A detailed understanding of intestinal stem cell (ISC) self-renewal and differentiation is required to treat chronic intestinal diseases. However, the different models of ISC lineage hierarchy1-6 and segregation7-12 are subject to debate. Here, we have discovered non-canonical Wnt/planar cell polarity (PCP)-activated ISCs that are primed towards the enteroendocrine or Paneth cell lineage. Strikingly, integration of time-resolved lineage labelling with single-cell gene expression analysis revealed that both lineages are directly recruited from ISCs via unipotent transition states, challenging the existence of formerly predicted bi- or multipotent secretory progenitors7-12. Transitory cells that mature into Paneth cells are quiescent and express both stem cell and secretory lineage genes, indicating that these cells are the previously described Lgr5+ label-retaining cells7. Finally, Wnt/PCP-activated Lgr5+ ISCs are molecularly indistinguishable from Wnt/β-catenin-activated Lgr5+ ISCs, suggesting that lineage priming and cell-cycle exit is triggered at the post-transcriptional level by polarity cues and a switch from canonical to non-canonical Wnt/PCP signalling. Taken together, we redefine the mechanisms underlying ISC lineage hierarchy and identify the Wnt/PCP pathway as a new niche signal preceding lateral inhibition in ISC lineage priming and segregation.