Area Guide: The upmarket Hertfordshire village of Essendon

Rooks Rest, Essendon. Picture: DANNY LOO

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

This highly desirable village sits on a hilltop four miles east of Hatfield, overlooking the valley of the River Lea. We found out more...

Welcome to Essendon

Welcome to Essendon - Credit: Archant

This high end rural village, with its windy streets, pretty period properties and historic church, is surrounded by beautiful countryside. 

Its proximity to Hatfield and Hertford means it is well connected and surrounded by amenities, offering residents the best of both worlds. 

Property

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

Church Street, Essendon. Picture: DANNY LOO

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

According to Rightmove, homes in the village had an overall average price of £785,000 over the last year. This was down from the 2015 peak of £1,101,111, a figure that was skewed by a £6.3m sale. 

Homes currently on the market in the village include a £1m three-bed apartment within Bedwell Hall, in the grounds of Essendon Country Club. At the more affordable end of the market is a one-bed flat on School Lane, which has a guide price of £225,000.

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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.

The Tree House, Essendon. Picture: DANNY LOO

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

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.

St Mary the Virgin, Essendon. Picture: DANNY LOO

St Mary the Virgin, 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. A restoration project to reconstruct the church was completed by the following year, with many of the previous features replicated.

Essendon playing field. Picture: DANNY LOO

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

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.

High Road, Essendon. Picture: DANNY LOO

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

As one would expect from such an affluent and appealing village, Essendon residents also have a highly regarded local pub. The Rose and Crown has its own top class, recently refurbished restaurant headed up by chef Alex Parker, who used to work for Gordon Ramsay.

Travel

Essendon is a well connected village. Rail links from nearby Hatfield reach London King's Cross within half an hour, and major roads, including the A1(M) and the M25, are a short drive away.

High Road, Essendon. Picture: DANNY LOO

High Road, Essendon. 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." The church has close links to St Mary's church.

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

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