Area Guide: The historic Hertfordshire village of Piccotts End

PUBLISHED: 08:41 14 August 2020 | UPDATED: 09:04 14 August 2020

A period home in Piccotts End. Picture: Archant

A period home in Piccotts End. Picture: Archant

Archant

While it has a Hemel Hempstead postcode of HP1, lush greenery keeps Piccotts End firmly apart from the nearby town’s urban sprawl. We found out more about this picturesque Chiltern village.

The cottage is believed to have been used as a half-way house for those on pilgrimage between Ashridge and St Albans Abbey. Picture: ArchantThe cottage is believed to have been used as a half-way house for those on pilgrimage between Ashridge and St Albans Abbey. Picture: Archant

Situated on the River Gade, Piccotts End is home to many beautiful properties, from medieval cottages to Georgian villas.

There is only one home currently on the market in the village, a refurbished three-bed house on Piccotts End Road. The modern home boasts views over open fields, and has an asking price of £765,000.

Famous residents include Radio 3 presenter Penny Gore, while former MP Robin Corbett – Lord Corbett of Castlevale – lived in the village from 1966 until his death in 2012.

River Gade, Piccotts End. Picture: ArchantRiver Gade, Piccotts End. Picture: Archant

History

A major village attraction is the Piccotts End Paintings. Found on the walls of the Grade I listed cottage at 132 Piccotts End in 1953, they date back to the 15th century.

They depict various Biblical images such as the baptism of Jesus and The Virgin Mary holding the body of Christ in front of the cross.

It’s thought that pilgrims travelling between Ashridge and St Albans Abbey used to stay at the house.

Countryside views across Picotts End. Picture: ArchantCountryside views across Picotts End. Picture: Archant

In 1825, what is believed to have been England’s first cottage hospital was founded on the site by Sir Astley Paston Cooper, surgeon to George IV. It was known as West Hertford Infirmary.

Transport links

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

Picotts End Farm. Picture: ArchantPicotts End Farm. Picture: Archant

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Drivers are also ideally placed for commuting north to Luton or south to Watford on the M1, while the M25 is also close at hand.

Schools

A striking property in Picotts End. Picture: ArchantA striking property in Picotts End. Picture: Archant

With no village school, Piccotts End pupils tend to travel to Hemel. The closest schools are of varying quality, with a mixture of ‘good’ and ‘requires improvement’ Ofsted rankings. Maple Grove and Jupiter Community Free School both fall into the former camp.

Secondary schools are similarly 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.

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)

Pubs

The Marchmont Arms is a popular pub and restaurant on the edge of the village. The attractive 18th century building was once the home of Lord Marchmont, and its huge windows and striking, modern décor make it an attractive place to eat and drink.

The pub offers a varied menu of hearty meals and light bites, real ales and a large, child-friendly garden.

The Boar’s Head was the original village pub for a century, though it closed for good in 2010 and is now a family home.

Entertainment

There is a strong sense of community within the village, which is harnessed by the Piccotts End Residents’ Association (PERA). Set up by a group of newcomers to the village, it organises a range of well-attended events, including a summer garden party, a fireworks party and a ‘safari supper’, in which members of the community go house to house to enjoy a home cooked meal by the host.


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