Tring /trɪŋ/ is a market town and civil parish in the Borough of Dacorum, Hertfordshire, England. It is situated in a gap passing through the Chiltern Hills, classed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, 30 miles (48 km) from Central London. Tring is linked to London by the Roman road of Akeman Street, by the modern A41 road, by the Grand Union Canal and by the West Coast Main Line to London Euston. Settlements in Tring date back to prehistoric times and it was mentioned in the Domesday Book; the town received its market charter in 1315.[2] Tring is now largely a commuter town within the London commuter belt. As of 2013, Tring has a population of 11,731.[1]

Market town
Tring High Street.jpg
Tring High Street
Tring is located in Hertfordshire
Location within Hertfordshire
Area36.21 km2 (13.98 sq mi)
Population11,730 [1]
• Density321.32/km2 (832.2/sq mi)
OS grid referenceSP924117
Civil parish
  • Tring
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townTRING
Postcode districtHP23
Dialling code01442
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°47′46″N 0°39′33″W / 51.7962°N 0.6592°W / 51.7962; -0.6592Coordinates: 51°47′46″N 0°39′33″W / 51.7962°N 0.6592°W / 51.7962; -0.6592


The name Tring is believed to derive from the Old English Tredunga or Trehangr. Tre', meaning 'tree' and with the suffix 'ing' implying 'a slope where trees grow'.[3]


The Church of St Peter and St Paul, Tring, viewed from the Rose and Crown

There is evidence of prehistoric settlement with Iron Age barrows and defensive embankments adjacent to The Ridgeway, and also later Saxon burials.[4] The town straddles the Roman road called Akeman Street, running through as the High Street. Tring was the dominant settlement in the area, being the primary settlement in the Hundred of Tring at the time of the Domesday Book (1086).[5] Tring had a large population and paid a large amount of tax relative to most settlements listed in that survey.[6] Landholdings included the manor of Treunga,[7] assigned to Count Eustace II of Boulogne by William the Conqueror.

In 1315 the town was granted a market charter by Edward II. This charter gave Faversham Abbey the right to hold weekly markets on Tuesdays, and a ten-day fair starting on 29 June, the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. It also prevented the creation of any rival markets within a day's travel of the town.[2] The tower of the Church of St Peter and St Paul was built somewhere in between 1360 and 1400.[2]

Until 1440, there was a small village east of Tring called Pendley (or Penley, Pendele, or Pentlai). The landowner Sir Robert Whittingham received a grant of free warren from King Henry VI. He enclosed 200 acres (about 80 hectares) and tore down the buildings on the land, returning the estate to pasture, and built a manor house, Pendley Manor. This house was variously inhabited by the Verney, Anderson and Harcourt families until the mid-19th century.[8]

Tring High Street in the 19th century

Tring Park Mansion was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and was built in 1682 for the owner Henry Guy, Gentleman of the Privy Chamber to Charles II.[9] John Washington, the son of the Reverend Lawrence Washington and Amphyllis Twigden, was born and brought up in Tring. In 1656 he left Tring to go on a trading voyage to Virginia, but after a shipwreck on the Potomac River he remained in Virginia, married and started a family which eventually included his great-grandson, George Washington, the first President of the United States.[10] The town's prosperity was greatly improved at the start of the 19th century by the construction nearby of the Grand Junction Canal, and soon afterwards in 1835 the London and Birmingham Railway. Industries which benefited included flour milling, brewing, silk weaving, lace-making and straw plaiting.[4]

In 1835, the medieval Pendley Manor was destroyed by fire. A local landowner, Joseph Grout Williams, commissioned a new manor house to be built in Jacobean Revival style, and this building still stands today on Station Road.[11]

In 1836 Thomas Butcher, a wholesale seed and corn merchant, and his son also called Thomas, established a private bank, Thomas Butcher & Son in Tring High Street. The business was subsequently run by Thomas's[clarification needed] grandsons, Frederick and George, and was also known locally as Tring Old Bank. By 1900 it had branches in Aylesbury, Chesham and Berkhamsted. From this time it became the subject of successive bank consolidations, eventually becoming a branch of the National Westminster Bank, the last to be represented in the town.[12]

Walter Rothschild and his carriage drawn by zebras

In the late 19th century the estate became the home of the Rothschild family, whose influence on the town was considerable. Nathan Mayer Rothschild's son Lionel Walter Rothschild (2nd Lord Rothschild, 1868–1937) built a private zoological museum in Tring. This housed perhaps the largest collection of stuffed animals worldwide. As the Natural History Museum at Tring, it has been part of the Natural History Museum, London since 1937. In April 2007 the museum changed its name to the Natural History Museum at Tring in order to make people more aware of the museum's link to London's Natural History Museum. In 1902 the 2nd Lord Rothschild also released the edible dormouse (Glis glis) into Tring Park. He used to ride around the town in a carriage drawn by zebras.[13] In the town centre of Tring there is a pavement maze in the shape of a Zebra's head in order to remember the link that Tring has to the Rothschild family.

The former livestock market in Tring, redeveloped in 2005, was believed to be the last remaining example of its type in the UK.[citation needed] It is now the home of a weekly Friday market and a fortnightly Saturday farmers' market. Some of the former livestock pens have been retained. The old livestock market office is now the home of the Tring Local History Museum, which opened in September 2010.[14]

In 2008 Tring became a Transition Town[clarification needed] with the support of Tring Town Council.


Tring is a part of the UK Parliament constituency, South West Hertfordshire. Gagan Mohindra has been the Member of Parliament (MP) since the December 2019 United Kingdom general election.[15]

The current composition of Tring Town Council is: 11 Liberal Democrats and 1 Conservatives.[16] Tring contains three wards: Tring Central, Tring East and Tring West and Rural. For elections to Dacorum Borough Council Tring Central elects three members and Tring East and Tring West and Rural each elect one member.

On Hertfordshire County Council, Tring is represented with one seat, currently held by the Liberal Democrats.[17]


View over Tring, looking north

Tring is in west Hertfordshire, adjacent to the Buckinghamshire border, at a low point in the Chiltern Hills known as the 'Tring Gap'. This has been used as a crossing point since ancient times, being at the junction of the Icknield Way and under the Romans Akeman Street, the major Roman road linking London to Cirencester. It is transected east and west by the ancient earthwork called Grim's Dyke.[7] It is located at the summit level of the Grand Union Canal and both the canal and railway pass through in deep cuttings. Tring railway cutting is 2.5 mi (4.0 km) long and an average of 39 ft (12 m) deep and is celebrated in a series of coloured lithographs by John Cooke Bourne showing its construction in the 1830s.[18]

The four Tring Reservoirs – Wilstone, Tringford, Startops End and Marsworth – were built to supply water for the canal. These have been a national nature reserve since 1955, and identified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest since 1987.[19] Nearby, within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty[20] that almost surrounds the town, is the Ashridge Estate, part of the National Trust and home to Ashridge Business School.

The civil parish includes the hamlets of Little Tring, New Mill and Bulbourne to the north of Tring and Hastoe to the south.


Climate data for Tring
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 6
Average low °C (°F) 3
Average precipitation mm (inches) 69.3
Source: [21]

Flour MillEdit

Heygates Mill is a flour mill. Originally it was a windmill, and the company was run by William Mead. The windmill was demolished in 1910 to make way for a wheat storage silo. In those days, Mead lived on-site, in a house next to the yard, and owned half the area taken by the mill of today. The remaining space was occupied by boat-builders, Bushell Brothers, who built narrowboats for the canal. The Heygate family took over Mead's business in 1945, and today mills 100,000 tons of wheat a year, resulting in 76,000 tons of flour. This is mainly bakers' flour, but there is also a commitment to wholemeal digestive for biscuits, bulk outlets and a large output of 1.5 kg bags from the pre-packed flour plant.

In the days of the Tring windmill, only two men operated the system, milling ten stone per hour. Now, computerised, more than twelve tons per hour are produced. Heygate's Tring mill has 80 employees and sixteen trucks delivering throughout the south of England.


Pendley Manor, a hotel, conference and arts centre, is situated about 1 mile (1.6 km) east of the town, near the railway station.

Tring Brewery has been operating in Tring since 1992.

Tring is home to the Tring Book Festival; a ten-day festival held in November. Tring is part of the Dacorum Local Food Initiative.


Lithograph entitled Tring Cutting by John C. Bourne (1839) illustrating the excavation near Tring for the London and Birmingham Railway

Tring railway station is about 2 miles (3.2 km) east of the town. It is served by London Northwestern services from Milton Keynes Central to London Euston and Southern operates the cross-London service to East Croydon via Clapham Junction. The station is served by slow and semi-fast trains. The station was originally opened in 1837 by the London & Birmingham Railway, under the direction of the railway engineer Robert Stephenson.[22]

The remote location of Tring railway station was due to changes to the route of the railway imposed on Stephenson by local landowners such as Lord Brownlow, who wished to protect his Ashridge Estate.[23] The location is sometimes wrongly attributed to objections, which were said to have been made by Lord Rothschild to protect his land in Tring; in fact, Lord Rothschild was not born until 1840, three years after the railway had opened and the Tring lands were only acquired by his father Lionel in 1872. He did, however, object to a much later plan to build a steam tramway between Tring Station and Aylesbury.[24]

An extension of the Metropolitan Railway was once considered from Chesham making Tring railway station the terminus, with connections to the main line companies serving the north. This project was not realised.[25]

In 1973, the A41 Tring bypass was opened.[26] The bypass runs through Tring Park and was originally conceived as the first stretch of a new motorway, the A41(M), which was planned to run from the M25 at Hunton Bridge to Aylesbury, but the project was not realised and the bypass was downgraded to trunk road status. In 1993, the A41 bypass was extended with 12 miles (19 km) of grade-separated dual carriageway that links the Tring bypass to the M25.[27]


Tring School is a state secondary school and sixth form with approximately 1,500 pupils (ages 11–18). It is located on Mortimer Hill on the east side of the town. It is now designated a Specialist Humanities College with History, Geography and English as its lead subjects. It has had Academy status since September 2012.

Tring Park School for the Performing Arts (formerly known as the Arts Educational School, Tring Park) is an independent specialist performing arts and academic school. It is located in Tring Mansion, and has 300 pupils.

Tring has four state junior schools: Bishop Wood CE Junior School, Dundale Primary and Nursery School, Goldfield Infants and Nursery School and Grove Road Primary School.

Tring has a youth club – The Tring Youth Project – for those between 11 and 18 at the Temperance Hall in Christchurch Road.

Tring also has a theatre youth group, Court Youth Theatre which is connected to the Court Theatre, Pendley Manor. This has three sections to it: juniors, intermediates and seniors.

There is also an air cadet squadron in Tring (2457 Squadron) on New Road


Edward Lear makes reference to Tring in A Book of Nonsense:

There was an Old Person of Tring,
Who embellished his nose with a ring;
He gazed at the moon,
Every evening in June,
That ecstatic Old Person of Tring.[28]


Tring Sports Centre is in the grounds of Tring School.

Tring is the former home town of Premiership referee and 2003 FA Cup Final referee Graham Barber, now retired in Spain. It is also home to the retired FA and World Cup referee Graham Poll.

Tring is home to three football clubs, Tring Athletic, Tring Town and Tring Corinthians, all of which play in the Spartan South Midlands Football League, and to a youth football club, Tring Tornadoes, which field sides for boys and girls up to 16. It is also home to a rugby club, Tring R.U.F.C., which won promotion to London Division One in 2008, Tring Hockey Club, with three men's and two ladies' sides, and Tring Park Cricket Club, in the Home Counties Premier Cricket League and a squash club

Notable peopleEdit



  1. ^ a b "Tring Geo-type". Hertfordshire Local Information System. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Tring Charter 700. Tring Town Crier, April 2015
  3. ^ Ekwall, Eilert (1977). The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Placenames. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0198691033.
  4. ^ a b c "This is Tring". Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Hundred: Tring". Archived from the original on 8 October 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  6. ^ "Place: Tring". Archived from the original on 16 April 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  7. ^ a b Page, William, ed. (1908). "Parishes: Tring with Long Marston". A History of the County of Hertford (Volume II). London, UK: Victoria County History. pp. 281–294. Retrieved 11 March 2010.
  8. ^ "Pendley Manor". Hertfordshire Genealogy. July 2008. Archived from the original on 27 October 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  9. ^ Colvin, Howard (1995). A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects (3rd ed.). s.v. "Wren, Sir Christopher": "probably c. 1680". Remodelled 1872 onwards. A surviving obelisk and temple portico in the park are presumably by James Gibbs, for William Gore (Colvin, s.v. "Gibbs, James").
  10. ^ a b Neil, Murray. "The Washingtons of Tring". Hertfordshire Genealogy. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  11. ^ "Our Story". Pendley Manor. Archived from the original on 27 October 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Thomas Butcher & Sons, Tring, c.1836–1900". RBS Heritage Online. Archived from the original on 20 May 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  13. ^ "Zebra-drawn carriage driven by Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild". National History Museum, Tring. Retrieved 11 June 2009.
  14. ^ "Home". Tring Local History Museum. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  15. ^ "Hertfordshire South West parliamentary constituency – Election 2019". BBC News. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  16. ^ "Town & Parish Elections – Thursday, 2nd May, 2019". Dacorum.
  17. ^ "Your Councillors". Hertfordshire County Council. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  18. ^ "Tring Cutting". Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  19. ^ "All about Tring Reservoirs". British Waterways. 2007. Archived from the original on 12 March 2009.
  20. ^ "Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty". Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  21. ^ "Averages for Tring". MSN Weather. Archived from the original on 29 January 2013.
  22. ^ "'Tring Cutting', Hertfordshire, 17 June 1837". Science & Society Picture Library. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  23. ^ Birtchnell, Percy (1960). "Our Communications". A Short History of Berkhamsted. ISBN 978-1-87137-200-7.
  24. ^ Austin, Wendy; Petticrew, Ian (November 2013). "The Railway Comes To Tring: 1835–1846". Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  25. ^ Foxell, Clive (1996). Chesham Shuttle (2 ed.). Chesham: Clive Foxell. p. 32. ISBN 0-9529184-0-4.
  26. ^ Prince, Hugh (2008). Parks in Hertfordshire since 1500. Hatfield: Hertfordshire Publications. p. 270. ISBN 9780954218997.
  27. ^ "A41". Motorway Database. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  28. ^ Lear, Edward (1846). A Book of Nonsense. London: Thomas McLean.
  29. ^ "Gerald Massey".

External linksEdit