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About Cottered

Cottered is a small, ancient village with a big, modern heart. We are a thriving community of people of all age groups, with a peaceful rural existence which is enlivened by the benefits of modern technology. Our homes range from beautiful 15th century thatched cottages to stylish modern dwellings. Situated on the A507, it gives great access to both Luton and Stanstead ariports, as well as to the A1(M) and M11 motorways and broadens our horizons beyond our modest boundaries. Stevenage main-line high speed rail link to London or Peteborough and the North is only 20 minutes away.

 

History

The village of Cottered is believed to date from Saxon times and is mentioned in the Domesday Book along with Throcking and Broadfield, that together currently make up the present parish of over 3,000 acres. In early times Cottered became divided into two Manors – Cheynes and Cottered Lordship. In time the Manor of Broadfield was combined with the latter, but Throcking retained its own manor until more recent times. Each of these parishes once had its own church, but Broadfield's was destroyed by fire in the mid-15th century.

Two Roman roads border the village: Ermine Street marks the eastern boundary and Stane Street the western one. Most of the old village dwellings are timber-framed and at least 30 are still kept warm and dry by picturesque thatched roofs.

The old manor house The Lordship, dates from the 15th century and still retains part of its moat. The house was in recent times the home for some years of Major Gwilym Lloyd-George, the respected Prime Minister's son who himself became Home Secretary.

For centuries a good living was obtained from the land and, as in many country areas, this provided plenty of work for the many farm labourers. Now some residents work outside the parish in nearby towns or commute to London and bringing a broader perspective to Cottered's small community. But with the coming of Broadband telecommunications many businesses are now run from homes in the village, ensuring the spirit of Cottered remains vibrant.

 

Environment

Cottered is to be found in one of the most beautiful parts of rural Hertfordshire, and on numerous occasions has been judged a winner in Hertfordshire's 'Best Village' competition, most recently winning in important categories in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

We are renowned for our picturesque village greens, our ancient church and our equally ancient dwellings, many of which are listed. We have an abundance of beautiful trees and a state-of-the-art village hall adjacent to our spacious recreation ground with its football and cricket pitches, petanque piste and childrens playground.

Under our farmers' countryside-stewardship wildlife flourishes: skylarks, hares, badgers, deer and owls prosper in our arable fields and pastureland, whose many footpaths are regularly used by our local and visiting ramblers.

 

 

Business

Small as we are, we have several businesses. Our farmers not only grow crops and rear cattle: they also run a haulage company; host an airstrip to welcome private aviators; and restore classic cars. The Meeting House Boarding Kennels are bordered by a hedge laid in traditional fashion by a local craftsman. Warren Nursery helps gardeners bring colour to Cottered. Many residents work locally – gardening, landscaping, consulting. The Bull at Cottered, called ‘a charming country pub' by Restaurant-Guide.com, was favourably reviewed by the Times restaurant critic, Michael Winner.

 

People

We number only about 500 but we are passionate sportspeople: through excellent motivational management our young football team ranks highly in their league. Thirty-two villagers compete in our weekly carpet bowls society, and our smart new village hall – a pinnacle of fundraising achievement – attracts county-wide bowls matches. We have a strong petanque following; we play badminton and cricket. We even have our own golf society.

Children thrive here, with new playground equipment secured by the Playground Committee. The Hertfordshire Guide Centre attracts youngsters from afar and hosts our pre-school Jumping Jacks, rated ‘outstanding' by Ofsted.

Our Horticultural Society regularly visits fine gardens for ideas, and its annual show receives several hundred enthusiastic entries.

Visitors number 4-5,000 at our legendary Village Festival at which our best gardens are opened to the public, including the renowned Japanese Garden. This annual celebration of Cottered which has taken place for more than 25 years, also hosts the 750 Motor Club classic rally.

Our Royal British Legion branch is hugely respected, and Remembrance Day is a solemn event here.

Murder-mystery plays, wine-tastings, fashion shows and outdoor theatre all raise funds for our 14th -century Church, and we have an ancient Quaker burial ground.

Communications

The excellent bi-monthly Cottered News , at £3 per year, is a bulletin for upcoming events, profiles and recollections. Our local historian and photographerm Neville Chuck has published Glimpses of Cottered : a village history.

And www.cottered.org helps us to reach beyond our boundaries to those who have yet to discover us!


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