Why it's time to move to Buntingford

PUBLISHED: 10:32 15 August 2011 | UPDATED: 02:55 10 February 2013

Village sign

Village sign

Community spirit and tradition are just two of the reasons people choose to move to the popular town of Buntingford, as Pat Bramley discovers...

SURELY it says a lot about the quality of life in a town when local traders retain the tradition of half-day closing. Not all shops in Buntingford close on Wednesday afternoons but a fair percentage of the independents still give their staff the rest of the day off.

This small friendly market town has a close knit community working together to support good causes and give the place a buzz. One of this years highlights was the street party stretching down the high street, with its medieval and Georgian buildings lining the conservation area, organised by the Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the Royal Wedding.

Businesswoman Lynn Pugh-Williams, who has lived and worked in the area for 25 years and is now a negotiator at the high street office of the Keith Ian estate agency partnership, says Buntingford is a town with a soul.


The quality of state schools in the town is a major draw for families. Millfield First and Nursery School, Layston C of E First School, Edwinstree C of E Middle and Freman College, the upper school and sixth form college, all have an excellent reputation. Private schools in the area include two co-eds a short drive down the A10. St Edmunds College and Prep School at Ware is Englands oldest Catholic school. Duncombe Prep School near Hertford accepts pupils as young as two.


The A10 between London and Cambridge has been bringing visitors to Buntingford since the days of the stage coach. Queen Elizabeth I sought welcome relief from a bumpy trip north one memorable occasion by accepting the hospitality of the owners of what is now the Bell House Gallery, thereby avoiding the hoi polloi gathered at The Angel Inn, the popular staging post in the town that in modern times became a dental practice.

Buntingfords branch line station closed in the 1960s, a victim of the Beeching Cuts. Commuters can drive to nearby Royston or Ware.

Shopping and other amenities

Monday is market day with a wide variety of stalls as well as fruit and veg. The shopping centre has a good number of independently owned businesses including a family-run bakery, two butchers shops, three florists, a Budgens franchise, an opticians, a deli, several fashion shops and a superb coffee shop and tearoom. Not forgetting, of course, Buntingford Brewery. The two clocks in the town centre are local landmarks one is a one-handed clock dating from the 16th century, the other is a four-sided clock which chimes on the hour.

Buntingfords Civic Society is working with MPs to set up an all party parliamentary group of civic societies to help preserve the sense of pride in heritage buildings and monuments.

Locally there are many facilities and organisations to foster the community spirit Cougars youth football club with teams for all age groups; the dramatic society which gives all its profits to a charity set up to improve the lifestyle of the less able in the town; the swimming pool at Freman College which is open to the public; the two playing fields and the recreation field.

How much to live here

Over the last 25 years, Buntingford has expanded considerably. Fortunately most people agree the recent development hasnt swamped the charm of what makes it such a delightful place to live. Houses on the modern estates are well designed three and four bedroom detached homes which sell for 400,000-500,000. You can expect to pay around 280,000 for a semi, marginally under 200,000 for a small cottage and about 175,000 for a starter home. Even historic properties in the central conservation area can be picked up for less than half a million, without parking.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Chris Gladstone

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Hertfordshire Life