Ashwell & Morden
ASHWELL & MORDEN The station is too far outside the village to walk, so parking spaces are keenly contested. Waiting to be picked up is no great hardship, though, since there is a country pub right opposite the station. Ashwell is a commuter dormitory that manages to retain a ferociously active village social life. There is a playgroup, a day nursery, a stage school and a dance school, and every year the Ashwell Show grows less like a village flower show and more like a county horse show. It really is the chic village to live on this prairie. The attraction lies in its sense of complete self-containment and in the preservation of its architecture. Timber-framed cottages, some cob, are followed by dignified Georgian town houses. It has a pretty church in clunch and flint, and a primary school that is not only highly thought of educationally, but is also a social engine to the village. It has a bakery, three pubs, an award-winning butcher, a pharmacy, a doctor’s surgery, a dentist, a weaver and a potter. There is also the Ashwell Village Museum, housed in an ancient timber-frame cottage and run entirely by volunteers. People expect their houses to sell at a premium in Ashwell, so you have to be ready for this when you go house-hunting. A two-up-two-down here might cost £250,000 – considerably more than it would fetch a few miles away in Royston. A four-bedroom cottage will cost £500,000.
Kelshall sits in the foothills of the Chilterns, with views right across Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. It is an extremely well-kept and close-knit village. A four-bedroom detached house around £400,000. Therfield is another proud old Chilterns village whose agricultural heritage goes back a very long way, as the long barrows on Therfield Heath testify. A two-bedroom ex-local authority homes will cost £250,000; a four-bedroom house around £400,000.