Area Guide: The affluent Hertfordshire village of Essendon
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
The picturesque village of Essendon is less than five miles east of Hatfield – but in terms of look and feel it’s a world away from the busy Hertfordshire town. We found out more about this rural idyll.
A hilltop village overlooking the valley of the River Lea, Essendon is located in the south east of Hertfordshire.
Not surprisingly for such an attractive, well-located place, property in Essendon doesn't come cheap.
Notable homes currently on the market in the village include a six-bed country house with leisure complex set in 7.5 acres on West End Lane for £5 million.
A luxury three-bed apartment is also for sale at Bedwall Hall, a converted Grade II listed mansion on Cucumber Lane, for £1 million. This historic building sits within Bedwell Park on the site of Essendon Country Club.
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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.
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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 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, with 16 airships in tow, 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 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 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').
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 that are 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.