While it may only be separated from the north-western edge of Hemel Hempstead by a handful of fields, the quaint village of Piccotts End feels a world away from the busy town's urban sprawl.

We found out more about this picturesque Hertfordshire village situated in Dacorum.

Herts Advertiser: River Gade, Piccotts End. Picture: ArchantRiver Gade, Piccotts End. Picture: Archant (Image: Archant)

Situated in a peaceful spot on the River Gade, a Hemel postcode of HP1 is the only thing this charming village has in common with the neighbouring town.

Often mistaken for a hamlet, Piccotts End is a village close to Hemel Old Town.

Close to the border with Piccotts End, you’ll find the remains of a Roman villa in Gadebridge Park.


The quiet and beautiful village of Piccotts End is famous for its fine Pre-Reformation wall paintings.

Found on the walls of the Grade I listed cottage at 132 Piccotts End in 1953, the paintings date back to the early 16th century.

A report produced by the Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory dates the cottages at Piccotts End to the second half of 1527.

The Piccotts End Paintings website states: "The main room of what was originally a traditional timber-framed hall house contains unique and historic wall paintings, whose fascinating story lay hidden for hundreds of years until their accidental discovery by Arthur Lindley in 1953 behind six layers of wallpaper.

Herts Advertiser: The cottage is believed to have been used as a half-way house for those on pilgrimage between Ashridge and St Albans Abbey, pre-1700. Picture: ArchantThe cottage is believed to have been used as a half-way house for those on pilgrimage between Ashridge and St Albans Abbey, pre-1700. Picture: Archant (Image: Archant)

"In the row of 16th century cottages, set back from the road at Piccotts End, seven colourful panels with religious themes still exist, nearly 500 years since they were first painted."

The paintings depict various Biblical images such as the baptism of Jesus and the Virgin Mary holding the dead body of Christ in front of the cross. The artists are unknown.

It’s thought that pilgrims travelling from Ashridge visited the paintings.

The website states: "The Abbey of St Albans, the shrine of the first English Christian martyr, attracted many pilgrims and it is possible that they combined a visit there with one to Ashridge, staying overnight at Piccotts End."

The murals were featured in the BBC2 series The Face of Britain hosted by Simon Schama.

In 1825, what is believed to have been the country’s first 'cottage hospital' was founded on the site by Sir Astley Paston Cooper, renowned surgeon to George IV.

It was known as West Hertford Infirmary and opened on 1 January 1827.

Not often open to the public, you can view the paintings when the cottage opens as part of the annual Heritage Open Days event.


Herts Advertiser: Countryside views across Piccotts End.Countryside views across Piccotts End. (Image: Archant)

Piccotts End is home to many beautiful properties, from medieval cottages to Georgian villas.

Sales of detached properties in Piccotts End had an overall average price of £485,000 over the last year, according to Rightmove.

You can currently buy a fabulous four-bedroom period house for £2million.

This beautifully appointed property comes with three reception rooms, far-reaching views over rolling countryside, and a detached two bay oak framed barn with large loft space above.

The Old Boars Head was originally the village pub, but was converted into a family home in 2012.

The modern décor incorporates country-inspired details such as a large Aga, wood-burning stoves and character features such as exposed beams, wooden double glazed sash windows, brick detailing and the beautifully preserved bar, which include the original beer engines.

A recently decorated detached three-bedroom family house in Mill Close is for sale for £900,000.

Also just on the market is a Grade II-listed three-bedroom cottage for offers in excess of £615,000.

With stunning period features, and unobstructed views to the rear over farmland, you get the impression of living in the countryside while still being a few minutes drive back into Old Town Hemel.

Transport links

Hemel Hempstead station is less than three miles away, with regular services to London Euston taking around half an hour.

Drivers are also ideally placed for commuting north to Luton or south to Watford on the M1, while the M25 is about seven miles away.

There are buses connecting the village to Hemel Hempstead, where Ricky Gervais' Netflix comedy After Life was filmed in Hemel Old Town

Herts Advertiser: Piccotts End in Hertfordshire.Piccotts End in Hertfordshire. (Image: Google Maps)


With no village school, Piccotts End pupils tend to travel to nearby Hemel Hempstead.

Maple Grove, in St Agnell's Lane, Grove Hill, is ‘good’ according to Ofsted rankings, likewise Jupiter Primary School.

Secondary schools are mixed, though John F Kennedy Catholic School and The Astley Cooper School are both rated ‘good’.

Hemel is also home to a handful of independent schools – Abbot’s Hill, Lockers Park and Westbrook Hay.


The Marchmont Arms is a stylish premium pub, bar, and restaurant, centrally located in the heart of Piccotts End.

On the outskirts of Hemel Hempstead, The Marchmont Arms is a beautiful, converted stately home bursting with character.

Inside you will find stylish interiors, spacious bar areas, and a dining space that blends traditional and contemporary design.

The Marchmont Arms serves a selection of freshly prepared pub food, all day and night. The menu offers starters, mains, steaks, burgers, sourdough pizzas, vegan options, scrumptious Sunday roasts, and devilish desserts.

Herts Advertiser: This area guide is sponsored by Frost's, who have offices in St Albans, Marshalswick, Wheathampstead and Harpenden (www.frosts.co.uk/branches)This area guide is sponsored by Frost's, who have offices in St Albans, Marshalswick, Wheathampstead and Harpenden (www.frosts.co.uk/branches) (Image: Archant)