CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today CLICK HERE

10 things to know about Cheshunt

PUBLISHED: 10:30 28 April 2015 | UPDATED: 10:30 28 April 2015

Lotus was born in the town

Lotus was born in the town


From a cardinal to cars, celebs to crocuses, Cheshunt is a place of history, creativity and beauty. Alice Cooke explores

Double Olympic Gold cycling star Laura Trott is from the townDouble Olympic Gold cycling star Laura Trott is from the town

What’s in a name?

According to the Domesday Book, the old English name for the area was Cestrehunt. This is thought to refer to a castle, erected by the Romans. Cestre and all its modern equivalents (such as Chester and Caster) are derived from the Latin for fort.

All roads lead from London

Ermine Street was the main Roman road heading northwards from London, and Cheshunt was a settlement along that route. Televsion archaeology unit Time Team found evidence of this, as well as later records that the manor of Cheshunt was held by Eddeva the Fair before William I granted it to Alan of Brittany after the Norman Conquest.

Place of power

Cardinal Wolsey was given land in Cheshunt by King Henry VIII. A small park at Goffs Lane (Cheshunt Great House) still contains the ruins of his manor. The community centre, Wolsey Hall, is named in his honour.

Before becoming Queen, Elizabeth I lived at Cheshunt for a time under the care of Sir Anthony Denny after she left Queen Catherine Parr’s household in 1548.

Richard Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth, died in Cheshunt in 1712.

Plants, cars and shopping

Much of the land around Cheshunt was used for horticultural purposes until the late 1960s and many new techniques for growing under glass were developed here. Houseplant nursery Thomas Rochford had a large concern here, which included a great many glasshouses, a few of which still exist.

Lotus Cars and Debenhams were also founded in Cheshunt, and the headquarters of Tesco was here for many years.

Food and fun

Stuck for something to do with the children? Kid Mania has a soft play area for toddlers and primary school aged children. There’s plenty of comfy seating and good eating there too, with a selection of healthy options for all ages.

For a weekend lunch at the pub, try The Crocodile, the McMullen-run local has a large garden area and lots of outdoor seating.

Sports clubs

Cheshunt FC play in the Isthmian League Division One North. Founded in 1946, their most famous player was Iain Dowie, who played for them in the 1980s. Tottenham have had training grounds in Cheshunt over the years too.

The town also has long-established rugby and cricket clubs, and a publicly owned 18-hole golf course. The former Grundy Park Leisure Centre was recently renamed in honour local Olympic medal cyclist Laura Trott after a £4m redevelopment.

Sport, pop and fashion stars

Pop star and fashion designer Victoria Beckham went to St Mary’s High School in the town. Arsenal and Totenham football player David Bentley went to Goffs School. Laura Trott, the double Olympic Gold Medal cyclist, lives in Cheshunt, as does former glamour model and actress Linda Lusardi.

Bomber crash

On 12 August 1944 at 8am a US Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber was flying from RAF Wendling when it crashed at Maxwells Farm near Cheshunt. All 10 crew were killed. The B198 road which runs near the crash site was renamed Lieutenant Ellis Way after the pilot – whose final action was to avoid crashing into the nearby town. There is also a memorial along the road, near St Mary’s High School.

A railway first

In 1825, the three-quarter mile horse-drawn line known as the Cheshunt Railway was both the first railway line to be built in the county and the first passenger-carrying monorail line ever built.

The lakes

After the Second World War much of the River Lee flood plain was used for sand and gravel extraction. The defunct pits created the lakes that lie in the area, which are popular with anglers, birdwatchers and naturalists as they are rich in flora and fauna, including the elusive bittern (pictured). The lakes now form part of the 1,000 acre River Lee Country Park and the Turnford and Cheshunt Pits Sites of Special Scientific Interest.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hertfordshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hertfordshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hertfordshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Fri, 12:26

Christmas isn’t complete without a trip to a festive fair. From German-style food stalls to vintage fetes, Hertfordshire’s Christmas markets have it all

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

We quiz author Kevin Exley about his new book that takes the reader on the trail of fascinating stories, new and old, around Berkhamsted

Read more
October 2018
Monday, October 29, 2018

Hertfordshire is a county with a vast, fascinating and sometimes dark and bloody history that has reportedly lead to more than a few angry ghosts sticking around to wreak havoc and take revenge on the living. We have gathered 10 of the most haunted places in the county

Read more
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Make the most out of autumn with these eight walking routes that take in a variety of Hertfordshire’s terrains and - most importantly – have a cosy pub along the way

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

We've selected a variety of spooky activities in the county that are sure to delight the kids

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust’s Charlotte Hussey explores the fascinating world of bats and new projects in the county to help conserve these remarkable creatures

Read more
October 2018
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The People’s Trust for Endangered Species is asking the public to look out for mammals on Hertfordshire’s roads as part of a citizen science project

Read more
September 2018
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

From stately homes to skateparks, we have selected some of the best ideas for things to do in Hertfordshire

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The diverse parkland of Pishiobury Park in Sawbridgeworth is undergoing a five-year plan to promote its heritage and enhance its habitats. It makes for a royal day out

Read more
September 2018
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

From Aldbury to Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire has a plethora of pretty villages. We have picked just 10 that you should visit

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search