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Elstree

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Elstree

Elstree
Elstree is located in Hertfordshire
Elstree
 Elstree shown within Hertfordshire
Population 5,110 (2011)[1]
OS grid reference
Civil parish Elstree and Borehamwood
District Hertsmere
Shire county Hertfordshire
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BOREHAMWOOD
Postcode district WD6
Dialling code 020
Police Hertfordshire
Fire Hertfordshire
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament Hertsmere
List of places
UK
England
Hertfordshire
A poster for Elstree Calling, a film made in 1930, named after the film studios in Borehamwood

Elstree is a village in the Hertsmere borough of Hertfordshire, England, on the former A5 road, which followed the course of Watling Street, approximately thirteen miles northwest of central London. In 2011, its population was 5,110.[1] It forms part of the civil parish of Elstree and Borehamwood, originally known simply as Elstree.

The village often lends its shorter name to businesses and amenities in the adjacent town of Borehamwood, and the names of Elstree and Borehamwood are used interchangeably. Elstree is perhaps best known for the Elstree Film Studios, where a number of famous British films were made, and the BBC's Elstree Studios, where the TV soap opera EastEnders is made; these are both located in Borehamwood.

The local newspaper is the Borehamwood and Elstree Times.[2] Together with Borehamwood, the village is twinned with Offenburg in Germany and Fontenay-aux-Roses in France.[3]

Contents

  • Transport 1
    • Elstree & Borehamwood railway station 1.1
    • Road links 1.2
    • Elstree Aerodrome 1.3
    • London Transport works 1.4
    • Elstree Grange 1.5
  • Buildings 2
    • Grade II listed buildings 2.1
    • Laura Ashley The Manor Hotel 2.2
    • Other buildings 2.3
    • Schools 2.4
    • Earlier schools 2.5
  • Recreation 3
    • Sport 3.1
    • Leisure 3.2
    • Business and local services 3.3
    • Synagogue 3.4
    • Parks 3.5
    • Elstree Reservoir 3.6
  • Climate 4
  • History 5
    • Etymology 5.1
    • 5th century: Battle of Ailestreu (Elstree) 5.2
    • 16th – 18th centuries 5.3
  • Murders 6
    • Martha Ray murder 6.1
    • The Elstree murder of William Weare 6.2
    • The Elstree murder of Eliza Ebborn 6.3
  • Administrative districts 7
    • Elstree Rural District 7.1
  • Clubs, societies and organisations 8
  • References in the media 9
  • Notable residents 10
  • References 11
  • Bibliography 12
    • Books 12.1
    • Journals 12.2
  • External links 13

Transport

Elstree & Borehamwood railway station

27 March 1954 Northbound steam train passing through Elstree & Borehamwood railway station.

Elstree & Borehamwood railway station is on the Thameslink Line between London St Pancras and Bedford. It was built by the Midland Railway in 1868, and is located just north of the 1,072 yard long Elstree Tunnels.[4]

The area of Borehamwood to the west of the railway line, formally Deacon's Hill, is colloquially called Elstree even though it is not contiguous with the village. Elstree South tube station was due to be an extension of the Northern line, planned in the 1930s, but never completed.

Road links

The old A5 road (Watling Street) goes through Elstree village, where it is designated as the A5183 road. Through the village, the road is called (from south to north) Elstree Hill South, High Street and Elstree Hill North. The 18th century Grade II listed building, Elstree Hill House, is still on Elstree Hill South, and used to be the home of the old Elstree School (see Schools). In the early 1900s, it was noted that:

".. the hill roads are remarkably direct and seldom curve to avoid the steep pitch, and it has been suggested that the roads were originally slides for the timber which used to be sent to London for fuel."[5]

Elstree Aerodrome

Elstree Aerodrome is licensed by the CAA and has a paved 717 yards long 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.[6] A concrete runway was put down during World War II, and Wellington Bombers were modified here.[7] On 29 November 1975, retired F1 driver and Embassy Hill car owner Graham Hill and his racing driver Tony Brise were piloting Piper PA-23-250 Aztec N6645Y from France to London, United Kingdom. Hill and Brise were killed when Hill's light aircraft crashed on Arkley Golf Course, 3 miles short of the airport.

London Transport works

London Transport's 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.

Elstree Grange

Originally a 19th-century steam ship owned by the Houlder Brothers,[8] the town also lends its name to a series of ships called the Elstree Grange (rebuilt 1916, 1944, 1979),[9] at one time sunk during the Second World War.[10]

Buildings

Grade II listed buildings

Holly Bush public house (15th century)
House at Elstree designed by 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)[11]
  • Aldenham House and stable block (c.1672)[12]
  • The Leys, built in 1901 by Scottish architect and designer, [14][13]

Laura Ashley The Manor Hotel

Laura Ashley The Manor Hotel, formerly known as the Edgwarebury Hotel,[15] is located on Barnet Lane, and operated by Corus Hotels.[16] 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 the 1968 Hammer Horror classic, The Devil Rides Out. Notable guests have included Peter Sellers, Tom Cruise, John Cleese and Stanley Kubrick.[17] It was the country home of armaments manufacturer and First Baronet Sir (Arthur) Trevor Dawson, (1866–1931).[18]

Other buildings

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 Hardwick.[19]

Schools

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.[20]

Earlier schools

Since the 1780s, a private school has been located in Elstree.[21]

Elstree School, a boys' preparatory school, was located in Elstree from 1848 until 1938 before moving to Woolhampton, Berkshire before the outbreak of the Second World War.

Hillside School was located in Elstree between 1874 and 1886, before eventually becoming Dorset House School in 1905,[21][22] (not to be confused with Hillside School in nearby Borehamwood.)

Recreation

Sport

Elstree Cricket Club was formed in 1878,[23] but no longer play in the Herts Saracens League.[24][25] 18-hole Radlett Park Golf Club was founded in 1984,[26] having recently being renamed from Elstree Golf & Country Club.[27] It is closer to Elstree than Radlett.

Hatch End Cricket Club also play in Elstree. They participate in the Herts Saracens League.

Leisure

Section 15 of the London Outer Orbital Path (London Loop) goes through Elstree,[28] before continuing as Section 16, a 10-mile (16 km) walk from Elstree to Cockfosters.[29][30]

Business and local services

Bush, Alba and Cyber-Duck are based in Elstree. There is a local doctor's practice called Shopwick Surgery. There is one convenience store, pubs and a restaurant. A liberial synagogue and the newly built shteibel are off Elstree Hill.

Synagogue

Elstree is home to Ohr Yisrael Synagogue, a warm and friendly Orthodox synagogue with affiliation to the Federation of Synagogues

Parks

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.[28] In 1873 nearby Tykes Water stream was dammed in order to create Tykes Water lake.[31] Tykes Water Bridge features in the open credits to the Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee film, Dracula A.D. 1972,[32] and used in several episodes of the Diana Rigg and Linda Thorson seasons of The Avengers, including the final Thorson opening titles.[33]

Elstree Reservoir

The dam was built in 1795 by French prisoners of war.[34] 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."[35]

In 1886, the Photographic Society of Great Britain featured an exhibition of photos of Elstree Reservoir by Edgar Clifton.[36] During World War I, then Major Keith Caldwell with No. 74 Squadron RAF, used Elstree Reservoir for target practice.[37] In 1918, one of the pilots accidentally killed a local resident when his machine gun misfired.[38]

Climate

Climate data for Elstree
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 6
(43)
7
(45)
9
(48)
12
(54)
16
(61)
18
(64)
22
(72)
22
(72)
18
(64)
14
(57)
9
(48)
7
(45)
13.3
(56.1)
Average low °C (°F) 1
(34)
1
(34)
2
(36)
4
(39)
6
(43)
9
(48)
11
(52)
11
(52)
10
(50)
7
(45)
3
(37)
2
(36)
5.6
(42.2)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 69.6
(2.74)
47.2
(1.858)
54.1
(2.13)
53.1
(2.091)
49.8
(1.961)
60.5
(2.382)
41.1
(1.618)
53.6
(2.11)
61.0
(2.402)
74.4
(2.929)
66.0
(2.598)
67.6
(2.661)
698.0
(27.48)
Source: Monthly averages for Borehamwood, United Kingdom The Weather Channel'.' Retrieved 15 October 2011

History

Elstree War Memorial, Elstree Hill North

Etymology

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.[39][40] It is thought that "the "T" being lost in the wrong division of 'aet Tidwulfes treo'"[41] (meaning "at Tidwulf's Tree").

In 1723, topographer John Norden noted in his book Speculum Britanniae, that in the country of Hartfordshire (sic) was one "Elstre or Eglestre".[42] In an earlier edition, he writes:[43]

"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. Albans.

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."[44]

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?"[45]

5th century: Battle of Ailestreu (Elstree)

In the 5th century, British warlord Vortigern and his two sons, Vortimer and Catigern, took part in the Battle of Elstree, then called the Battle of Ailestreu,[46] 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."[47]

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 (1501–1549).[48][49]

In 1607, Anthony Denny's grandson

  • 'Parishes: Elstree', A History of the County of Hertford: volume 2 (1908), pp. 349–51.
  • 'Elstree', The Environs of London: volume 4: Counties of Herts, Essex & Kent (1796), pp. 24–8.
  • Archaeology Data Service: Archsearch
  • Elstree Village at BBC Domesday Project online. Retrieved 22 September 2011
  • Elstree Church records at the London Family History Centre.
  • "Elstree with Boreham Wood" 1855 Post Office Directory, via Historical Directories
  • "Elstree with Boreham Wood, 1894 Kelly's Directory of Essex, Herts & Middx
  • My Borehamwood and Elstree News, online and print magazine founded in 2011
  • Elstree and Borehamwood Residents Association (EBRA)
  • Tried and Trusted website

External links

  • "Medieval Pottery From Elstree, Otterspool & Prehsi", Academic Journal Offprint From St. Albans Architectural And Archaeological Society Transactions (1961)
  • Renn, Derek F, "Further finds of medieval pottery from Elstree: with a survey of unglazed thumb-pressed jugs", Hertfordshire Archaeology 1968, pp. 124–7
  • Stephen Castle and Michael Hammerons, "Excavations Elstree, Middlesex, 1974-6". At Archaeology Data Service Website. Retrieved 22 September 2011

Journals

  • 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.
  • Robert Bard, Elstree and Borehamwood Past, Publisher: Phillimore & Company, Limited, 2006, ISBN 1-905286-11-2, ISBN 978-1-905286-11-9, 128 pages
  • Stephen A. Castle, William Brooks, The Book of Elstree & Boreham Wood, Publisher: Barracuda Press, 1988, ISBN 0-86023-406-1, ISBN 978-0-86023-406-7, 136 pages
  • G. R. T. Eales, A Lecture on the history of Elstree, Publisher: Scott, Greenwood & Son, 1922
  • Anthony Frewin, John Mansbridge, Elstree & Boreham Wood through two thousand years, Publisher: Ann and Lionel Leventhal, 1974, ISBN 0-9503822-0-5, ISBN 978-0-9503822-0-3, 47 pages.
  • Paul Welsh, Elstree and Borehamwood in Old Picture Postcards, ISBN 90-288-3013-8, ISBN 978-90-288-3013-4, 80 pages.
  • J. Roy Avery, The Elstree murder, Publisher: Haberdasher's Aske's School, 1963, 19 pages.
  • Thomas Burke, Murder at Elstree: or, Mr. Thurtell and his gig, Publisher: Longmans, Green and co., 1936, 177 pages
  • Elstree Rural District: official guide, Forward Publicity Limited, Edition 9, illustrated, Publisher: Home Pub., 1972. ISBN 0-7174-0233-9, ISBN 978-0-7174-0233-5. 72 pages.
  • William Hawtayne, A sermon preach'd at Elstree in Hertfordshire, on the twentieth of January 1714. Mr. Hawtayne's thanksgiving-sermon on 20 January 1714. Printed for Tim Goodwin. 20 pages.
  • Franklyn de Winton Lushington, Sermons to young boys delivered at Elstree school, Publ. 1898. Republished Kessinger Publishing LLC 2010. ISBN 1-166-95208-8, ISBN 978-1-166-95208-2.
  • The first register book of the parish church of Elstree, 1655–1757, Translated by Arthur R. T. Eales, publisher: pr.by Coombes, 1914, 76 pages.
  • I. C. M. Sanderson, A history of Elstree School and three generations of the Sanderson family, Publisher Elstree School, 1978.
  • John Hill, Hertfordshire Militia Lists: Elstree & Shenley, Issue ML 102 of Militia Series, Publ. Hertfordshire Family & Population History Society, 2000, ISBN 1-903245-06-0, ISBN 978-1-903245-06-4, 13 pages
  • An Illustrated Guide to the Elstree Country Club, Elstree, Herts, publ. Elstree Country Club, 1950, 12 pages. (at the British Library). Retrieved 22 September 2011.

Books

Bibliography

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  53. ^ Authoress of Red Rose, The twelve churches; or, tracings along the Watling street, Publ. Rivingtons, London 1860, 56 pages (page 39)
  54. ^ John Thurtell, A full account of the atrocious murder of the late Mr. W. Weare: containing the examinations before the magistrates, the proceedings of the coroner's inquest, with the whole of the evidence; the confessions of Hunt, and the statements of the other prisoners, verbatim, publ. Sherwood, Jones and Co., 1823, 56 pages (full text at Google Books)
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  61. ^ Elstree and Borehamwood Museum and Website. Retrieved 20 September 2011
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References

Napoleon's Death Mask, made in 1821 by Elstree resident, Francis Burton M.D., the uncle of explorer Richard Francis Burton

Notable residents

  • Elstree is replicated as a part of one of three maps is based in the game Urban Dead. The "Borehamwood" map was released as part of the promotional campaign for the release of British writer Charlie Brooker's Dead Set.
  • "Elstree" is also the title of a song about the film studio by the Buggles on their 1979 album The Age of Plastic.
  • St. Nicholas Church, Elstree featured in an investigation of paranormal investigation

References in the media

  • Elstree And Boreham Wood History Society, (inc. Elstree and Borehamwood Museum)[61]
  • Elstree, Borehamwood & Radlett mencap Society.[62]
  • Elstree Golf & Country Club.[63]

Clubs, societies and organisations

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 London Council.The gold saltire on blue is from the arms of the Abbey of St. Albans, the manor of 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 Elstree and 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". "[60]

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:

Elstree Rural District

Elstree used to be in the Hundred of Cashio, also known as the Liberty of St Albans.

Elstree Rural District armorial bearings (1957–1974)

Administrative districts

[59] She was buried at Elstree Parish Church.[58][57] On 17 August 1882, Eliza Ebborn of

The Elstree murder of Eliza Ebborn

In 1823 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.[54] The incident was recalled by Charles Dickens in his Weekly Journal.[55] An inquest of the deceased was held on 31 October by county coroner Benjamin Rooke at the local Artichoke public house.[56]

The Elstree murder of William Weare

In 1779, 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 Wiveton in Norfolk.[53]

The Elstree Murder of Eliza Ebborn on 17 August 1882 by George Stratton, as illustrated in The Illustrated Police News Saturday, 11 November 1882

Martha Ray murder

The burial of William Weare at the parish church in Elstree.

Murders

"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".[52]

In 1796 topographer Daniel Lysons writes:

"An Act for dividing and closing the Common or Waste Ground, called Boreham Wood Common, in the Parish of Elstree otherwise Idletree, in the County of Hertford."[51]

In 1776, the House of Lords granted:

[48]

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