Borehamwood - All Saints Church - - 387154.jpg
(c) Nigel Cox, CC BY-SA 2.0

All Saints church, Borehamwood
Borehamwood is located in Hertfordshire
Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right, CC BY-SA 3.0
Location within Hertfordshire
Population31,955 (2011 Census)[1]
OS grid referenceTQ195975
Civil parish
  • Elstree and Borehamwood
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtWD6
Dialling code020
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
  • Hertsmere

Borehamwood (/ˌbɔːrəmˈwʊd/, historically also Boreham Wood) is a town in southern Hertfordshire, England, 12 miles (19 km) from Charing Cross. Borehamwood has a population of 31,074,[1] and is within the London commuter belt.[2] The town's film and TV studios are commonly known as Elstree Studios.


One of the earliest mentions of Bosci de Boreham (Wood of Boreham), is in 1188:

"In 1188 Pope Clement granted to the kitchen of the monastery the whole land of Elstree. He also gave to the Abbey the wood of Boreham for the feeding of the swine."[3]

In 1776, the House of Lords granted:

"An Act for dividing and closing the Common or Waste Ground, called Boreham Wood Common, in the Parish of Elstree otherwise Idletree, in the County of Hertford."[4]

Borehamwood was historically part of the parish of Elstree. A separate ecclesiastical parish of "All Saints, Boreham Wood" was created on 26 February 1909, covering the part of Elstree parish east of the Midland Railway.[5] Despite this change to the ecclesiastical boundaries, Borehamwood remained part of the civil parish of Elstree. The name of the civil parish was changed to Elstree and Borehamwood on 24 February 1982.[6] The ecclesiastical parishes of Borehamwood and Elstree were reunited on 1 April 2005, also under the name "Elstree and Borehamwood".[7]

From the 1920s onwards, the town became known as one of the main centres of the UK film, and later television, industries due to the presence of production studios.

(c) Dave Skinner, CC BY-SA 2.0
The War Memorial

Following the Second World War, the town's population greatly increased, with large areas of council housing set up for displaced Londoners, many of which are now in private ownership. Fast train connections to central London have resulted in the town becoming a primarily residential suburb. In 1946, the Admiralty started to build highly secret high-performance electronic digital computers at Borehamwood in a redundant wartime factory, firstly for the purpose of real-time gunnery control, and later for surface-to-air guided weapons and missiles, and for specialist cryptography and code-breaking computers for GCHQ.[8]

Borehamwood is currently undergoing a substantial housing transformation which has seen hundreds of new homes built over the last five years. Two further developments are being built and more are expected.

In addition to the studios, the town is home to many retail shops, hotels, restaurants, offices and light industry. The hotels cater mainly to tourists visiting the Elstree Studios, attendees of the television shows being recorded in the Elstree Studios, and London visitors due to the proximity to London and the considerable lower accommodation rates.

There is one weekly newspaper, the Borehamwood & Elstree Times.


(c) Martin Addison, CC BY-SA 2.0
Elstree & Borehamwood Station
London Buses route 292

On the west side of Borehamwood is Elstree & Borehamwood railway station (TfL Zone 6) served by trains operated by Govia Thameslink Railway on the Thameslink route.

Metroline for London buses runs its number 107 service through the town from New Barnet to Edgware and back, whilst London Sovereign for London buses operates the number 292 bus service going into north-west London. The Uno (bus company) run a bus service that stops at Borehamwood starting from Hatfield to Stanmore and back, as well as a bus service that goes to Watford. Intalink operate a bus service to other parts of Hertfordshire.

The A1 road passes just to the east of the town, and the M25 motorway passes about 2 miles (3.2 km) north of it.



Borehamwood experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) similar to almost all of the rest of the United Kingdom.

Climate data for Boreham Wood
Average high °C (°F)8
Average low °C (°F)5
Average precipitation mm (inches)50.7
Source: [9]

Film industry

Borehamwood is located in Elstree and Borehamwood
© OpenStreetMap contributors, Nilfanion and Dr Greg. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2022., CC BY-SA 4.0
Studios in Elstree and Borehamwood
  1. New Elstree Studios (1955–62)
  2. Gate Studios (1928–57)
  3. BBC Elstree Centre (1914–)
  4. Elstree Film Studios (1925–)
  5. Imperial Studios (1929–36)
  6. MGM-British Studios (1935–70)
  7. Millennium Studios (1993–)
  8. Sky Studios Elstree (due 2022)

Since the 1914, the town has been home to several film studios and many shots of its streets are included in final cuts of 20th century British films. This earned it the nickname of the "British Hollywood". Whilst most of these studios have now closed, two still remain.

Many well-known films including The Dam Busters (1955), Star Wars (1977–), Moby Dick (1956), Summer Holiday (1963), Dr Zhivago (1965)', 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and, The Shining (1980) starring Jack Nicholson, some of the Indiana Jones films were filmed at the former Associated British Studios in Shenley Road. These were partly demolished in the 1980s to make way for a Tesco Extra supermarket on one side and an office block complex on the other.

The area between the supermarket and the office blocks is all that remains of the original studio, which has been much reduced in size and usefulness to production companies as a result. Elstree Studios were more recently used for the popular TV series Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and Big Brother, as well as several major feature films. The Inspector Morse TV series' production offices were based in the studios and, although the series was supposedly set in Oxford, several exterior locations (banks, shops etc.) were filmed in the streets of Borehamwood.

The former British National Studios off Clarendon Road, referred to locally as "The Douglas Fairbanks studios" (which were bought by Lew Grade's ATV in 1962), are now the BBC Elstree Centre. The studios have, over the years, been home to Alfred Hitchcock's film Blackmail, Gerry Anderson's TV series UFO, Jim Henson's TV series The Muppet Show was also produced there, and now BBC's popular soap, EastEnders and their medical drama Holby City. An episode of Judge John Deed included scenes of the Tesco Extra, but with Borehamwood crossed out and Lewes written in its place.

Several other studios including the Gate Studios and the Danziger Studios at nearby Elstree have been demolished. The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer British Studios complex (demolished in the early 1970s) saw the production of many well-known films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Where Eagles Dare (1968) and Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), as well as many ITV television series including The Prisoner (1967–68).

The newer Millennium Studios were situated on Elstree Way, Borehamwood.

Notable companies

The UK headquarters of Pizza Hut Restaurants are based within the town, the head office of the Delivery portion having moved to nearby St Albans in 2015; and, until 2003, so were the headquarters of the United Kingdom subsidiary of T-Mobile, with both being based in the office blocks standing on part of what used to be the old Elstree Studios. Regent Inns has its head office on Elstree Way. George Wimpey also has large offices within the town. The market leading takeaway delivery company Just Eat also has an office in the town in the same complex as Pizza Hut. Since 2015, Borehamwood has also been home to the UK subsidiary of the best selling Olive Oil brand; Filippo Berio.

Notable people

  • Dele Alli English footballer, lives in Elstree
  • Alfie Bass Lived in Well End, Borehamwood until his death in 1987.
  • Simon Cowell (born 1959), reality television judge and producer, raised in Elstree.
  • Gino D'Acampo celebrity chef lives in Elstree.
  • Jaye Davidson, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the film The Crying Game, grew up here and went to Hillside Comprehensive School (now Yavneh College).
  • Sir Ray Davies, actor, director, producer, guitarist, primary vocalist and songwriter for The Kinks, lived in Borehamwood during the late 1960s.
  • Den Dover (born 1938), Member of the European Parliament, lives in Borehamwood.[10]
  • John Forgeham, lived in Borehamwood during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
  • Prof. Angus Charles Graham (1919–1991), Professor of Classical Chinese, London University, 1971–84, lived in Borehamwood.[11]
  • Sir Robert Holland (c.1283–1328), nobleman, was murdered in Borehamwood on 15 Oct 1328.[12]
  • Marilyn, early 80s New Romantic singer went to St Teresa's Catholic School
  • Shona McGarty, plays Whitney Dean in EastEnders.
  • Tim Sherwood, former footballer and manager.[13]
  • James Hay Stevens (1913–1973)[14] FRAeS. Aviation journalist, editor Aircraft Engineering (1945–1957), illustrator and pilot lived in Borehamwood. He developed the 1:72nd scale model used by Airfix and other toy manufacturers.[15][16]
  • John Frederick Tayler (1802–1889), watercolour painter, and President of the then-called Old Society,[17] was born on 30 April 1802 at Borehamwood.[18]

Sport and recreation

The first third of the Watling Chase Timberland Trail stretches from Elstree & Borehamwood railway station up to Shenley.[19] South of the town is a large area of grassland and trees called Woodcock Hill Village Green. Section 16 of the London Outer Orbital Path (London Loop) runs adjacent to the town, starting in Elstree and through Scratchwood towards the London Borough of Barnet.

Meadow Park stadium

Borehamwood is home to Boreham Wood FC, Arsenal Women and Watford FC Reserves who play their home games at Meadow Park. There are several parks in the area. Aberford Park is featured with the source of the brook which has been artificially made to look like a lake. Meadow Park includes a large playing field, tennis courts and basketball courts.

Borehamwood has a large shopping area called Borehamwood Shopping Park, featuring large stores such as Debenhams, Marks & Spencer Simply Food, Next, Outfit – which includes Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans and Miss Selfridge, WH Smith, Boots, and more recently JD Sports, which took the place of JJB Sports, and newly added Poundland, Lidl, Metro Bank, and Pets at Home.

The hamlet of Well End has a notable pub, the Mops and Brooms, reputedly the site of a battle between travellers and village folk.[20] Adjacent to the pub is a much older building: Nelson Cottage (c.1600) is now a private residence but was the original Mops and Brooms alehouse. It was renamed the Lord Nelson c.1840–50 and traded under that name until its closure in 1932 and replacement by the current pub, which eventually reverted to the older name.[21]

The Borehamwood & Elstree Times is a privately owned, online-only local newspaper covering the local and adjacent area. The Town Crier is a quarterly, council-run community publication for Elstree & Borehamwood residents.


Borehamwood has a number of primary schools, including Cowley Hill Primary School, Woodlands Primary School and Parkside School. Secondary schools include Hertswood Academy, Elstree Screen Arts Academy and Yavneh College. Independent schools include Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' and Girls' schools.

Oaklands College has a site in Borehamwood, where it offers a small range of full and part-time courses.

The TV series Grange Hill was filmed at Hillside School in Borehamwood (as well as BBC Elstree Centre) from 1985 to 1990.[22]

Nearby towns and villages

Twin towns

References by media and the arts

  • Borehamwood is the town upon which one of three maps is based in the game Urban Dead. This map was released as part of the promotional campaign for the release of British writer Charlie Brooker's Dead Set (set in the Big Brother house in Borehamwood).[23]


  1. ^ a b Neighbourhood Statistics 2011 census population Borehamwood Archived 9 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 28 May 2013
  2. ^ Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Parish Headcounts : Hertsmere Retrieved 2 February 2010
  3. ^ William Page (editor), "Elstree", A History of the County of Hertford: volume 2, 1908 (at British History Online) retrieved 16 October 2011. Refers to Matthew Paris', Chronica Majora, vi, 46.
  4. ^ Journals of the House of Lords, Volume 34, Publisher HMSO, 1774 (page 614)
  5. ^ "At the Court at Buckingham Palace, the 15th day of February, 1909". London Gazette (28228): 1558. 26 February 1909. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  6. ^ Alteration of Areas and Status of Local Authorities 1980–1982 (PDF). London: Department of the Environment. 1982. Retrieved 11 September 2021. Local Government Act 1972, Section 75. Parish of Elstree now known as Elstree and Borehamwood, date of notice 24 February 1982.
  7. ^ Holland, Steve (29 April 2005). "Parishes reunited after century apart". Borehamwood and Elstree Times. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  8. ^ Simon Lavington ed. 2012 Alan Turing and his contemporaries: Building the World's First Computers BCS
  9. ^ "Averages for Borehamwood". Archived from the original on 29 January 2013.
  10. ^ "Euro MP told to repay £500k", Borehamwood & Elstree Times, Thursday 13 November 2008. Retrieved 15 October 2011
  11. ^ 'Graham, Prof. Angus Charles', Who Was Who, A & C Black, 1920–2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007 accessed 15 Oct 2011
  12. ^ J. R. Maddicott, 'Holland, Sir Robert (c.1283–1328)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 15 Oct 2011
  13. ^ Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2005). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2005/2006. Queen Anne Press. p. 371. ISBN 978-1-85291-662-6.
  14. ^ Flight International, 15 March 1973 (page 366)
  15. ^ New Scientist, 12 August 1971. (page 376)
  16. ^ Arthur Ward, The Boys' Book of Airfix: Who Says You Ever Have to Grow Up?, Publisher: Random House, 2009,ISBN 0-09-192898-2,ISBN 978-0-09-192898-8, 192 pages (page 49)
  17. ^ About the Royal Watercolour Society Archived 21 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine website, retrieved 15 October 2011
  18. ^ Simon Fenwick, 'Tayler, (John) Frederick (1802–1889)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 15 Oct 2011
  19. ^ "Countryside Management Service".
  20. ^ Rothwell, D., Dictionary of Pub Names
  21. ^ Historic England. "Nelson Cottage (1103547)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  22. ^ "Grange Hill (TV Series 1978–2008) – IMDb" – via
  23. ^ "Borehamwood – The Urban Dead Wiki".

External links

Media files used on this page

Hertfordshire UK location map.svg
Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right, CC BY-SA 3.0

Map of Hertfordshire, UK with the following information shown:

  • Administrative borders
  • Coastline, lakes and rivers
  • Roads and railways
  • Urban areas

Equirectangular map projection on WGS 84 datum, with N/S stretched 160%

Geographic limits:

  • West: 0.80W
  • East: 0.35E
  • North: 52.09N
  • South: 51.59N
Hertfordshire flag. The county flag of Hertfordshire registered by the Flag Institute
Elstree and Borehamwood parish UK location map.svg
© OpenStreetMap contributors, Nilfanion and Dr Greg. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2022., CC BY-SA 4.0
Location map of the civil parish of Elstree and Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England, in 2022, showing roads, railways, rivers and built-up areas. Inset highlights Elstree and Borehamwood among all the civil parishes of Hertfordshire.

Equirectangular map projection on WGS 84 datum, with N/S stretched 160%.

  • West: 0.320°W
  • East: 0.240°W
  • North: 51.685°N
  • South: 51.635°N
 B road
 Other road
  Built-up area
Meadow Park (Borehamwood).jpg
Author/Creator: Matt Churchill, Licence: CC BY 2.0
Meadow Park in Borehamwood
Borehamwood - All Saints Church - - 387154.jpg
(c) Nigel Cox, CC BY-SA 2.0
All Saints' parish church, Shenley Road, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, seen from the north
War Memorial Borehamwood - - 548830.jpg
(c) Dave Skinner, CC BY-SA 2.0
War Memorial Borehamwood The Borehamwood Memorial was dedicated on 20 October 1921 and was moved in 1957 to its present site opposite the Elstree Film Studios, on the side of a busy Shenley Road.
London Buses route 292 Elstree station.jpg
Author/Creator: David Howard from Kingsbury, England, Licence: CC BY 2.0
292 Elstree station
Elstree Station - - 1065966.jpg
(c) Martin Addison, CC BY-SA 2.0
Elstree Station Seen prior to the electrification of the midland mainline from St. Pancras. The old Midland Railway station awnings are still in place. A class 47 brings a freightliner train through on the slow lines. in the distance the twin bores taking the lines under Deacon's Hill can be seen.