Historic Buildings

The Borough of Broxbourne was formed on 1 April 1974 when the ancient parishes of Cheshunt and Hoddesdon merged.

The Borough has a long and interesting history and is fortunate to have a number of historical features remaining.

  • Cheshunt takes its name from Cestrehunt which refers to a fortress or castle and lies one day's march north of London along the old Roman Road, Ermine Street. Referred to in the Domesday book of 1086, Cheshunt contains the historical Churchgate area. This area also contains Bishops' College.  Currently home to Broxbourne Council it originated as a religous college. It has been the home of a number of historical figures including Richard Cromwell (great-grandson of Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell) who is buried in  the St Mary's Churchyard, Elizabeth before she became Queen Elizabeth l and also Cardinal Wolsey at Cheshunt Great House
  • Broxbourne was a hamlet. It contains the remains of Broxbourne Mill which was mentioned in the Domesday Book and the 15th Century St Augustine's Church.  A focal point of Cheshunt is the Old Pond fountain, built in the 1960s when the area was developed
  • Cheshunt Park has a wealth of history dating back to the World War Two   
  • Cheshunt gave its thanks to Lt John D Ellis and his Liberator crew who came down in August 1944 avoiding houses and prevent the loss of life
  • Hoddesdon was a village. Granted a market charter in 1253, Hoddesdon developed into a coaching centre with over 30 inns some of which remain today. See a timeline of Hoddesdon
  • Waltham Cross is the home of one of just three remaining Eleanor Crosses.  It was also the home of the novelist Anthony Trollope who also brought the pillar box to England
  • Through the years the borough has had a large number of Royal Connections.

Throughout the Borough there are 259 listed buildings, conservation areas and scheduled monuments. For further information about the history of the Borough please visit Lowewood Museum.

Find out more information on Broxbourne's listed churches.

                                                                                            Historical Features


                              Four Swannes Gantry                                                                          Theobalds Palace at Cedars Park


                                Eleanor Monument                  Samaritan Woman                     Rye House                           New River

  • The original Four Swannes Gantry was built beside the now demolished Four Swannes Public House. In 2007 a replica was made and attached to the Pavilion Shopping Centre while the original swans were moved to Lowewood Museum
  • Cedars Park is steeped in history. It was the location of Theobalds Palace, bought by William Cecil who often entertained Queen Elizabeth l. A favoured residence of Jamesl I, it was demolished during the Civil war. Later, Cedars House was built on the site of the Palace. The park was given to the people in 1919
  • At the heart of Waltham Cross town centre stands the Eleanor Monument. This was built by King Edward l following the death of his wife Queen Eleanor of Castile. One of just three remaining structures, it was built in 1292 as one of the twelve overnight stops of the funeral procession from Lincoln to Westminster Abbey
  • Originally a piece of 17th century art, in 1631 the Samaritan Woman was placed in Hoddesdon market square to provide water to the townspeople. This was poured from the pitcher into a small pond. She stood for nearly 200 years before being moved to various locations in Hoddesdon. She now stands outside Lowewood Museum
  • The gatehouse is the only remaining part of Rye House which was where the Great Bed of Ware was displayed (now in the Victoria and Albert museum). This was so popular that Rye House station was built to accommodate the visitors
  • The New River, which runs through the Borough, was built between 1608 and 1613. Starting in Ware and ending in Islington, it was designed by Hugh Myddleton to carry drinking water from local springs into London. It was so successful that it continues to supply water to this day.