Why move to: Redbourn

Pat Bramley finds out why Redbourn has been labeled as possibly one of the cutest villages around...

DAVID Cameron’s big society was fully functioning in this Hertfordshire village long before the prime minister urged the nation to be more self reliant.

When something needs fixing in Redbourn, the community rallies round. Typical of this attitude was the response when Redbourn cricket club’s pavilion burnt down in 2008.

Club secretary Peter Cridland said, ‘While we waited for the insurance to be sorted out, the people in the village all dipped into their pockets to help us build a new pavilion just in time for the commencement of the new season.

‘It was a fantastic achievement – �75,000 was raised for the club from all the members, parents, residents, life members. It was remarkable. We’re so proud of the village pulling together. Everyone has gone out of their way to help us.’

Redbourn is frequently in the news for all the right reasons. It regularly scoops a prize in the County Council’s village of the year competion, having won the title outright in 2002.

Professional househunter Phil Spencer, presenter of Channel 4’s property show Location, Location, Location absolutely loves the place. He famously said it was ‘quite possibly one of the cutest villages’ he’d ever seen. ‘It has a fantastic village green. People love it. They move here specifically because of the feel of Redbourn and all its amenities.’

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Redbourn’s junior school received an ‘outstanding’ rating from Ofsted at the most recent inspection in 2008. The judges reported: ‘The exceptional quality of the teaching, curriculum and the care, guidance and support all contribute to the outstanding progress that pupils make both in terms of their academic standards and their personal development.’

At the village infant and nursery school, the Early Years Team received Hertfordshire’s Quality Standards Award in March.

The pupils are encouraged from the start to take part in community activities. Last year the young gardeners won the schools category in Redbourn in Bloom and this year a Year 2 pupil won the Village of the Year poster competition.

Getting about

Fast trains from Harpenden Station, a couple of miles away, reach St Pancras International in 25 minutes. Also close by is the M1 which links with the M25 just north of Bricket Wood.

Village life

Redbourn is the home of the Hertfordshire County Show. This year’s event, traditionally held over the last weekend in May at the 70-acre county showground in Dunstable Road, attracted some of the best showjumpers in the country.

The county show is just one event in the annual calendar of festivals and fairs that Redbourn has more clubs and societies and special interest groups than probably any other place of its size in the county.

One of the first ever organised games of cricket in the country was played on Redbourn Common in the 1740s. The present club was formed in 1823. Judging by the lengthy roll call of junior players it’s set to continue its record making tradition for a good few years yet.

The village museum housed in the historic Grade II listed Silk Mill House is staffed by volunteers. This year the museum is embarking on a nine-year project to celebrate the 900th anniversary of Redbourn’s St Mary’s Church. The museum trustees want to involve local children in helping to put together exhibits and events to illustrate village life as it has evolved through the centuries, taking one century at a time.

How much to live here?

An immaculate one-bedroom first floor flat in a Grade II listed period property in the high street – beams, vaulted ceilings, contemporary d�cor – has been for sale through the high street branch of Ashtons for �159,950.

Other properties on the books include:

• One-bed apartment in a country house-style development with nine acres of communal grounds: �175,000

• Modern two-bedroom terrace house with garage in a cul de sac : �245,000

• Three-bedroom modern terraced house in Silk Mill Road: �305,000

• Three-bed, two-bath, two-reception room link-detached house (garage is next to the neighbour’s): �320,000

• Four-bed two-bath semi: �339,950

• Four-bed detached in a cul de sac: �375,000

• Handsome three-bed detached with three baths, two-rec, on Silk Mill Road: �499,950

• Four-bed, three-bath, three-rec recently built house with double storey window at the front: �575,000

• Five-bed, three-bath, four-rec period house on Hemel Hempstead Road: �699,950