The History of Chestnut Vets

Archibald Houston Andrew, founder of Chestnut Vets

The origins of the practice today date back to 1906. Archibald Andrew, aged 22, a scot born at Accredale into a family connected with the veterinary profession on both maternal and paternal sides, moved to Ware to assist a Mr Goldring. From our records it appears that Archibald Houston was the first vet in the area to be registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (a legal requirement today to enable a vet to practise) by passing examinations at the Veterinary School in Edinburgh.

During WW1 he served in the field in France and Flanders in the Army Veterinary Corps providing medical attention to the horses

After the war finished he returned to Ware and built up the practice. His son, Houston Andrew also qualified as a vet and joined his father in practice initially in Ware and then in 1938 started up the Hertford side of the practice. It was at this time that Mr A Chestnutt joined the practice in Ware and for many years it was known as Andrew, Chestnutt and Partners until this was changed to The Chestnut Veterinary Group after their retirement and the practice is subsequently now known as Chestnut Vets.

The veterinary work in the early part of the 20th Century would have centred on the horse because at the time horsepower was so important to transport and agriculture, particularly in the Hertford and Ware areas where a lot of horses were working pulling barges along the rivers to the maltings.

Mr Andrew and Mr Chestnutt developed strong reputations for their ability in treating horses and the practice developed into a 5-6 vet practice by the 1970s-80s dealing with all animals from small pets through cats and dogs to horses, farm animals and zoo animals. In 2003 due to the decline in local livestock numbers the practice became solely focussed on treating small domestic animals, mostly cats and dogs.

Chestnut Vets Today

Chestnut Vets now operates from a purpose-built premises at 1 Hoe lane in Ware. There is both off street and on street parking available here and long opening hours to suit your requirements.

Your pet’s health will always be the most important thing to us. We continually invest in our staff, facilities and equipment to make this a reality. For more information about  our practice or services please phone or e-mail us for a chat and we will be happy to help.

We offer access to 24 hour emergency cover for all of our registered patients. In the unfortunate event of an emergency, or if you are concerned about your pet, please ring our routine number on 01920 468874. Over the weekend (after 1pm Saturday), on Bank Holidays, and between 7pm and 8.30am during the working week, the Queen Mother Hospital at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in Brookmans Park, near Hatfield, provides our clients with a dedicated out-of-hours clinic. If you ring our routine number out of working hours, you will hear details of how to access their emergency line, and the RVC will be equally willing to advise or to see you in an emergency. 

Our hospitalisation facilities at our purpose built site in Ware operates for patients who have been admitted during the working day and require an overnight stay for treatment such as fluid therapy. In this situation a duty vet will arrange to come back to the surgery for scheduled checks as required.