Elstree Way, Borehamwood, Herts.

Road in/near Borehamwood, existing between 1934 and now

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Road · Borehamwood · WD6 ·

Elstree Way connects Shenley Road and the A1 in Borehamwood.

MGM in Elstree Way when first built on a rural site. The first industry has moved in on the other side of the road.
Credit: Aerofilms
Elstree Way was constructed in the early 1930s and has contained the municipal centre of the town with Hertsmere Borough Council’s Civic Offices, the Police, Fire and Ambulance Stations, Library, the Venue Leisure Centre, Oaklands College and the Job Centre.

This end of Borehamwood originally had three farms and all the roads that linked them were just paths and tracks.

By 1938, development on both sides of Elstree Way had commenced. Through the following decades in a number of small individual building clusters sprung up. Notable along Elstree Way at various times were Elliots/GEC/Marconi, Sellotape, Carl Zeiss Scientific Instruments and Christian Salvesen.

Elstree Way was best known though for its film studios. Amalgamated was being constructed in Elstree Way when the developer went bankrupt and Lord Rank purchased the facility and 120 acres of land before it opened and then leased it to the Government at the outbreak of war.

In 1944, MGM were looking for a European base and purchased the studio and in 1946 began its completion and opening. The first MGM production to be made their was Edward, My Son starring Spencer Tracy. MGM was a going concern until 1970 having made 2001 - A Space Odyssey, Ivanhoe and many other movies. MGM created a huge backlot by buying the adjacent Thrift Farm. To the north of Elstree Way - huge sets were built during those decades becoming a feature of living in Borehamwood including castles, Wild West towns and more.

Today, nothing is left other than the base of the wall that ran along the front of the site and an electricity sub power station built in 1947. The MGM white clock tower continued to stand until 1986.

The Elstree Way Hotel was built around 1935 and was a pub, pub training centre and for a while the Borehamwood terminus of bus routes coming out of London. The Elstree Way Hotel was demolished in the 1980s to make way for new road layouts. Those new roads were built on the site of MGM with roads being named after movie stars and other notables in the film industry.

A surge in the population came with compulsory land purchasing by London County Council after the Second World War to cater for the baby boom families and roads to the south of Elstree Way were constructed along with housing.

Elstree Way covers the length of the route designated the A5135. The A5135 gained its number in the 1960s.


MGM in Elstree Way when first built on a rural site. The first industry has moved in on the other side of the road.

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The 1750 Rocque map is bounded by Sudbury (NW), Snaresbrook (NE), Eltham (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1750 map does not display.

The 1800 mapping is bounded by Stanmore (NW), Woodford (NE), Bromley (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1800 map does not display.

The 1830 mapping is bounded by West Hampstead (NW), Hackney (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Chelsea (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1830 map does not display.

The 1860 mapping is bounded by Brent Cross (NW), Stratford (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Hammermith (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1860 map does not display.

The 1900 mapping covers all of the London area.



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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Ordnance Survey of the London region (1939) FREE DOWNLOAD
Ordnance Survey colour map of the environs of London 1:10,560 scale
Ordnance Survey. Crown Copyright 1939.

Outer London (1901) FREE DOWNLOAD
Outer London shown in red, City of London in yellow. Relief shown by hachures.
Stanford's Geographical Establishment. London : Edward Stanford, 26 & 27, Cockspur St., Charing Cross, S.W. (1901)

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