Area Guide: The quaint Hertfordshire village of Piccotts End

The cottage is believed to have been used as a half-way house for those on pilgrimage between Ashrid

The Piccotts End Paintings, found on the walls of these Grade I listed cottages, are a major village attraction. - Credit: Archant

There may only be a few fields separating Piccotts End from the north-western edge of Hemel Hemstead, but the village feels a world away from the busy town’s urban sprawl. 

Situated in a peaceful spot on the River Gade, a Hemel postcode of HP1 is the only thing this picturesque Chiltern village has in common with the neighbouring town. 

River Gade, Piccotts End. Picture: Archant

River Gade, Piccotts End. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

History

A major village attraction is the Piccotts End Paintings. Found on the walls of the Grade I listed cottage at 132 Piccotts End in 1953, they date back to the 15th century.

They depict various Biblical images such as the baptism of Jesus and the Virgin Mary holding the body of Christ in front of the cross.


You may also want to watch:


It’s thought that pilgrims travelling between Ashridge and St Albans Abbey used to stay at the house.

In 1825, what is believed to have been England’s first cottage hospital was founded on the site by Sir Astley Paston Cooper, surgeon to George IV. It was known as West Hertford Infirmary.

Most Read

Property

Piccotts End is home to many beautiful properties, from medieval cottages to Georgian villas.

One of Piccotts End's period homes. Picture: Archant

One of Piccotts End's period homes. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

There are only two homes currently for sale in the village: a three-bed period cottage with detached barn and garage for £600,000 and a four-bed semi for £375,000. 

Famous residents include Radio 3 presenter Penny Gore, while former MP Robin Corbett – Lord Corbett of Castlevale – lived in the village from 1966 until his death in 2012.

A period home in Piccotts End. Picture: Archant

A period home in Piccotts End. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Transport links

Hemel Hempstead station is less than three miles away, with regular services to London Euston taking around half an hour.

Drivers are also ideally placed for commuting north to Luton or south to Watford on the M1, while the M25 is also close at hand.

There are three buses each weekday, connecting the village to Hemel and Berkhamsted. 

Signposts in Piccotts End, Hertfordshire. Picture: Archant

Signposts in Piccotts End, Hertfordshire. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Schools

With no village school, Piccotts End pupils tend to travel to Hemel. The closest schools are of varying quality, with a mixture of ‘good’ and ‘requires improvement’ Ofsted rankings. Maple Grove and Jupiter Community Free School both fall into the former camp.

Secondary schools are similarly mixed, though John F Kennedy Catholic School and The Astley Cooper School are both rated ‘good’.

Hemel is also home to a handful of independent schools – Abbot’s Hill, Lockers Park and Westbrook Hay.

Pubs

The Marchmont Arms is a popular pub and restaurant on the edge of the village. The attractive 18th century building was once the home of Lord Marchmont, and its huge windows and striking, modern décor make it an attractive place to eat and drink.

The pub offers a varied menu of hearty meals and light bites, real ales and a large, child-friendly garden.

The Boar’s Head was the original village pub for a century, though it closed for good in 2010 and is now a family home.

Countryside views across Picotts End. Picture: Archant

Countryside views across Picotts End. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Entertainment

There is a strong sense of community within the village, which is harnessed by the Piccotts End Residents’ Association (PERA). Set up by a group of newcomers to the village, it organises a range of well-attended events, including a summer garden party, a fireworks party and a ‘safari supper’, in which members of the community go house to house to enjoy a home cooked meal by the host.

This area guide is sponsored by Frost's, who have offices in St Albans, Marshalswick, Wheathampstead

This area guide is sponsored by Frost's, who have offices in St Albans, Marshalswick, Wheathampstead and Harpenden (www.frosts.co.uk/branches) - Credit: Archant


Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter