Elstree, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire

Published: 23rd August 2011
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Located in the northern part of London and featuring a population of around 4,800 inhabitants, Elstree is a small village part of the Hertsmere borough of Hertfordshire. Part of the civil parish of Elstree and Borehamwood and also part of the Greater London Urban Area, this pleasant village is strongly related to the famous Elstree Film Studios.

One of the most notable incidents of the nineteenth century that took place in Elstree is the famous Elstree murder which raised a lot of rumors and attention around it at the time. Other important historical details that are strongly connected with Elstree refer to the year of 1779, when singer and mistress Martha Ray (who had an affair with the 4th Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu) died and found her resting place in the parish church here. Her death was unfortunately equally as tragic as the previously mentioned incident in Elstree; Martha Ray was shot by the Rev. James Hachman, who was the Rector of Wiveton at that time.

But Elstree does not revolve around fatal incidents; for instance, the small village used to be a rural district from 1941 to 1974, and at present the Elstree & Borehamwood railway station is the nearest station commuters can use. There is some sort of confusion with the actual name of this railway. They can be interchanged, but only to a certain extent. The explanation is quite simple: the area which is located at the west of the railway line is the area of Borehamwood, and it was known as Deacon's Hill in the past. Most people like to refer to this area as Elstree as well, despite the fact it is not actually directly related to this village.

More details regarding Elstree's transportation means need to focus on the London Transport's large Aldenham Works. The Aldenham Works was sited on the edge of Elstree and really close to the A41. It was later demolished back in 1996 and was transformed onto an impressively large-sized business park. Located in the near proximity of the Aldenham Country Park we can find the breeding centre for rare livestock and a wonderful recreational facility.

Elstree is also home for its Elstree Aerodrome which features a paved runway of 656 metres. Light aircrafts can use this aerodrome. Haberdashers' Aske's. and Aldenham School are also hosted by this small civil parish, while the Elstree School is a famous boys' preparatory school which was initially situated in Elstree and it is now relocated to Woolhampton, Berkshire. The relocation took place during World War II.

Many famous British films were made at the Elstree Film Studios, such as TV soap opera EastEnders which was actually filmed at the BBC's Elstree Studios located near Borehamwood. Big Brother UK was also hosted by these studios since the beginning of the third series.

Among the notable residents of Elstree we can mention American Idol and X Factor judge Simon Cowell, actress and author Joan Collins, actor Tom Chatto or world famous anthropologist Richard Francis Burton and many others.

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