1870 - King William Inn, No Man's Land
This account of an outing on Saturday July 9th 1870 was published in the local newspaper:
Messrs Herbert and Sons, scalemakers and gasfitters, of St George-street, E, King's Cross, and 7 West Smithfield, E.C., gave their annual treat to the workmen in their employ on Saturday last. The spot this year selected was the King William inn, No Man's Land, about five miles beyond St Albans, a charmingly rural location, and which to London denizens must have presented the most perfect realization of "the fresh fields and pastures new” which the jaded mind sighs after. The journey was, it is needless to say, an unusually long one to travel by road. The start was made by private omnibus, with four horses, from King's Cross, a little before nine o'clock, and "No Man's Land” was not reached until half-past one. Dinner was immediately partaken of, with appetites sharpened by the drive, and was supplied, in a manner that gave the most perfect satisfaction, by Mr T Archer, the landlord of the "King William”.
Mr. Herbert occupied the chair, and Mr. George Herbert the vice-chair. The after-dinner proceedings were necessarily limited to the loyal toast, and the toasts of the day, 'Prosperity to the firm, and the healths of the Messrs. Herberts and families,' which was briefly introduced by Mr. Wallis, and drunk with the utmost cordiality and good feeling. After dinner, the party had the privilege of inspecting a 'very interesting private collection of rare British birds, &c. and of antiquities, at the residence of Mr. Thrale, by whom they were most hospitably received, and who allowed them also the run of a well-stocked orchard. A second muster took place at the 'King William' for tea, and about seven o'clock the party left 'No Man's Land.' With the exception of a smart thunder shower as they reached St Albans, on the return journey, the weather was all that could be desired, and the entire trip was one of the most enjoyable yet taken under the kindly and liberal auspices of Messrs. Herbert and Sons.
The King William inn was renamed the Park Hotel in 1901, and later became the Wicked Lady in 1967, named after Lady Katherine Fanshaw (née Ferrers) who was, according to popular legend, the "Wicked Lady", a highwaywoman who terrorised Nomansland common in the 17th century before dying from gunshot wounds sustained during a robbery.