The acorn and oak leaves at the top are important for several reasons. Firstly, they are used as part of the logo for Leverstock Green School; secondly, the Dacorum Borough Council logo incorporates acorns and oak leaves and, finally, one of the earlier names for the 14th to 17th century tiny Manor of Leverstock Green was Market Oak (more often written as Markate Oake). Oak trees were then a major feature with one in particular known as ‘The Market Oake’.
From Saxon times until the abolition of manorial courts in the 1920's, the Manor of Westwick (or Westwicke) was the principle manor of the village. The name still survives along Westwick Row with Westwick Farm, Westwick Cottage, Westwick Warren and Westwick Row Farm. Westwick was important in medieval times as it supplied the Abbey at St. Albans with all its needs for the refectory, either in kind or in funds from timber etc. Westwick Cottage dates back to the 12th century and was probably the original Long Hall Manor House dating from Saxon times, shown by the medieval peasants ploughing the land.
The bottom half of the sign shows the peasants felling trees. Much of the land had been covered by trees following the demise of Roman rule and these would have had to be cleared to give access to the arable land beneath. This was revealed in old documents and the word ‘stoc’ means tree stump.
The wording towards the bottom of the shield - Manor of Markate Oak, (Langley with Westwick) or Levestistocke Greene, gives the alternative names and spellings of the small Manor of Market Oak belonging to Markyate Priory mentioned above.
We have documentary and archaeological proof that people lived and worked in the immediate area of Leverstock Green from the time of the Roman occupation onwards. Recent research indicates that settlement along Westwick Row may well date back even further to the Iron Age and perhaps the Bronze Age with Chambersbury Lane, Bunkers Lane & Blackwater Lane being of Iron Age origin. It seems quite likely that the Westwick area was a "suburb" of the major Iron Age settlement at Pre Wood just outside St. Albans.
This original sign is of wooden construction and it suffered the ravages of the weather for over sixteen years. The cost of refurbishment would have been very high and only offered a temporary solution. Leverstock Green Village Association commissioned the replacement sign in 2016 from Signs of the Times in Tebworth. It is constructed of hand painted polyurethane and, whilst the paint will eventually deteriorate, the sign itself should last for many years to come.
LGVA is indebted to Steve and Janet Read for restoring the original sign to be admired here, in the Village Hall.