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Cheshunt ( ) is a town in Hertfordshiremarker, England with a population of around 52,000 according to the United Kingdom's 2001 Census [53879]. It is a dormitory town and part of the Greater London Urban Areamarker and London commuter belt served by Cheshunt railway stationmarker. The town is located from Charing Crossmarker, making it one of the closest parts of Hertfordshire to Central London.

History and geography

The Prime Meridian passes to the east of Cheshunt.

The town name comes from the Old English name (as recorded in the Domesday Book) for the area, Cestrehunt, which probably refers to a "castle, erected by the Romans", the word word cestre (along with the form ceastre), or even its modern forms, chestermarker and caster being derived from the Latin castrum meaning "fort". The town Chestermarker also derives from this root and it is an element in various English place-names. This is commemorated in the arms of the former Cheshunt urban district council.

Cheshunt was a settlement on Ermine Streetmarker, the main Roman road leading north from London. This origin was investigated by the television archaeology programme Time Team.

Richard Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth, died here in 1712. The town's Bury Green neighbourhood was once the home of singer Cliff Richard. Lotus Cars as well as the nationally famous Debenhams were also founded in Cheshunt, and the headquarters of Tescomarker, the UK's largest and most profitable supermarket chain, is also located here. In 2002, Cheshunt hosted the only officially licensed European BotCon convention ever.

In 1825, Cheshunt was also the location of the Cheshunt Railway. Running from the town's High Street to the River Lea near the present-day Cheshunt railway stationmarker, this horse-drawn line was the first passenger-carrying monorail and the first railway line to be built in Hertfordshire.

Services in Cheshunt include the Brookfield Centre, which includes Next, Boots, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Argos and Marks & Spencer stores, as well as a large Tescomarker Extra store. There is a Marriott Hotel nearby, and the town centre includes a wide variety of smaller shops.

Being located in the Lea Valley, Cheshunt has access to the Lee Valley Parkmarker.

Up until 2004, Cheshunt was home to the famous Temple Barmarker, moved from London at the turn of the 19th century, but the gateway was re-installed in London at Paternoster Square on the north side of St Paul's Cathedralmarker.



Cheshunt is located on the A10marker trunk road (also known locally as the Great Cambridge A Road) which provides links to the M25marker Junction 25, as well as to Enfieldmarker, London and the famous university city of Cambridgemarker.


Trains from Cheshunt railway stationmarker run into Liverpool Streetmarker and Stratfordmarker, with connections to the London Underground Victoria Line at Tottenham Halemarker and Seven Sistersmarker. Away from London, Cheshunt trains serve Broxbournemarker, Hertford Eastmarker, Stansted Airportmarker and Cambridgemarker.

Other nearby stations include Theobalds Grovemarker and Cuffleymarker. Oakwoodmarker and Cockfostersmarker tube stations, on the Piccadilly Line, are located further afield.


The Sustrans National Cycle Route 1 passes through Cheshunt as part of its route connecting Dovermarker to the Shetlandsmarker.

Proposed cycle bridge over A10

As part of the Connect2 project a proposal is in place to create a new cycle link over the A10. The scheme involves the building of a new cycle bridge over the A10 and connecting paths to link Theobalds Lane with Lieutenant Ellis Way. The scheme aims to be complete in time to coincide with the opening of the new St Marys High School and has an estimated cost of £1.7m.
 £500,000 of this cost is funded by the Big Lottery Fund via the Connect2 project. Planning permission has been granted for the scheme and it is currently in the design process.


Cheshunt's best-known employer is Tesco, whose head office has been in Cheshunt for many years. A small store has been in the town centre for many years and is still open today, and a separate "Home and Ware" store used to be opposite (now closed). In 1983 a new out-of-town Tesco store located to the north of the town opened, named "Brookfield Farm". It later expanded, and a branch Marks & Spencer built next door, the entire estate renamed "The Brookfield Centre".

Until the late 1960s the main land use around Cheshunt was for its nursery industry, and many new techniques for growing under glass were developed here. Thomas Rochford had a large concern here, although now almost all the glasshouse have been re-developed into housing estates. This is often reflected in the names of the roads or estates, such as Rosedale or Thomas Rochford Way. A small amount of nursery trade survives to the west of the town. The neighbouring town of Goff's Oak still has a large number of nurseries as well as a large garden centre.

North Met Pit, flooded gravel workings
The River Lee Navigationmarker passes through Cheshunt and was used for the transport of flowers and crops to the London markets for many years until road transport became more viable. A wharf existed just east of the railway on the site now occupied by Herts Young Mariners Base and the Youth Hostel which was built on the site of the derelict open-air swimming pool. Photos of the pool are exhibited at the hostel.

"Cheshunt Compound" a fungicide developed at the Cheshunt Research Station is still manufactured today.

From the end of World War II a large area of the River Lea flood plain was used for sand and gravel extraction which resulted in the creation of the now mature lakes which are popular with anglers, birdwatchers and naturalists. The area now forms part of the 1000-acre River Lee Country Parkmarker and the Turnford and Cheshunt Pitsmarker (SSSI).


Cheshunt has four secondary schools: St Mary's High School (C.E.); Cheshunt Schoolmarker; Goffs Schoolmarker; and Turnford Schoolmarker.

The non-conformist theological college Cheshunt College, moved to Cheshunt in the 1790s from Treveccamarker, Brecknockshiremarker. It moved to Cambridgemarker in 1905. Between 1909 and 1968 the buildings were occupied by the Church of England's Bishop's College, but these are now council offices.


Cheshunt's best-known son is the rock singer Cliff Richard and the town was also home to the band Unit 4 + 2 whose song Concrete and Clay topped the UK charts in 1964. UFO drummer Andy Parker was born in the town in the 1950s.In 2003 the song Compassion Fatigue by History Of Guns contained the line, "Waltham Cross, Cuffley and Cheshunt must be drowned".

The popular underground band Neils Children, who have recently gained attention, originally hail from Cheshunt.


Cheshunt has its own football Club in Cheshunt F.C. who play in the Isthmian League Division One North. Founded in 1946, their most famous player was Iain Dowie who played for them in the 1980s.

Cheshunt also has long-established rugby and cricket clubs and an 18-hole golf course.

Notable people

Town twinning

  • Stains, France, in northern Paris.


External links

Arms of the former Cheshunt Urban District Council

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