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Chorleywood is a village and civil parish in the Three Rivers District, Hertfordshire, England, in the far southwest of the county on the border with Buckinghamshire, approximately 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Charing Cross. It is part of the London commuter belt and included in the government-defined Greater London Urban Area. The parish of Chorleywood was created in 1845 from part of the parish of Rickmansworth. The parish had a population of 11,286 people at the 2011 census.

Chorleywood is located in Hertfordshire
Location within Hertfordshire
Population11,286 (2011 Census)[1]
OS grid referenceTQ025965
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtWD3
Dialling code01923
AmbulanceEast of England
EU ParliamentEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°39′N 0°31′W / 51.65°N 0.51°W / 51.65; -0.51Coordinates: 51°39′N 0°31′W / 51.65°N 0.51°W / 51.65; -0.51

A survey carried out by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in 2004, found Chorleywood to be the neighbourhood in England with the highest quality of life. Of the 32,482 neighbourhoods surveyed, Chorleywood came out top using thirty-seven criteria.[2]


Cricket Ground
Chorleywood Common

Settlement at Chorleywood dates to the Paleolithic era when the plentiful flint supply led to swift development of tools by man. The Romans built a village on the ancient site complete with a mill and brewery.[3]

A large influx of Saxon settlers called it 'Cerola Leah', meaning a meadow in a clearing.[3] Through Chorleywood runs the line that once divided the Kingdoms of Mercia and Wessex and now divides the counties of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Edward the Confessor gave Chorleywood to the Monastery of St Albans.[3]

By 1278, it was known as 'Bosco de Cherle' or 'Churl's Wood', Norman for 'Peasant's Wood'.[3] Upon the Dissolution of the Monasteries, it passed to the Bishopric of London, being renamed 'Charleywoode'. It became Crown property during the reign of Elizabeth I. The Turnpike Act (1663) gave Chorleywood a chance to exploit its strategic position, allowing locals the opportunity to charge civilians to use the road from Hatfield to Reading.[3]

Chorleywood is most famous for its Quakers. Non-conformists flocked to Chorleywood, promised sanctuary by the locals. William Penn founded the Pennsylvania Colony with settlers from Chorleywood, Rickmansworth and nearby towns in southern Buckinghamshire, having lived and married in Chorleywood.[3]

Chorleywood House, a Regency mansion, was built in 1822 by John Barnes, replacing an earlier house. John Saunders Gilliat, the Governor of the Bank of England in 1883-1885, lived in it. In 1892, the house was bought by Lady Ela Sackville Russell, eldest daughter of the 9th Duke of Bedford. She modified and enlarged the house, turning the grounds into a model estate with market gardens.

The population was 1,500 in 1897; two years later the railway was extended to Chorleywood on 8 July 1889.

When the Local Government Act 1894 created districts as subdivisions of the newly created county councils, Chorleywood became part of the Watford Rural District, which encircled Watford. In 1913, the town was separated from Watford Rural District to become Chorleywood Urban District.

In the early 1960s, researchers at the British Baking Industries Research Association in Chorleywood improved upon an earlier American bread-making process. This resulted in the Chorleywood Bread Process which is now used in over 80% of commercial bread production throughout the UK.[4]

In the 1973 BBC Television documentary, Metro-land, Sir John Betjeman described Chorleywood as "essential Metro-land".[5]

In 1974, the Chorleywood Urban District, Rickmansworth Urban District and most of Watford Rural District were merged to form the Three Rivers non-metropolitan district.


Chorleywood Station

Chorleywood has grown in the past century following the extension of the Metropolitan line of the London Underground which reached Chorleywood in 1889. Chorleywood station is in Zone 7, situated between Rickmansworth and Chalfont and Latimer. The majority of trains stopping at Chorleywood are operated by London Underground but the station is also on the Chiltern Railways line running between Marylebone and Aylesbury.

Junction 18 of the M25 with the A404 is at Chorleywood.

The 336 bus route runs via Chorleywood between High Wycombe and Watford.

Chorleywood CommonEdit

Chorleywood Common
Chorleywood Urban District in 1971 was a small authority separated from Watford Rural District

Chorleywood Common is 0.8 square kilometres (200 acres) of wooded common land. It is a County Heritage Site, with significant biodiversity. Since cattle grazing ended soon after the First World War, the land has been used for recreational purposes. Chorleywood Golf Club maintains a nine-hole golf course on the Common.

In the 19th century, the MCC established a cricket pitch on the Common, which is used by Chorleywood Cricket Club's senior and junior teams to this day.


Map of "Metro-land", from the 1924 Metro-land booklet published by the Metropolitan Railway

Chorleywood is a part of the UK Parliament constituency, South West Hertfordshire. David Gauke, a resident, is the Member of Parliament (MP) since 2005. He was appointed as the Secretary of State for Justice in January 2018.[6][7]

A larger Chorleywood constituency, including Chorleywood, Sarratt and part of Abbots Langley is represented by Chris Hayward, Conservative, at Hertfordshire County Council.

At a district level, Chorleywood is part of Three Rivers; the two wards, Chorleywood North & Sarratt and Chorleywood South & Maple Cross, are divided by the railway line. Chorleywood South & Maple Cross includes most of Chorleywood village and Maple Cross; Chorleywood North & Sarratt includes the north part of Chorleywood, Loudwater, Sarratt and Belsize.

Chorleywood parish covers all Chorleywood, Loudwater and north-western parts of Rickmansworth. Chorleywood Parish councillors are currently ten Liberal Democrats and seven Conservatives.


St Clement Danes School is a mixed-academy school.

Christ Church School, Chorleywood Primary and Russell School are mixed-primary schools.


At the 2011 census, the parish of Chorleywood had a resident population of 11,286, of whom:

Three Rivers England & Wales
Median age 44 41 39
Under 18 23.8% 22.7% 21.3%
Over 65 20.5% 16.8% 16.4%
Ethnic group[9]
White British 79.6% 79.7% 80.5%
White Other 6.0% 6.6% 5.5%
Indian or British Indian 7.9% 6.0% 2.5%
Other Asian or British Asian 3.1% 3.2% 5.0%
Black or Black British 0.7% 1.8% 3.3%
Other ethnic group 0.4% 0.5% 1.0%
Christian 59.3% 59.9% 59.3%
Hindu 5.8% 4.5% 1.5%
Jewish 2.8% 1.8% 0.5%
Muslim 2.1% 2.2% 4.8%
Another religion 1.7% 1.6% 1.6%
No religion 20.9% 22.8% 25.1%
Did not answer 7.5% 7.0% 7.2%

Twin townEdit


  1. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  2. ^ "Suburbs score in quality of life". BBC News. 6 May 2004. Retrieved 10 September 2006.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Local History". Chorleywood Parish Council. Archived from the original on 5 April 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2008.
  4. ^ "The Chorleywood Bread Process, Training course, Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association (CCFRA)". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007.
  5. ^ Davidson, Max (5 June 2002). "End of the line for a poet's scorn". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 11 June 2008.
  6. ^ "David Gauke MP". Conservative Party. Archived from the original on 22 November 2006. Retrieved 10 June 2008.
  7. ^ Cross, Michael (8 January 2018). "Gauke named as first solicitor lord chancellor". Law Society Gazette. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Age structure". United Kingdom Census 2011. Office for National Statistics. 12 February 2013.
  9. ^ "Ethnic group". United Kingdom Census 2011. Office for National Statistics. 30 January 2013.
  10. ^ "Religion". United Kingdom Census 2011. Office for National Statistics. 30 January 2013.

External linksEdit