Area Guide: The chocolate box village of St Ippolyts

PUBLISHED: 14:40 20 July 2018 | UPDATED: 14:59 20 July 2018

Even the village sign is bursting with character

Even the village sign is bursting with character

Archant

Blink and you’ll miss this small but perfectly formed village, with its pretty Victorian school and historic church.

St Ippolyts Church, Ashbrook LaneSt Ippolyts Church, Ashbrook Lane

The sought-after village of St Ippolyts is located around two miles from the historic market town of Hitchin, with easy access to the surrounding countryside and nearby road and rail links to London and the north.

Amenities include a village shop, a recreation ground, a church and a primary school.

Property

The Olive Branch is a Grade II listed building on Stevenage RoadThe Olive Branch is a Grade II listed building on Stevenage Road

Homes in St Ippolyts are typically attractive, characteful and expensive. Stand out homes include a 17th century gabled property, a timber-framed house – formerly The Olive Branch Inn – and a 16th century house which was built around an even older timbered property.

According to Rightmove, the average selling price for properties in the village was £779,644 last year - almost double that of nearby Hitchin (£406,091).

This puts the average sold price down 9 per cent on 2016 and up 8 per cent on the 2012 level of £721,556. However, this data comes from a relatively small sample of just 14 properties sold during 2017.

Some of the village's attractive period propertiesSome of the village's attractive period properties

Homes currently on the market in St Ippolyts include the ‘north wing’ of St Ibbs, a Georgian home on London Road, which has an asking price of £985,000 and a two-bed end terrace on Mill Road (£415,000).

Transport

The Old Bakehouse, Stevenage RoadThe Old Bakehouse, Stevenage Road

The A1(M) is a couple of miles east of the village, while the closest rail links are from Hitchin, which connects to London King’s Cross in about half an hour.

Food and drink

The Rusty Gun on London Road is the closest pub. It prides itself on serving up fine local food in a cosy environment and sells many of the ingredients – including Hertfordshire Honey from Woolmer Green and Rolla Granola from Kimpton – in its on site produce shop, Chapelfoot Store.

School

The village primary, St Ippolyts Church of England, was founded in 1847. It has a strong Christian ethos and maintains solid links to the church across the road. The original Victorian buildings remain, enhanced by modern extensions added in 2004.

The school typically has around 145 children on roll, who are taught in five mixed-age classes.

It was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted at its last inspection.

Popular secondary options are Hitchin Girls’ and Boys’ Schools (both ‘outstanding) and The Priory School, also in Hitchin (‘good’).

Church

St Ippolyts Church proudly describes itself as “a friendly village church community of all ages”. There has been a church on the Ashbrook Lane site for 900 years, and its picturesque location makes it a popular wedding venue.

The beautiful building is linked to several notable people, the most interesting anecdote being that the funding for the church was provided by William the Conqueror’s niece.

Respected theologian Fenton Hort was a vicar at St Ippolyts Church for 15 years and politician George Lloyd (1st Baron Lloyd) was buried in the churchyard (1879-1941).

The church also serves the villages of Langley and Gosmore, and shares its vicar with the neighbouring parishes of Great and Little Wymondley.

Sport and leisure

The parish hall on Waterdell Lane is home to many local groups, including Beavers, Brownies, Cubs and Rainbows.

Singing, dancing, dog training, bridge and table tennis clubs also meet at the hall, as well as a baby and toddler group and the local branch of the W.I.

A bowls club plays at the recreation ground off Orchard Close and the village has its own football club, while St Ippolyts also attracts walkers, families and cyclists who like the green space, nature reserve and children’s play areas.

Seasonal events in the village include a Christmas fair and festive church services, plus open gardens during the summer months.

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