Area Guide: The pretty Hertfordshire village of St Ippolyts
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
Nestled in a gap in the Chiltern Hills, just south of Hitchin and north of Stevenage, is the picturesque village of St Ippolyts. Chloe Vialou-Clark found out more about it.
With a small population of around 2,000 and a large amount of character, the quaint village of St Ippolyts is full of historical charm.
The strange name, Ippolyts, originally came from St Hippolytus, to whom the village church was dedicated. He is believed to be a second century Christian theologian, but little is certain about his origins and life.
The church, which is still fully intact today, was built in 1087 on a green hillside overlooking the village. According to its records, the building was commissioned by Judith de Lens, the niece of William the Conqueror.
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The church community is thriving and close-knit. Many weddings and celebrations take place there throughout the year and there are popular services every Sunday.
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There are a number of public transport links to St Ippolyts.
The village is reached by four different bus services, connecting many larger towns and cities including St Albans, Hitchin and Welwyn Garden City.
The closest train station is located in Hitchin, which is just over two miles north of the village.
St Ippolyts is also a short drive from Junction 8 of the A1(M).
St Ippolyts boasts many charming period properties in its village centre, including 17th century gabled houses and 16th century timber-framed homes. Other higher-priced Grade II listed detached properties are also available, complete with surrounding acres of land.
There are two notable schools in the St Ippolyts area itself: St Ippolyts Church of England Aided Primary School and Kingshott School.
St Ippolyts C of E, founded in 1847, has strong links with the local church and its community. It proudly believes in providing "the best possible education for each individual child, underpinned by Christian values". It was rated 'good' in its most recent Ofsted report in 2018.
Kingshott School, immediately north of the village, is a co-educational independent school for children between the ages of three and 13.
Popular secondary schools nearby include Hitchin Girls' and Boys' schools, which both received 'outstanding' ratings in their last Ofsted reports. They are both under three miles from the village centre.
Restaurants and pubs
As a rural village, St Ippolyts boasts a number of great pubs and restaurants.
A local favourite is The Rusty Gun, with delicious and homely lunch and dinner menus. This is a must-visit while in the village. They also host entertaining events such as National Barbecue Week during the summer and a special Christmas menu during the winter months.
A mile down the road from the village, The Bird in Hand also provides a family-friendly and affordable lunch and dinner menu.
Other successful country pubs include The Farmhouse at Redcoats and Hermit of Redcoats. Both of these are found in the neighbouring village of Little Wymondley.
Sports and leisure
The welcoming Parish Hall on Waterdell Lane brings many people together from around the village and beyond. It plays host to a number of community groups including Cubs, Beavers, Brownies and Rainbows.
Sporting groups and activities also take place in the hall, including St Ippolyts Table Tennis Club which meets weekly. Catering for beginners to the First Division league with no age restrictions, this is the perfect place to practice.
For more rigorous exercise, the hall also hosts reasonably priced zumba, yoga and dancing lessons every week.
The village also has its own football and bowls clubs, which meet on Orchard Close.