Bushey (population 24,000) is a town in the
Hertsmere borough of
Hertfordshire in the East of England.
Bushey Heath is a large
neighbourhood south east of
Bushey on the boundary with the London
Borough of Harrow reaching elevations of 165 metres (541 ft)
above sea level.
1.1 Stories, legends and folklore
2 Local government
3 Modern day
5 Herkomer's Art School
6 Film Studios
7 Notable people
8 Twin town
9 See also
10 Nearest places
12 External links
The first written record of
Bushey is an account in the Domesday Book,
which describes a small agricultural village named 'Bissei' (which
later became 'Biss(h)e' and then 'Bisheye' during the 12th century).
However, chance archaeological findings of
Stone Age tools provide
evidence that the area was inhabited as far back as the Palaeolithic
period. The town also has links to the Roman occupation of Britain,
with the main road running through it being Roman; sites of possible
Roman villas being unearthed in the area; and a Roman tessellated
pavement was discovered near Chiltern Avenue.
The origin of the town's name is not fully known. In terms of the
original name, "Bissei," an early theory in Reverend J.B. Johnstone's
book The Place-Names of
England and Wales states that it may have
meant "Byssa's Isle," and it started life as a lake-village surrounded
by marshes, streams and lakes. A more modern theory (but less
romantic) is that it is simply derived from the Old English word bysce
and Old French boisseie, meaning a 'place covered with wood'. The
latter theory could prove more apt, as the town is located in the
valleys which extend southwards from the Chiltern Hills, which were
once covered in dense forests of oak, elm, ash, hazel and juniper.
Bushey Heath's story begins in the
Napoleonic Wars during a large food
shortage. To help solve the problem, the government awarded the waste
land to the east of
Bushey landowners to be used as farming;
the land was more generally known as
Bushey Common. Whilst the
original aim was to produce food, being close to a railway and up to
500 ft above sea level with beautiful and broad views made the area
attractive for housing developers.
St. James's Church, Bushey
The 19th and 20th centuries marked the time of most change in Bushey,
especially between 1860 and 1960. The population rose 28-fold within
200 years, from 856 in 1801, to just under 24,000 today. The expansion
was for many reasons, one of the main ones being due to the boom in
industry caused by the railway in the early 20th century. A result was
that many new jobs were created in and around Watford, and in the
early 1920s, Bushey's first council houses were built. More housing
was later built for the service families working in defence
Stanmore and Northwood. The expansion eventually died
down because much of the land in and around
Bushey was protected under
Metropolitan Green Belt
Metropolitan Green Belt after the Second World War.
This same Green Belt legislation was also partly responsible for the
abandonment of the pre-war
Bushey Heath extension as part
of the Northern Heights programme of the
Northern line underground
Metropolitan Green Belt
Metropolitan Green Belt put great restrictions on new
development, and the plan was to use the new railway to stimulate new
housing around the new route; without the new housing the route was
deemed no longer viable. However, as work was advanced at the onset of
war, the depot was completed for use as bomber manufacture, and
Second World War
Second World War and Green Belt coming into force, it
was converted into the
Aldenham bus depot (of Cliff Richard's Summer
Holiday fame), which it remained until 1985, when it became derelict.
It was redeveloped in 1996 and is now the Centennial Park Industrial
Estate (51°38′24″N 0°18′31″W / 51.639954°N
0.308561°W / 51.639954; -0.308561).
Bushey Heath station would
have been located at the intersection of
Elstree Road and Northwestern
Avenue (51°38′33″N 0°19′12″W / 51.64245°N
0.3200°W / 51.64245; -0.3200). Conceptual plans existed in the
Act of Parliament
Act of Parliament for an
Watford railway that would
have seen the railway extended at a later date though
and on to
Watford market, but even less came of that than the
Bushey Heath stretch.
The highest point in the historic county of
Middlesex was in Bushey
Heath on the border between
Middlesex at the
junction of the A4140 and the A409. At 153 m (502 ft) above sea level,
the grid reference was TQ 152937.
Stories, legends and folklore
The lack of farming in
Bushey Heath meant that it was a heavily wooded
area up to the 18th century, and this, added to the lack of street
lighting and police, meant that
Bushey Heath's history is full of
tales of thieves, highwaymen and even murder. According to Grant
Longman's Robberies on
Bushey Heath, the road from
Bushey Heath to
Stanmore is said to be where the highwaymen lurked, ready to raid the
dozen or so caravans that passed through
Bushey Heath daily, carrying
money from trade in London. Before venturing through the pass, parties
of travellers and merchants would form at the Boot Inn at
the Three Crowns at
Bushey Heath so they didn't have to venture
through the pass alone. Although one of the highwaymen responsible for
the attacks is rumoured to have been the notorious Dick Turpin,
evidence suggests that he was in fact more active in the region of
Bushey was an ancient civil parish. It was subdivided by the Local
Government Act 1894 into two: the part which was within the Watford
urban district became the '
Bushey Urban' parish, in the
District, and the part which was outside became '
Bushey Rural' parish.
Subsequently, in 1906, the
Bushey Urban parish was renamed Oxhey, and
Bushey Rural parish became the parish of
Bushey in the Bushey
High Street, Bushey
Despite being close to London and having
Watford on its doorstep
Bushey retains the feeling of a small town and this is reinforced with
events such as the
Bushey Festival and quarter marathon which is held
each July and the Horticultural Society's flower and produce show.
Being located near several film studios at
Elstree and Borehamwood,
Bushey Heath frequently feature as backdrops for many film
and TV shows. Most notable is a bus scene in the
Cannon and Ball film,
and in the 1957 film Lucky Jim. Several historic buildings in Bushey,
notably the old Royal Masonic School for Boys, later the International
University, in the Avenue, have been used in films over a long period
of time, including, Nuns on the Run, Out of Bounds, Children of Men
and Harry Potter. and also the comedy series Little Britain. It has
also been the set for several television series, including Monty
Python's Flying Circus and Little Britain. This site is currently
being redeveloped for residential usage, with the 1960s additions to
the site having been demolished.
Many of The Avengers episodes include location shots around the Bushey
area, and the latter half of the Confessions of a Driving Instructor
is entirely shot on the roads between
Elstree and Bushey, finishing in
the car dump at '
The University of London, located in the
Bushey area has been used in
the filming of BBC's
Grange Hill and also for various other
programmes, such as family business. Pupils from local schools
Bushey Hall and
Bushey Meads have taken part as extras in
productions such as My Dad's the Prime Minister.
Bushey Heath is home to a duck pond, (Warren Lake) which was restored
in 1992 after falling into dereliction.
The area contains a mix of primary schools and linked infants and
junior schools (see schools in Bushey).
The state secondary schools are Queens' School,
Bushey Meads School
Bushey Academy (also known as
Bushey Hall), of which the first two
generally do well in comparison with other schools in the county.
Bushey is also the site of the famous Purcell School, a school for
young musicians well known for turning out many successful musicians.
It was formerly the Royal Caledonian School. There are also two
private girls' schools, St. Hilda's and St Margaret's in the area.
Herkomer's Art School
Hubert Herkomer was a poor immigrant from Bavaria, who moved to Bushey
in 1874, and ended life in 1914 as Sir
Hubert von Herkomer
Hubert von Herkomer RA CVO.
Herkomer had visited a friend who lived in
Bushey in 1873, and
returned to rent a pair of cottages and a studio near Melbourne Road.
He founded Herkomer's Art School at
Bushey in 1883, which, in its
21-year life, attracted some 500 students to the area, some of whom
stayed after establishing their own studios. Their paintings are on
display in the
Bushey Museum. A street, Herkomer Road, was named in
At around 1888, he built
Lululaund (51°38′38″N 0°21′38″W
/ 51.643908°N 0.36065°W / 51.643908; -0.36065), a 'Bavarian
castle', which was named after his second wife Lulu Griffiths. After
being married for only a year she died.
Lululaund dominated the Bushey
skyline until 1939 when it was almost entirely demolished; a lot of
the building was used as hardcore for
Bovingdon Airfield, and much of
the woodwork and carvings from the castle were burnt.
In 2014 the surviving remnant of
Lululaund was converted into luxury
Sir Hubert is mainly remembered as an artist today, but in his time he
was a polymath, becoming involved in some of the earliest film
productions in Europe, and starting a series of races and time trials
for cars in Germany.
In 1904 Herkomer closed his school and sold the building. The school
was re-opened in 1905 on the same site by the artist Lucy Kemp-Welch
Bushey School of Painting. In 1912 Herkomer bought back the
school building and demolished it. A rose garden was laid out on the
site to a design by T.H. Mawson. It is listed grade II on the
Register of Parks and Gardens.
There is a gallery named after Kemp-Welch close to the village church.
It is more usually used as a village hall today, with occasional
exhibitions such as one in September 2006 by students from the Chelsea
College of Art.
Bushey Film Studios in Melbourne Road were originally built by Hubert
Herkomer and operated between 1913 and 1985. For much of its existence
the studios focused on low-budget productions.
Bill Kerr, Actor and radio broadcaster lived in the high street. He
starred as Flight Lieutenant H. B. "Micky" Martin, pilot of "Popsie"
in the Dam Busters
R. D. Blackmore, novelist, lived briefly in Bushey
Freddie Bunce, footballer
Dave Cash, disc jockey, born in Bushey
Helen Cherry, actor, born in Bushey
Peter Copley, actor, born in Bushey
Oliver Dowden, Member of Parliament for Hertsmere
John Gale, poker player
Divina Galica, skier and racing driver, born in
Phil Gillies, Canadian politician, born in Bushey
Hubert von Herkomer, artist, owner of Lululaund
Shirlie Holliman, musician, of Pepsi & Shirlie, attended Bushey
Tom Howard, Oscar-winning film special effects man, lived in Bushey
from 1946 until his death in 1985
Lucy Kemp-Welch, artist
Simon Le Bon, musician, Duran Duran, born in Bushey
A. E. Matthews, character actor, lived in
Bushey until his death. He
has a blue plaque in Little
George Michael, musician, attended
Bushey Meads School
Dr Thomas Monro, Principal Physician of Bedlam and who attended on
King George III
King George III in his last illness, settled his family here in the
Tony O'Malley, musician, born in Bushey
Josef Perl, Holocaust survivor, lives in Bushey
Sid Phillips, musician, band leader, lived in
Simon Phillips, musician, drummer Toto, lived in
Roy Plomley, radio presenter, created
Desert Island Discs
Desert Island Discs whilst
living in a cottage at Little
Michael Portillo, journalist, broadcaster and former politician, born
Mark Ramprakash, cricketer, born in Bushey
William Hurst Rees, surveyor
Andrew Ridgeley, musician, Wham, attended
Bushey Meads School
Michèle Roberts, writer
Gilbert Taylor, cinematographer, born in
Henry Wylde, conductor and musician
Bushey has been twinned with German town
Landsberg am Lech
Landsberg am Lech in Bavaria
(Southern Germany) for its historical link. To Landsberg belonged the
native village, Waal, of artist Herkomer detailed above. The towns
retain links for mayoral duties and school exchange trips.
Bushey railway station
Bushey Hall Golf Club
Patchetts Green and Letchmore Heath
Elstree Aerodrome, Hilfield Park Reservoir, Aldenham
Reservoir and Elstree
Merry Hill, 76 ha. woodland managed by the Woodland Trust, Haydon Hill
then Carpenders Park
(across Hartsbourne Golf & Country Club; Grim's Ditch; Harrow
Stanmore Common and Bentley Priory
^ OS Explorer Map 173, 2010 edition
^ MONUMENT NO. 398249 Archived 6 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.,
Pastscape, retrieved 27 Mat 2012
Bushey Rose Garden, Latest News".
Hertsmere Council. Archived from
the original on 18 April 2009. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
^ "The History of the Rose Garden".
Hertsmere Council. Archived from
the original on 22 April 2009. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
Bushey Rose Garden". Parks and Leisure.
Hertsmere Borough Council.
Archived from the original on 24 August 2014. Retrieved 24 August
^ "Rose Garden, Bushey". Historic England.
Youngs, FA (1991) . Guide to the Local Administrative Units of
England. 1 (of 2). London: Royal Historical Society.
William Page, ed. (1908). "Parishes: Bushey". A History of the County
of Hertford: volume 2. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 28
Spotlight on Bushey
Bushey Heath Pub Guide
Images related to
Bushey Heath station
Bushey Rose Garden[permanent dead link]
Ceremonial county of Hertfordshire
Boroughs or districts
Borough of Broxbourne
Borough of Dacorum
District of East Hertfordshire
Borough of Hertsmere
District of North Hertfordshire
City and District of St Albans
Borough of Stevenage
District of Three Rivers
Borough of Watford
Welwyn Garden City
See also: List of civil parishes in Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire County Council
European Parliament constituency
Settlements by population
Grade I listed buildings
Grade II* listed buildings
King George V Playing Fields
Civil parishes of Hertfordshire
Nettleden with Potten End
Brent Pelham and Meesden
Buckland and Chipping
Eastwick and Gilston
Stanstead St Margarets
Elstree and Borehamwood
Caldecote and Newnham
Clothall and Luffenhall
Rushden and Wallington
St Paul's Walden
Letchworth Garden City
Ayot St Lawrence
Ayot St Peter
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