More For Your Money: Pitshanger Village, W5

Schools, shops and seclusion
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The Independent Online

You can be forgiven for confusing your Pitshangers. A prominent Ealing landmark, the Pitshanger Manor Museum is located south of Uxbridge Road in Walpole Park.

However, Pitshanger Lane and Pitshanger Park are further north in Ealing, in an area that is increasingly, and justifiably, cited as Pitshanger Village. This compact, leafy suburb has a handsome shopping parade, a historically significant housing estate, and property prices that, for Ealing, are moderate.

The long shopping parade on Pitshanger Lane - "The Lane" - has more than 40 stores, including numerous independent retailers, family-friendly watering holes, and two veteran estate agencies, John Martin and Brendon, each with good local knowledge.

"The shopping is brilliant," says Sue Elliott, who lives just south of The Lane. "We are very lucky to have a good range of shops like a fishmonger, a butcher and a lovely independent bookshop whose owner takes a real interest in the community. There is a decent range of restaurants as well as take-aways, a shoe repair outlet and childrens' clothing shops - just what you need on your doorstep."

Now the chair of the Brentham Heritage Society, Elliott moved to Ealing from north London more than 20 years ago to be with her boyfriend: "We didn't know much about this area but it looked pretty. The shopping parade is great, and schools and transport are good. I have only a 12- to 15-minute walk to Ealing Broadway, and people who live north of me are closer. We have a very lively community scene, and as families grow, it's common to move within the area."

Pitshanger Village contains about 3,000 households, according to the Pitshanger Community Association. That total includes the approximately 650 houses of the Brentham Garden Estate, which occupies the roads running between Pitshanger Lane and Meadvale Road. A predecessor to the better known Hampstead Garden Suburb in north London, it was the first "co-partnership" garden suburb: the tenants all owned shares in the company.

Initially, Brentham consisted of 100 typical Edwardian terraces built between 1901 and 1906, but over the years, more land was acquired, and different architects with different visions were hired. Later houses have dramatically different designs, but the estate never aimed for cookie-cutter uniformity, and the overall appearance is harmonious. Brentham Garden Estate was designated a conservation area in 1969. "These houses command a premium of between five to 10 percent, primarily because of their uniqueness," says agent John Martin.

What properties are available in Pitshanger Village?

Three- and four-bed Victorian and Edwardian houses predominate, and purpose-built flats outnumber conversions. The 1960s Templewood Estate has studios and one- and two-bed flats. Former parkland has yielded five new detached houses, selling for around £500,000.

What about flats?

A one-bed flat in a modern three-storey block on Buckingham Close is £185,000 at Sinton Andrews (Gary Sinton has lived in "Pitshanger Village" for 36 years and does not deny concocting the nickname). Agents Grimshaw are selling two-bed flats in low-rise blocks for £252,500 and £279,000, and a purpose-built maisonette on Castlebar Park, £295,000.

And houses?

In the Brentham Garden Estate, three-bed houses - some with garages - generally sell for between £415,000 and £475,000. A five-bed (two in the loft) terrace on Meadvale Road is £539,950 at Sinton. Elsewhere in Pitshanger Village, four-bed Edwardian terraces generally sell for between £465,000 and £539,950. In comparison, Grimshaw is selling a six-bedroom detached house further west on Cleveland Road for £1.1m.

How's the transport?

Ealing Broadway station has District and Central Line tube and national rail service on the Paddington-Reading line, and a suburban line calling at Castle Bar Park and Greenford. Two buses link Pitshanger with Ealing Broadway. The glory of this area is the fast access to the A40 and the North Circular to the M4.

How good are the local schools?

Very good indeed. St Gregory's Roman Catholic Primary School on Woodfield Road scored 96 per cent or better in English, maths and science, and North Ealing Primary School on Pitshanger Lane in the Brentham Estate scored 95, 90 and 97 per cent (the national averages are 78, 74 and 86). The independent Cleveland Road Notting Hill and Ealing High secondary scored 100 per cent for GCSEs (the national average is 54). A Montessori school is located in the Brentham Club.

What about the great outdoors?

Pitshanger Park has tennis courts, sports pitches, bowling greens, and picnic areas. Backing on to the park in Meadvale Road, and housed in the 1910 Grade-II-listed Brentham Institute, the Brentham Club offers tennis, cricket, football, bowls, snooker, darts and bridge. Ealing golf course is on the other side of the River Brent, and Perivale and Sudbury golf clubs are nearby.

And one for the pub quiz...

The postcode ends on many Pitshanger street signs are missing. Why?

They were lopped off during the Second World War to thwart the scent of Germans who might invade. On 20 August 1944 a bomb destroyed 26 houses on the Brentham Estate.

Brendon, 020 8998 6500; John Martin Estates, 020 8 998 3333; Sinton Andrews, 020 8566 1990; Grimshaw, 020 8992 5661

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