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History of Aldenham Village

Aldenham is a village and civil parish in Hertfordshire, 3.5 miles (5.6 km) north-east of Watford and 2 miles (3.2 km) southwest of Radlett. It was mentioned in the Domesday Book and is one of Hertsmere’s 14 conservation areas. This secluded little village has eight pre-19th century buildings that are listed buildings and the parish itself is largely unchanged, though buildings have been rebuilt, since Saxon times when the majority of the land was owned by the abbots of Westminster Abbey.

In the Index of Multiple Deprivation, the ward of Aldenham East was ranked the least deprived ward out of 8414 in England, while Aldenham West also featured among the least deprived three per cent in the country. Radlett forms the eastern part of the civil parish.


In 1086 in the Domesday Book, Aldenham parish appears to have straddled the boundary of two ancient hundreds: Danish Hundred (East of North Watford, North of Patchetts Green) and St. Albans Hundred (South of Hanstead). The Domesday surveyors were recording a property ownership dispute that had been ongoing for three centuries regarding heavily forested land.

The Church of St John the Baptist in Aldenham village is seven hundred and fifty years old and there is good reason to believe that an earlier Saxon church stood on the site. After the Reformation the lands were sold off to the highest bidders and Aldenham is probably smaller today than it was 500 years ago.

In 1940, a German air attack damaged stained glass and removed the “Hertfordshire Spike” – the spire on the top of the tower. Restoration work was completed in 1951.

Both the church and the village have been used in many films, advertisements and television programmes, being within easy travelling distance of Elstree Studios. These have included the film Confessions of a Window Cleaner, BBC television series Pathfinders, and the Coldplay music video for “Life in Technicolor II”, to name but a few.

Although it gave its name to the Aldenham Bus Works owned by London Transport, Aldenham Works was actually located at nearby Elstree.