Why it's time to move to Brookmans Park
PUBLISHED: 16:55 15 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:13 20 February 2013
Beautiful homes, great schools and an excellent location - Pat Bramley soon discovers why Brookmans Park is so popular
NORMALLY you could expect to pay at least half a million for a family home in Brookmans Park - an affluent village close to Potters Bar - though, like everywhere else, values have been trimmed back recently.
The village is best known nationally for the BBC transmitting station which is part of radio and television history. People who live close to the radio transmitter have been known to tune into music through their radiators, toasters and waste bins, although improved technology has probably put paid to most of that fun.
The late Dame Barbara Cartland lived in Brookmans Park. She wrote her best selling romantic novels at Camfield Place, her private estate. The estate was also the summer residence of writer Beatrix Potter.
Carolyn Harvey at the local office of Statons, says the entry level for a three-bedroom semi in the village this autumn is about 450,000, not a lot less expensive than before. 'Detached family homes start from around 500,000 and go up to way over a million,' she reports.
'In the last four months we've sold several properties for more than a million. Confidence is beginning to come back to the market.'
There are three primary schools in the area and two secondary schools: one state and one independent.
Brookmans Park Primary School has a spider's web incorporated into its badge on account of the local association with Miss Muffat of nursery rhyme fame. The story goes that at some point in the 16th century a doctor's family in the village invited a poet to spend Christmas with them. During his stay, Dr Thomas Muffat's young daughter mentioned the spider which had frightened her while she was eating her curds and whey.
Chancellors, the local comprehensive, gets a good report in the county league tables. Queenswood, the private option for girls between 11 and 18, is also highly regarded. Fees range from 7,985 a term for boarders and from 6,155 a term for day pupils.
Peak hour trains from Brookmans Park Station take 40 minutes into Moorgate and half an hour into King's Cross. The village is equidistant from the A1000 Hatfield Road - the Great North Road - to the west and the A1 (M) to the east.
Shopping and leisure
Brookmans Park is one of the few villages still lucky enough to have a traditional butcher's, baker's, greengrocer's, fishmonger, post office and a library. There's also a Co-op, dry cleaners, several hairdressers and beauticians and a good choice of places to eat out including Brookmans bar, restaurant and deli and Indian and Chinese restaurants and takeaways.
As for leisure activities, there is a golf club, tennis club and chess club, among others, as well as plenty of things to do for free with all that lovely countryside on your doorstep.