan some specific ecological activities to fit in with its broader objectives, This builds on work  that has already taken place such as wildlife surveys and the provision of bat boxes.

AGES: all

DATES: ongoing


Hard Hat Tours

people in hi-viz jackets inspecting walls on hard hat tourGuided tours of the building works including the repairs at roof level took place in 2021.

They were very much valued by all those who attended.

DATES: completed May 2021

Craft Community Activities

The mediaeval mice proved to be so popular, even becoming a viral hit on social media, that a further generation was created. This new generation continued to delight all age groups, and provided a very gentle introduction to some heritage themes. They just seemed to move themselves around the church when no-one was looking.
DATES: 2022 to 2023

Graffiti Survey & Interpretation

Matthew Champion, an internationally regarded expert on the subject has been surveying the mediaeval graffiti at St Leonard’s. He has completed the survey and his full report will be published in due course. Already he has judged St Leonard’s graffiti to be of national importance, with a wide variety of the different graffiti types.

He delivered one of the expert lectures about his findings and will be returning to talk about St Leonard’s building history.

AGES: mostly adults

DATES: November 2022 to mid 2023

MORE: video –  Matthew Champion at St Leonard’s (video: 4 mins 28 secs – YouTube)

Location Visits for Film Students

Over 20 students from Luton Sixth Form College visited in December 2023, attended a master-class provided by local outside-broadcast professionals, and shot their own videos, using St Leonard’s as a location and putting into practice the techniques they had just learnt. We are now awaiting the results: the final edited videos.
AGES: 16 – 18