ELSTREE /ˈɛlztri/ is a village in the
Hertsmere borough of
Hertfordshire , England, on the former A5 road, which followed the
Watling Street , approximately thirteen miles northwest of
London . In 2011, its population was 5,110. It forms part of
the civil parish of
Elstree and Borehamwood , originally known simply
The village often lends its shorter name to businesses and amenities
in the adjacent town of
Borehamwood , and the names of
Borehamwood are used interchangeably.
Elstree is perhaps best known
Elstree Film Studios , where a number of famous British films
were made, and the
BBC Elstree Centre , where the TV soap opera
EastEnders is made; these are both located in Borehamwood.
The local newspaper is the
Elstree Times. Together
with Borehamwood, the village is twinned with
Offenburg in Germany and
Fontenay-aux-Roses in France.
* 1 Transport
Borehamwood railway station
* 1.2 Road links
London Transport works
* 2 Buildings
* 2.1 Grade II listed buildings
* 2.2 Laura Ashley The Manor Hotel
* 2.3 Other buildings
* 2.4 Schools
* 2.5 Earlier schools
* 3 Recreation
* 3.1 Sport
* 3.2 Leisure
* 3.3 Business and local services
* 3.4 Synagogues
* 3.5 Parks
* 4 Climate
* 5 History
* 5.1 Etymology
* 5.2 5th century: Battle of Ailestreu (Elstree)
* 5.3 16th – 18th centuries
* 6 Murders
Martha Ray murder
* 6.2 The
Elstree murder of William Weare
* 6.3 The
Elstree murder of Eliza Ebborn
* 7 Administrative districts
Elstree Rural District
* 8 Clubs, societies and organisations
* 9 References in the media
* 10 Notable residents
* 11 References
* 12 Bibliography
* 12.1 Books
* 12.2 Journals
* 13 External links
ELSTREE "> 27 March 1954 Northbound steam train passing through
Borehamwood railway station.
Elstree 655 m) paved runway, suitable most for light aircraft and
turbine powered G A aircraft. It also is one of the main helicopter
centres for North
London and is extending its provision in this area.
In the early 1930s it was a grass landing strip for the local Aldenham
House country club. A concrete runway was put down during World War
II , and Wellington Bombers were modified here.
On 29 November 1975, retired F1 race car driver and
Embassy Hill car
Graham Hill and his racing driver
Tony Brise were piloting a
twin-engine six-seat Piper PA-23-250 Aztec (N6645Y) from France to
London with four additional team members aboard. All six were killed
when it crashed and burned in heavy fog on Arkley Golf Course, 3 miles
(5 km) short of the runway.
LONDON TRANSPORT WORKS
Aldenham Works was sited on the edge of Elstree
close to the A41; it was opened in 1956, closed in 1986, and
demolished in 1996. It is now a large business park.
Originally a 19th-century steam ship owned by the Houlder Brothers ,
the town also lends its name to a series of ships called the Elstree
Grange (rebuilt 1916, 1944, 1979), at one time sunk during the Second
World War .
GRADE II LISTED BUILDINGS
Holly Bush public house (15th century) House at Elstree
E.J. May , and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1887.
Elstree is home to a number of Grade II listed buildings , including
some at Grade II* (particularly important buildings), such as:
* Holly Bush public house (15th century)
Aldenham House and stable block (c.1672)
* The Leys, built in 1901 by Scottish architect and designer, George
Henry Walton .
LAURA ASHLEY THE MANOR HOTEL
Laura Ashley The Manor Hotel, formerly known as the Edgwarebury
Hotel, is located on Barnet Lane, and operated by
Corus Hotels . The
Tudor-style building dates back to 1540, was converted into a hotel in
the 1960s, and has featured in many TV and film productions, such as
Hammer Horror classic, The Devil Rides Out . Notable guests
Peter Sellers ,
Tom Cruise ,
John Cleese and Stanley
Kubrick . It was the country home of armaments manufacturer and First
Baronet Sir (Arthur)
Trevor Dawson , (1866–1931).
A house in
Elstree designed by architect Edward John May
(1853–1941) was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1887. St Nicholas
Parish Church was designed by English architect Philip Charles
Elstree is home to
Aldenham School , and Haberdashers\' Aske\'s
Boys\' School , both independent public schools (ie. fee-paying),
Haberdashers\' Aske\'s School for Girls , and St Nicholas Church of
England V.A Primary School.
Since the 1780s, a private school has been located in Elstree.
Elstree School , a boys' preparatory school, was located in Elstree
from 1848 until 1938 before moving to
the outbreak of the
Second World War
Second World War .
Hillside School was located in
Elstree between 1874 and 1886, before
Dorset House School in 1905, (not to be confused
with Hillside School in nearby Borehamwood.)
Elstree Cricket Club was formed in 1878, but no longer play in the
Herts Saracens League. 18-hole Radlett Park Golf Club was founded in
1984, having recently being renamed from
Elstree Golf The Shtiebel,
an ultra-orthodox synagogue, and The Liberal Synagogue Elstree, just
south of St. Nicholas' Church.
Tykes Water bridge
Aldenham Country Park is both a recreational facility and a breeding
centre for rare livestock . Section 15 of the
London Loop walk passes
by. In 1873 nearby Tykes Water stream was dammed in order to create
Tykes Water lake. Tykes Water Bridge features in the open credits to
Peter Cushing and
Christopher Lee film, Dracula A.D. 1972 , and
used in several episodes of the Diana Rigg and Linda Thorson seasons
of The Avengers , including the final Thorson opening titles.
The dam was built in 1795 by French prisoners of war. English
watercolour landscape painter John Hassell writes: "At the top of
Stanmore Hill we enter on Bushy Heath, and at some distance on the
right in the valley catch a view of the celebrated reservoir, the
property of the Grand Junction Company, on Aidenham Common, at the
foot of the village of Elstree. This noble sheet of water occupies a
space of considerable extent on the verge of Aidenham Common, which
thirty years ago was a barren waste; here the improvements in
agriculture are indeed conspicuous, for at this place a poor, sandy,
meagre, wretched soil has now by good husbandry been converted into
rich pasturage. "The reservoir has all the appearance of a lake; and
when the timber that surrounds it shall have arrived at maturity, it
will be a most delightful spot. From this immense sbeet of water, in
event of drought or a deficiency of upland waters, the lower parts of
the Grand Junction and the Paddington Canals can have an immediate
supply. The feeder from this reservoir enters the main stream near
Rickmansworth, above Batchworth Mills, and supplies the millers' below
with 300 locks of water, to whose interest the Duke of Northumberland
is a perpetual trustee."
In 1886, the
Photographic Society of Great Britain featured an
exhibition of photos of
Elstree Reservoir by Edgar Clifton. During
World War I
World War I , then Major
Keith Caldwell with No. 74 Squadron RAF, used
Elstree Reservoir for target practice. In 1918, one of the pilots
accidentally killed a local resident when his machine gun misfired.
CLIMATE DATA FOR ELSTREE
AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F)
AVERAGE LOW °C (°F)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES)
Source: Monthly averages for
United Kingdom The
Weather Channel'.' Retrieved 15 October 2011
Elstree War Memorial,
Elstree Hill North
The name "Elstree" derives from the Anglo-Saxon phrase "Tidwulf's
Tree", which is mentioned as "Tidulfres treow" in an 11–12th-century
manuscript of an A.D. 786 charter. It is thought that "the "T" being
lost in the wrong division of 'aet Tidwulfes treo'" (meaning "at
In 1723, topographer
John Norden noted in his book Speculum
Britanniae , that in the country of Hartfordshire (sic) was one
"Elstre or Eglestre". In an earlier edition, he writes: "ELSTREE n.
20. in OFFAES grant EAGLESTRE Nemus aquilinum: a place wherit may be
thought Eagles bredd in time past, for though it be nowe hilly and
heathy – it hath beene replenished with stately trees, fit for such
fowle to breede and harbour in. It is parcell of the libertie of S.
Nemus aquilinum is the Latin for "grove of eagles".
Robinson Crusoe author,
Daniel Defoe wrote in his 1748 travel guide
that: "Idlestrey or Elstre, is a Village on the Roman Watling-street,
on the very Edge of Middlesex; but it is chiefly noted for its
Situation, near Brockly-hill, by Stanmore, which affords a lovely View
cross Middlesex, over the Thames, into Surry."
In 1811, topographer
Daniel Lysons writes: "The name of this place
has been variously written; — Eaglestree, Elstree, Ilstrye,
Idlestrye, etc. Norden says that it is called, in Offa's grant to the
Abbey of St. Alban's, Eaglestree, that is, says he, "Nemus aquilinum,
a 'place where it may be thought that eagles bred in time past'." It
has been derived also from Idel-street, i.e. the noble road; and
Ill-street, the decayed road. May it not have been, rather, a
corruption of Eald-street, the old road, i.e. the ancient
Watling-street , upon which it is situated?"
5TH CENTURY: BATTLE OF AILESTREU (ELSTREE)
In the 5th century, British warlord
Vortigern and his two sons,
Catigern , took part in the Battle of Elstree, then
called the Battle of Ailestreu, where the Saxon
Horsa was killed.
It's possible there is confusion with the Battle of Aylesbury . George
Moberly writes: "
Nennius , M.H.B. p. 69, calls the place of battle
where Hors fell Episford; Britannicè 'Sathenegabail' = the Saxon
battle. The Saxon Chronicle, ad a. 455, calls it Ægæles-threp, and
Henry of Huntingdon , M.H.B. p. 708, Ailestreu. This would naturally
be Elstree, of which name there is a place in Herts; but Beda 's
description of its situation has caused it rather to be referred to
Aylesford in Kent, near which is a small village called Horsted."
16TH – 18TH CENTURIES
The Manor of
Elstree was formerly included in the Manor of Parkbury,
and belonged to the Abbey of St. Albans . On the Dissolution of the
Monasteries , it was granted by
Henry VIII , to Anthony Denny
In 1607, Anthony Denny's grandson Edward Denny sold part of the
estate, with all manorial rights, to Robert Briscoe, who sold it the
same year to Sir Baptist Hicks . Part of the estate became the Manor
of Boreham, and was sold to Edward Beauchamp. It remained with the
Beauchamp-Proctor family until 1748, when it was sold to James West ,
M.P. for St. Albans, who, in or about 1751, alienated it to a Mr
Gulston of Widdial. Gulston then sold it to a Mr Pigfatt, a gunsmith,
who, within a few years, conveyed it to Thomas Jemmet. In 1774 it was
purchased from Mr Jemmet by the late George Byng , M.P. for Middlesex,
who passed it on to his son, by which time the estate was called the
Manor of Boreham.
In 1776, the House of Lords granted: "An Act for dividing and
closing the Common or Waste Ground, called Boreham Wood Common, in the
Elstree otherwise Idletree, in the County of Hertford."
In 1796 topographer
Daniel Lysons writes: "The parish of Elstree
contains about 3,000 acres of land, which is divided between arable
and pasture nearly in an equal proportion. The soil is, for the most
part, clay. Boreham Wood, a waste of nearly 700 acres, was inclosed
about the year 1778, and is now in culture. This parish pays the sum
of £151 11s 0d to the land-tax, which is raised by a rate of about 1s
9d in the pound".
The burial of William Weare at the parish church in Elstree.
MARTHA RAY MURDER
Elstree Murder of Eliza Ebborn on 17 August 1882 by George
Stratton, as illustrated in The Illustrated Police News Saturday, 11
Martha Ray (c. 1742–1779), singer and mistress of John
Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich , was buried in the parish church
(illustrated, right) after she had been shot dead by the Rev. James
Hackman , Rector of
THE ELSTREE MURDER OF WILLIAM WEARE
Elstree became notorious for the
Elstree murder of William
Weare, killed in Radlett and the body disposed of in a pond in Elstree
by John Thurtell. The incident was recalled by
Charles Dickens in his
Weekly Journal. An inquest of the deceased was held on 31 October by
county coroner Benjamin Rooke at the local Artichoke public house.
THE ELSTREE MURDER OF ELIZA EBBORN
On 17 August 1882, Eliza Ebborn of
Watford was murdered by
24-year-old shoemaker George Stratton, who was subsequently sentenced
to death. She was buried at
Elstree Parish Church.
Elstree Rural District armorial bearings (1957–1974)
Elstree used to be in the Hundred of Cashio, also known as the
Liberty of St Albans .
ELSTREE RURAL DISTRICT
From 1941 to 1974,
Elstree Rural District was the local government
area, before being abolished and merged with
Hertsmere . On 20 March
1957, Armorial Bearings were granted. The arms and crest are described
as follows: The background of royal ermine, represents the royal
visits to and associations with the district, principally the visit of
Henry VIII and his court to Tyttenhanger in 1525 to avoid the
"sweatinge sicknesse" and the visits of Charles II to Salisbury Hall
in Shenley. The oak tree with the Saxon crown represents Saxon Elstree
– "Tidwulf's tree" – around which the district has grown. The tree
also represents Boreham Wood and the district's woodlands, the gold
acorns symbolize growth and prosperity. The waves at the base
represent the River Colne, Aldenham Reservoir and link with the waves
in the arms of the
Hertfordshire CC and the Greater
gold saltire on blue is from the arms of the Abbey of St. Albans, the
Elstree came into the possession of the Abbey in 1188, and
Tyttenhanger in Ridge stands on the site of a former possession of the
Abbey, and the whole area lies in the Liberty of St. Albans. The
scallop shells, the badge of pilgrims, recalls their passage along
Watling Street through
Elstree to St. Albans. The hart is from one of
the supporters of the County Council arms, wearing a mural crown,
symbol of civic government. The spool of film (unique in civic
heraldry) recalls the industry which had made the name of
Boreham Wood so widely known in modern times. The motto is taken from
the wall of Shenley Cage, and also links with the County motto "Trust
and fear not". "
CLUBS, SOCIETIES AND ORGANISATIONS
Elstree And Boreham Wood History Society, (inc.
Borehamwood & Radlett mencap Society.
Elstree Golf -webkit-column-width: 16em; column-width: 16em;">
Napoleon\'s Death Mask , made in 1821 by
Elstree resident, Francis
Burton M.D., the uncle of explorer
Richard Francis Burton
Richard Francis Burton
* John Baxter (1896–1975), film director and producer, lived at
* Ephraim Beauchamp (d.1728) Baronet and lord of the Manor of
Boreham in the parish of Elstree.
Gerry Blattner (1913-1992 approx.), film producer and studio
Ludwig Blattner (1881-1935), film producer and studio owner, lived
Elstree from about 1928 until his suicide at
-webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em; list-style-type:
* ^ A B "Population Density, 2011 (QS102EW)", Neighbourhood
Statistics, 2011 Census, Office for National Statistics, retrieved 3
Elstree Times (Website). This was originally
the Boreham Wood and
Elstree Post, and before that, Boreham Wood &
Elstree Local (see British Library record)
* ^ "The
Elstree Twin Town Association" website.
Retrieved 22 September 2011
* ^ E. A. Labrum, Civil engineering heritage: Eastern and central
England, Publisher Thomas Telford, 1994, ISBN 0-7277-1970-X ,
9780727719706, 282 pages (page 197)
* ^ 'Parishes: Elstree', A History of the County of Hertford:
volume 2 (1908), pp. 349–351. Date accessed: 20 September 2011.
Refers to "Middlesex and Herts Notes and Queries, ii, 190"
* ^ Richard Riding and Grant Peerless,
Elstree Aerodrome: The Past
in Pictures, The History Press Ltd (26 November 2003), ISBN
0-7509-3412-3 , ISBN 978-0-7509-3412-1 , 192 pages. (Back cover)
* ^ John M. Houlder, C.B.E., "History of
Elstree Aerodrome", at
Firecrest Aviation Ltd website. Retrieved 20 September 2011
* ^ "Plane crash kills driver Graham Hill". Pittsburgh Press.
(Pennsylvania, U.S.). UPI. November 30, 1975. p. D-1.
* ^ "Racing mourns death of Graham Hill". Milwaukee Sentinel.
(Wisconsin, U.S.). UPI. December 1, 1975. p. 5, part 2.
* ^ "After cheating death 20 years, Hill killed in air crash".
Daytona Beach Morning Journal. (Florida, U.S.). Associated Press.
December 1, 1975. p. 1C.
* ^ Report of the executive committee ... adopted at the annual
meeting ..., Issue 15, Publ. Newport Chamber of Commerce (Newport,
* ^ Marine news, Volume 54, World Ship Society, 2000 (page 578)
* ^ John Malcolm Slader, The fourth service: merchantmen at war,
1939–1945, Publisher Hale, 1994, ISBN 0-7090-4848-3 , ISBN
978-0-7090-4848-0 , 347 pages (page 41)
* ^ "Holly Bush Public House", List entry Number: 1103589, at
English Heritage. Retrieved 20 September 2011
* ^ "
Aldenham House and Stable Block", List entry Number: 1346891,
at English Heritage. Retrieved 20 September 2011
* ^ Hermann Muthesius, The English House, Volume 2, Publisher
Frances Lincoln ltd, 2006, ISBN 0-7112-2688-1 , ISBN 978-0-7112-2688-3
, 768 pages (pages 188–190)
* ^ "The Leys", List entry Number: 1263392, at English Heritage.
Retrieved 20 September 2011
* ^ "The Hotel". Laura Ashley Hotels. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
* ^ The Edgwarebury Hotel, website. Retrieved 20 September 2011
* ^ Derek Pykett, Freddie Francis, Simon Flynn, "Edgwarebury Corus
Hotel", British Horror Film Locations, Publisher: McFarland, 2008,
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* ^ A B Richard Davenport-Hines, ‘Dawson, Sir (Arthur) Trevor,
first baronet (1866–1931)’, Oxford Dictionary of National
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accessed 21 September 2011
* ^ M. H. Port, ‘Hardwick, Philip (1792–1870)’, Oxford
Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004;
online edn, May 2008 accessed 25 September 2011
* ^ St Nicholas Church of
England V.A Primary School, Website.
Retrieved 20 September 2011
* ^ A B Donald P. Leinster-Mackay, The rise of the English prep
school, Publisher: Taylor & Francis, 1984, ISBN 0-905273-74-5 , ISBN
978-0-905273-74-7 , 398 pages. (page 28)
* ^ "Our History"
Dorset House School website. Retrieved 19
* ^ "
Elstree Cricket Club" at hertsdirect.org website. Retrieved 22
* ^ "
Elstree CC" at Play Cricket website. Retrieved 22 September
* ^ Saracens
Hertfordshire Cricket League,
Elstree CC Club
information, website. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
* ^ "Welcome To
Elstree Golf Club" at The Internet Golf Club.
Retrieved 23 September 2011
* ^ Radlett Park Golf Club, website. Retrieved 23 September 2011
* ^ A B "
London Loop: Section 15
Hatch End to Elstree" route
details, at Transport for
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* ^ "
London Loop: Section 16
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London LOOP Description and Maps, at the Walk
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* ^ Avengers fan site by John Dineley. "On Location 4: Tyke\'s
Water Lakes". Retrieved 23 September 2011.
London LOOP, Section 15,
Hatch End to
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Photographic Society of Great Britain Exhibition",
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* ^ "The twelve churches; or, tracings along the Watling Street",
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