Area Guide: The charming Hertfordshire village of Piccotts End
- Credit: Archant
Piccotts End is an attractive village on the north-west edge of Hemel Hempstead.
While it is in the Dacorum district, with a Hemel Hempstead postcode of HP1, lush greenery keeps Piccotts End firmly apart from the nearby town’s urban sprawl.
The village is home to many beautiful properties, from medieval cottages to Georgian villas.
Homes currently on the market in Piccotts End include a three-bed Grade II listed terrace for £450,000 and a four-bed 19th century detached property for £850,000.
According to current Zoopla estimates, the average price for property in Piccotts End stood at £318,704 in December 2017, up 4.55 per cent year-on-year.
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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.
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A major village attraction is the Piccotts End Paintings. Found on the walls of the Grade I listed cottages at 132 Piccotts End in 1953, the images date back to the 15th century.
They depict various Biblical images such as the baptism of Jesus, The Virgin Mary holding the body of Christ in front of the cross, and St Catherine of Alexandria.
Royal history has also been quite prominent in the village. In 1825, Sir Astley Paston Cooper, who was surgeon to George IV, founded the West Hertford Infirmary. The establishment was considered to be England’s first ‘cottage hospital’.
A cottage once served as a hiding place for master dyer Josiah Wright, who is believed to have plotted an assassination attempt on Queen Victoria in 1840.
Hemel Hempstead station is less than three miles away, with regular services to London Euston taking around half an hour.
While the bus service from the village is limited, car drivers are ideally placed for commuting north to Luton or south to Watford on the M1, while the M25 is also close at hand.
With no village school, Piccotts End pupils tend to travel to Hemel. The closest schools are of varying quality, with Galley Hill Primary School and Nursery found to require improvement by Ofsted at its last inspection. St Cuthbert Mayne Catholic Junior School was rated ‘good’, however, as was Gade Valley Primary School.
Secondary schools are similarly mixed. The Cavendish School was rated ‘inadequate’ at its last inspection, though John F Kennedy Catholic School and The Astley Cooper School were both rated ‘good.
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.
There is a strong sense of community within the village, which is harnessed by the Piccotts End Residents’ Association (PERA), which organises a range of well-attended events.
Highlights include the annual summer garden party, a day filled with fun, food, and festivities, including a barbeque.
The PERA fireworks party is also held annually at Marchmont Cottage while a ‘safari supper’, in which members of the community go house to house to enjoy a home cooked meal by the host, takes place every year.