Area Guide: The upmarket Hertfordshire village of Essendon

Church Street, Essendon. Picture: DANNY LOO

Church Street, Essendon. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Essendon is a hilltop village in the south east of Hertfordshire, which overlooks the valley of the River Lea. 

Essendon. Picture: DANNY LOO

Essendon. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

And while the affluent rural enclave is less than five miles east of Hatfield, it’s a world away from the busy Hertfordshire town in look and feel.

Property

Not surprisingly for such an attractive, well-located place, property in Essendon doesn't come cheap.

Rooks Rest, Essendon. Picture: DANNY LOO

Rooks Rest, Essendon. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Notable homes currently on the market in the village include an £8.25m pile set in four acres and a £4.75m country estate with leisure complex. 


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The most affordable home currently for sale in Essendon is a partially renovated three-bed cottage, which has a guide price of £625,000. 

According to Rightmove, properties in the village had an overall average price of £701,667 over the last year, a dip from the 2015 peak of £1,101,111. (Though with so few homes changing hands, this data has limited value.)  

The Old School House, Essendon. Picture: DANNY LOO

The Old School House, Essendon. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

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Claims to fame

Novelist Barbara Cartland is a famous former resident of Essendon, and once lived in the huge 10-bedroom mansion, Camfield Place. Beatrix Potter was also a regular visitor to the area as her grandfather used to live there.

Amenities

The village hall is a community hub, hosting carpet bowls and pilates classes as well as meetings of The Essendon Society and the Women's Institute. The venue can also be hired for weddings, birthday parties and other celebrations.

The Tree House, Essendon. Picture: DANNY LOO

The Tree House, Essendon. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

St Mary the Virgin church contains evidence of previous rectors dating as far back as 1213, with Norman fragments discovered at the site in the 19th century.

In 1916, the largest air raid of The Great War - 16 airships - struck Essendon farmland and parts of the church and village. In the aftermath of the bombings it emerged that two young sisters were killed in their nearby home.

St Mary the Virgin, Essendon. Picture: DANNY LOO

St Mary the Virgin, Essendon. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

A restoration project to reconstruct the building was completed by the following year, with many of the previous features replicated.

Essendon Country Club is home to two 18-hole golf courses, a nine-hole pitch and putt, a driving range and a 'swing studio'. There's also a popular restaurant on site and space is available for private events, such as weddings and funeral receptions.

Essendon playing field. Picture: DANNY LOO

Essendon playing field. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Schools

Essendon C of E (VC) Primary School has only four classes with two year groups in each, starting with nursery and Reception. In its most recent Ofsted report, the school was again found to be 'good'. The inspector noted that children feel "very safe" at the school. "Pupils I spoke to stated categorically that bullying did not happen at Essendon… As a small school, the pupils I spoke to felt that pupils treated each other like members of a family."

Nearby secondary options include Bishop's Hatfield Girls' School ('outstanding').

Travel

High Road, Essendon. Picture: DANNY LOO

High Road, Essendon. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

With rail links from nearby Hatfield that can have you into London King's Cross within half an hour, Essendon is the perfect location for commuters seeking the best of country and city life. Buses also run regularly from Essendon to local villages, while major roads, including the A1(M) and the M25, are a short drive away.

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

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


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