Theobald Street, Borehamwood, Herts.

Road in/near Borehamwood, existing between 1776 and now

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Road · Borehamwood · WD6 ·
JUNE
6
2017

Theobald Street runs from the centre of Borehamwood to the centre of Radlett.


Theobald Street was, until the twentieth century, the high street of Borehamwood. Shops run along the street between the Crown pub and Brickfield Cottages. Only with the arrival of the film industry did Shenley Road begin to take over this function.

The "street" part of the name is derived from an often-used Hertfordshire term for a hamlet which lies on a long road - other examples are Colney Street and, more locally, Green Street. In modern times the street was named after that of the hamlet - this is the reason it is a ’street’ rather than a ’lane’, despite its rural setting.

Theobald Street was, were created as a result of the Enclosure Act of 1776, whereby Boreham Wood Common was divided up amongst various landowners.

While associated more now with Borehamwood, the hamlet of Theobald Street lay nearer what is now Radlett and indeed was a former alternative name for Radlett. In 1718 the bridge over a stream between Radlett and Colney Street - called High Bridge - was sometimes described as being in the hamlet of Theobald Street. The line of Theobald Street south from Radlett was at first just a footpath.

Before the name settled into the modern form, Theobald Street was also called Tiberstreet, Tibure Street, Theebald Street, and Tyteburst Street. In the Domesday Book it was called Titeberst.

Elstree, the oldest part of the parish, came into the possession of St Albans Abbey in 1188, when it was known as Tidulfes Treow and Borehamwood as Bosci di Borham. Both names have undergone various changes and spellings over the centuries, and many older residents still prefer to spell Boreham Wood as two words.

Older local roads, including Barnet Lane, Furzehill Road, Shenley Road, Allum Lane and the Borehamwood end of Theobald Street, were created as a result of the Enclosure Act of 1776, whereby the 684 acres of Borehamwood Common were divided up amongst various landowners, including the Church, and in return new roads were laid out which were to be sixty feet wide including verges.

By Victorian times this part of the Parish consisted of little more than a hamlet, clustered around Theobald Street, north of the junction with Shenley Road, and surrounded by farms.

A small school opened at 27a Theobald Street in 1896. Since the introduction of the Education Act in 1870, making it compulsory for children under the age of ten to go to school, another building down the road at number 35 had been used as a temporary infants’ school for the area. Older pupils had to walk to the Elstree National School or Medburn Boys’ School, which was on the route to Radlett.

In 1896, 27a Theobald Street was erected. It is thought to have been constructed using bricks mined from a quarry off Deacons Hill Road, in Elstree. The building was also used by Elstree and Borehamwood Town Council, for meetings in the early 20th century.

A war memorial was placed at the junction of Theobald Street and Shenley Road. It was dedicated on 20 October 1921.

The growth of Borehamwood proceeded rapidly in the 1940s and 1950s. It was reported that Elstree Rural District Council built 1500 homes between 1945 and 1956, the London County Council 2700 homes, and 550 private dwellings were constructed. In 1957-8, the War Memorial moved from Theobald Street to the Elstree Way end of Shenley Road. A number of residential properties still remained in Shenley Road and some residents still talk of ‘going down the village’ when referring to this shopping centre. Shenley Road by then had taken over completely from Theobald Street as the centre of the growing town.

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Borehamwood

Borehamwood is a town of approximately 30 000 residents in southern Hertfordshire, just outside London, and part of the London commuter belt.

Borehamwood, more commonly called Boreham Wood before the LCC estate was built, is part of the borough of Hertsmere. The town is often associated with the nearby village Elstree (being part of the ancient parish of Elstree), the two still share a local council, now called the Elstree and Borehamwood Town Council.

The A1 passes just to the east of the town, and the M25 passes about two miles north of it.

Since the 1920s, the town has been the location of several film studios. The former British National Studios on Clarendon Road are now the BBC’s Elstree Television Studios. One of BBC’s popular soaps, EastEnders, is produced at the BBC studios, as well as popular medical drama Holby City. ’Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’, ’Big Brother’ and major feature films are filmed at the Elstree Studios in Shenley Road.
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