Ten things you didn't know about Borehamwood

Borehamwood Times: This 'roundhouse' gaol was last used to hold a First World War deserter This 'roundhouse' gaol was last used to hold a First World War deserter

Everyone knows Borehamwood as the home of Indiana Jones and Star Wars, but there is much more to Borehamwood and the surrounding area than the film industry, as Ruth Halkon has discovered.

Feeding the Pigs The earliest reference to Borehamwood, or Bosci de Boreham, as it was originally known, is in 1188, when Pope Clement II gave it to the Abbey of St. Albans to feed their swine.

Legendary battles According to chronicler Henry of Huntingdon, Elstree was the site of the 5th Centaury battle of Ailestreu, when legendary British king Vortigern slew Horsa, who is believed to have led the Anglo Saxon invasion of Britan.

Grisly murders William Weare was killed by John Thurtrell outside the Waggon and Horses in Elstree in 1823. He was shot and his brains gouged out with a knife over a £300 gambling debt. His ghost is said to still haunt the pub.

Death-defying feats In April 1978, stuntman Eddie Kidd secured the world record when he leaped over 14 double-decker buses on his motorbike at the derelict Handley Page aircraft factory in Radlett.

A rare prison Thought to date from the early 18th Century, The Cage in Shenley is one of the last remaining roundhouse gaols in England. Prisoners were housed there before being taken to the magistrates’ courts. It was last used to hold an army deserter duriing the First World War.

Scouting for boys Elstree is the home of one of the oldest Scout unit in the country when Sir Percy Winn Everett, a friend of Lord Baden Powell, became scoutmaster of 1st Elstree Scouts in 1908.

Royal scandal King Charles II was a regular visitor to Salisbury Hall north of Shenley. It is said he used the network of tunnels and secret passages to visit his mistress Nell Gwynn.

Nice place for a common law wedding The Mops and Brooms Pub in Borehamwood is said to have been the site of weddings between medieval servants who were “married” by exchanging vows before each took hold of one end of a household mop. The name could also commemorate the weapon used in a fight between villagers and travellers.

Socialism the slow way Founding member of the Fabian Society Frank Podmore was born in Elstree. He suggested the socialist debating group, which still meets today, should be named after the Roman general Quintus Fabius Maximus, who defeated Hannibal by a slow campaign of attrition.

Songs of the dead Georgian singer Martha Ray is buried in Elstree Parish churchyard. The mistress of John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, she was murdered by jealous lover James Hackman outside the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

Do you have your own facts about Borehamwood that you feel are missing? Send them into ruth.halkon@london.newsquest.co.uk and we'll add them to the list.

Comments (6)

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5:41pm Fri 31 Jan 14

TFEB says...

That does not look like the Waggon and Horses I go to, are there two in the area?
That does not look like the Waggon and Horses I go to, are there two in the area? TFEB
  • Score: 3

12:44am Sat 1 Feb 14

chelseaboy says...

Keep up the good work, as someone who has connections with the early village, you can always learn something new.
Keep up the good work, as someone who has connections with the early village, you can always learn something new. chelseaboy
  • Score: -1

1:11pm Sat 1 Feb 14

david Burcombe says...

Sir Percy Winn Everett was born in Ipswich on the 22nd
of April 1870.and in 1908 living in Elstree, become the
first scoutmaster of the 1st Elstree Scouts.
He met General Baden-Powell in 1908 and in the same
year on the 13th of March formed what is a strongly
held belief that the 1st Elstree scout troop is the oldest
in the world.
Sir Percy was also the deputy scoutmaster to Baden-
Powell and was knighted in 1930 primarily for his work
with scouting.
The 1st Elstree and Borehamwood Scouts celebrated
100 years of age in 2008.
Scouts and beavers meet on a Friday night, Cubs on
Thursday at the Everitt lodge Paxton Way off Arundel
Sir Percy Winn Everett was born in Ipswich on the 22nd of April 1870.and in 1908 living in Elstree, become the first scoutmaster of the 1st Elstree Scouts. He met General Baden-Powell in 1908 and in the same year on the 13th of March formed what is a strongly held belief that the 1st Elstree scout troop is the oldest in the world. Sir Percy was also the deputy scoutmaster to Baden- Powell and was knighted in 1930 primarily for his work with scouting. The 1st Elstree and Borehamwood Scouts celebrated 100 years of age in 2008. Scouts and beavers meet on a Friday night, Cubs on Thursday at the Everitt lodge Paxton Way off Arundel david Burcombe
  • Score: 3

6:13pm Sat 1 Feb 14

volunteer4d1 says...

Forgive me if I'm wrong here but isn't Elstree in Elstree? & Isn't Radlett in Radlett & I always thought Shenley was in Shenley & the Mops & Brooms is in Well End as I say I could be wrong but I'm not & the Borehamwood Post should know this.
Forgive me if I'm wrong here but isn't Elstree in Elstree? & Isn't Radlett in Radlett & I always thought Shenley was in Shenley & the Mops & Brooms is in Well End as I say I could be wrong but I'm not & the Borehamwood Post should know this. volunteer4d1
  • Score: 12

11:41pm Sat 1 Feb 14

david Burcombe says...

you put a comment here and it gets deleted
you put a comment here and it gets deleted david Burcombe
  • Score: 4

9:20am Sun 2 Feb 14

TFEB says...

and the Handley Page factory was in Park Street, not Radlett.
and the Handley Page factory was in Park Street, not Radlett. TFEB
  • Score: 3

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