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Shenley, Hertfordshire

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Title: Shenley, Hertfordshire  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Hertsmere, Ridge, Hertfordshire, Borehamwood, List of places in Hertfordshire, Pakistani cricket team in England in 2006
Collection: Civil Parishes in Hertfordshire, Hertsmere, Villages in Hertfordshire
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Shenley, Hertfordshire


Shenley War Memorial
Shenley is located in Hertfordshire
 Shenley shown within Hertfordshire
Population 4,306 2011 Census
OS grid reference
District Hertsmere
Shire county Hertfordshire
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town RADLETT
Postcode district WD7
Dialling code 01923
Police Hertfordshire
Fire Hertfordshire
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament Hertsmere
List of places

Shenley is a village and civil parish in Hertfordshire, England, between Barnet and St Albans. The village is located 18.7 miles from Central London.


The history of Shenley stretches back a thousand years or more - it is mentioned in the Domesday Book. The name Shenley is based on the Anglo-Saxon Scenlai, Scenlei or Senlai, which means ‘fair or bright clearing or wood’. In the early Middle Ages, southwest Hertfordshire was heavily wooded, with isolated farmsteads or hamlets in forest clearings. Shenley would have been one of these settlements.

By the 14th century, Shenley was considered to be a convenient parish for a country estate, being within reasonable reach of London. Its pure air, after the smoke and fog of the city made it a healthy place to live. The present village of Shenley apparently grew to accommodate the families of those providing a variety of services for the country estates of the gentry. Parish registers, dating back to 1657, include service occupations such as coachmen, bailiffs, bakers and labourers. Others worked in agriculture, as cattle drovers, shepherds and millers. Craftsmen in Shenley included tailors, weavers, shoemakers, cordwainers, brick-makers, blacksmiths and carpenters. Tiles and bricks were made in the area, due to the abundance of suitable clay.

Although many of Shenley’s population were involved in humble occupations, the village was considered quite prosperous. In 1754 the village was assessed to be the sixteenth highest parish in the county (excluding the areas around St Albans) and by 1823, the rateable value of the parish was £9,796.00, with only nine other parishes in the county rating higher.

During the Queen Mary officially opened the hospital in 1934.[1]

Shenley Hospital remained in service for over 60 years. It was then sold off to property developers for housing. It was not without some trepidation that some of the old-time residents viewed what had been described as an annex to Shenley but what, in reality, would more than double the number of residences in the village. However, the development took place, but as well as houses, Shenley Park was developed and maintained for the enjoyment of the whole village. These included preserving the orchard and spinney for pleasant walks and recreation, landscaping the walled garden, which is often open to the public and hosts a number of events throughout the year, redeveloping the tennis courts to a high standard, and, more recently, the introduction of a teashop and play area.

Shenley is also home to the training ground of Arsenal Football Club, one of England's top football teams. It boasts state-of-the-art facilities, and was opened in 2000.

Shenley is also home to the Shenley Cricket Centre, which plays host to many women's and U19 international matches throughout the summer. At the heart of the centre is the 19th-century pavilion, originally designed by W. G. Grace. The cricketing theme runs through many of the road names on the Porters Park housing estate.

Shenley Hall is a house built in the 19th century, which benefited from additions by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1914.[2]

The burial place of the English Baroque architect Nicholas Hawksmoor (1661-1736) lies in St Botolph's graveyard, Shenleybury, Shenley. The church was deconsecrated in 1972 and the grave is now on private land.[3]

The parish church of Shenley is now St Martin's Shenley, built in 1841.


  1. ^ "Shenley Hospital: Life under observation". BBC. 22 January 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2015. 
  2. ^ "Shenley Hall, Shenley". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "St Botolphs, Shenleybury". St Botolphs. Retrieved 12 September 2015. 

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