Ayot Green is the main green of the parish and has presumably existed in more or less its present form at least since the current Brocket Hall was built by Sir Matthew Lamb in the 18th century. The Hall and much of the park lie in the neighbouring parish of Lemsford (until 1858-59, Lemsford was included in Hatfield parish) but part of the park to the north of the Hall lies inside the southern boundary of Ayot St Peter parish. Ayot Green was sometimes called Ayot Great Green to distinguish it from Ayot Little Green.
Most of the houses facing the Green were in the ownership of the trustees of the Brocket Estate (successors of Lords Melbourne, Cowper and Brocket) until they began to make sales of the freeholds following the death of the 2nd Lord Brocket on 24 March 1967.
Before their sale, many of the cottages were occupied by Brocket estate staff and there was a fair amount of movement between Ayot Green and Lemsford as workers were allocated different cottages.
These early photographs show that Ayot Green was not mown at all frequently prior to World War II, and there were far fewer trees than there are today. In particular there appear to have been no chestnut trees; these were planted in the 1930s to mark either the silver jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary in 1935 or the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937.
Ayot Green is a conservation area and many of the cottages are listed Grade II. Both Greens were registered as common land in 1971.
This is a gallery of old pictures around the Green – if anyone has any additonal images we would be very pleased to hear from you.