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Cheshunt, Hertfordshire

Historical Description

Cheshunt, a large parish in Hertfordshire. It lies on the verge of the county, the river Lea, the New river, Ermine Street, and the G.E.R., in the vicinity of Waltham Abbey; is divided into the wards of Waltham Cross, Cheshunt Street, and Woodside; contains the villages of Cheshunt and Cheshunt Street —the former a seat of petty sessions and once a market-town; and has the stations of Waltham and Cheshunt on the railway, 14½ and 16½ miles NNE of London. A branch line from Edmonton to Cheshunt was opened in 1890. The parish is governed by a board of 12 members under the Public Healtli Act of 1875, is well supplied with water, and completed a system of drainage in 1889. Brick-making is carried on, and much of the land is laid out for market gardens and nurseries. It has a head post, money order, and telegraph office at Waltham Cross, and several minor post offices. The parish includes the ecclesiastical parish of WALTHAM CROSS, noticed under a separate heading, and also that of Goffs Oak, which was formed out of the Woodside ward in 1871. Area of the parish, including that of the two ecclesiastical parishes, 8480 acres, of which 100 are water; population, 9620. The parish church is an ancient building of stone and flint in the Perpendicular style dating from the early part of the 15th century, and restored in 1884-87. It contains some ancient brasses and some interesting tombs and monuments. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of St Albans; net yearly value, £440 with residence. Patron, the Marquis of Salisbury. The church at Goffs Oak was erected in 1861, and is a cruciform building of brick and stone in the Early English style. The living is a vicarage; net yearly value, £135 with residence, in the gift of the Vicar of Cheshunt. There is a chapel belonging to the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion, and there are two Congregational and one Primitive Methodist chapels. Cheshunt College is a theological college founded by the Countess of Huntingdon in 1768 at Brecknock, and tranStrred to Cheshunt in 1792. It was affiliated to the University of London in 1840. The charities include an endowed school, almshouses for fourteen poor persons, &c. The Cheshunt nurseries are celebrated for the production of roses. The New River Company has reservoirs at Cheshunt capable of storing 75,000,000 gallons of water. Bury Green, Flamstead End, Turnford, Hammond Street, and Appleby Street are adjacent hamlets. The manor belonged to Alan, the Conqueror's nephew, and passed to John of Gaunt and the Fitzroys. Cheshant House, now belonging to the Mayo family, was held for a time by Cardinal Wolsey. Theobalds, now the seat of the Meux family, was originally built by the famous Lord Burleigh; became a favourite residence and the death-place of James I.; was occasionally visited by Charles I.; underwent confiscation and partial demolition in the time of the Commonwealth; passed for a time to General Monk; was given by William III. to Bentinck, Earl of Portland; went afterwards through various hands; and was rebuilt by the Prescotts in 1765. The entrance-gate to the park is the old Temple Bar which formerly marked the city boundary in Fleet Street. Pengelly House, which was burnt down in 1888, was occupied by Richard Cromwell from 1680 till his death. Cheshunt Park, till recently the seat of the Russells, was once the property of Oliver Cromwell, and went to the Russells through intermarriage with his descendants. A nunnery was founded here before the time of Stephen by Peter de Belingey. Cheshunt Wash, near Turnford, is thought by Gongh to have been the Roman Durolitum, and has yielded coins from Hadrian to Constantine.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyHertfordshire 
Ecclesiastical parishCheshunt St. Mary 
Poor Law unionEdmonton 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

Findmypast, in association with the Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies have the Baptisms, Banns, Marriages, and Burials online for Cheshunt

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Cheshunt from the following:

Land and Property

A full transcript of the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Hertfordshire is online.


Online maps of Cheshunt are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Hertfordshire newspapers online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitations of Hertfordshire, 1572 and 1634. Edited by Walter C. Metcalfe, F.S.A. is available on the Heraldry page.

Postal districtEN8
Post TownWaltham Cross