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Rickmansworth 128.jpg
Grid reference: TQ061944
Location: 51°38’18"N, 0°27’57"W
Population: 14,571
Post town: Rickmansworth
Postcode: WD3
Dialling code: 01923
Local Government
Council: Three Rivers
South West Hertfordshire

Rickmansworth is a wealthy town in southwestern Hertfordshire, 4¼ miles west of Watford. The middle of town itself contains but a modest high street with a good range of shops, and supermarkets off at the fringes. The houses of the town surrounding the middle of town all around form a large belt from the modest to the very wealthy.

The town has a population of around 15,000 people and lies on the Grand Union Canal and the River Colne, at the northern end of the Colne Valley regional park.

Rickmansworth is a small town in a leafy suburb with a wide range of leisure activities, amenities and good quality schools. Indeed, Rickmansworth is in Top 10 neighbourhoods with the highest quality of life according to Government statistics.[1] Nearby there is a wide and diverse range of leisure activities and amenities for example Cassiobury Park, cycling along one of the most picturesque sections of the Grand Union Canal, the River Chess valley, walks in the Chiltern Hills and Chorleywood Common to name a few. The High Street also hosts a range of restaurants covering almost all areas of cuisine.

It began to grow in the 1920s and 1930s as part of the Metro-land area, due to Rickmansworth station on the Metropolitan Railway, now the Metropolitan Line of London Underground. As such, it is largely a commuter town and transport links are reasonable with fast trains direct to London taking about 30 minutes either via the Chiltern turbo train to Marylebone or fast Metropolitan line trains to Baker Street. It is contained within the M25 J17-J18 with good transport links to Luton and Heathrow Airports as well as the M1 and M40.

Colloquially Rickmansworth is often shortened to "Ricky" as used in the town's annual "Ricky Week" celebrations which occur in May. There is also an annual "Victorian Evening" held in the town centre every November.

The town's canal history is remembered every year at the end of Ricky Week with the Rickmansworth Festival, organised by Rickmansworth Waterways Trust.

Rickmansworth also has a famous frost hollow. This is caused by the local geography, notably a railway embankment which prevents the natural drainage of cold air from a specific part of the valley. Rickmansworth recorded the largest daily temperature range in England when, on 29 August 1936, the temperature climbed from 1.1 °C at dawn to 24.9 °C within 9 hours due to this unique geographic feature.

Name of the town

The name Rickmansworth comes from the Saxon name "Ryckmer", the local magnate, and "worth" meaning farm or stockade. In the Domesday Book of 1086 it is known as The Manor of Prichemaresworde. Later spellings are Rykemarwurthe (1119–46), Richemaresworthe (1180), Rykemerewrthe (1248), Richemereworthe (1259), Rikesmareswrth (1287) and Rikmansworth (1382).

Ricky Week

Ricky Week is a week-long festival held in May, which culminates with the Rickmansworth Canal Festival.


St Mary's


The town has a public golf course called Rickmansworth Golf Course which is adjacent to the two courses that make up the famous golf Moor Park golf course which includes a mansion that has been preserved as the club house.

Rickmansworth Cricket Club was founded in 1787 and is one of the oldest recorded clubs in England. The present clubhouse was built in 1921 by Sir William Francis Reckitt - a member of the Reckitt and Colman Mustard dynasty.

At the east end of Rickmansworth High Street at the bottom of Scots Hill is situated the Rickmansworth Sports Club. Initially this was the home of Rickmansworth Cricket Club which currently runs 4 sides in the Saracens Hertfordshire Cricket League. But over the years other sports have moved into the grounds, including Chess Valley Rugby Football Club [1] and the Rickmansworth & Chess Valley Hockey Clubs [2].

William Penn Leisure Centre in Mill End is named after the former school at the same site, using the original school swimming pool.

The Aquadrome is home to a number of watersports including sailing, canoeing and wind sailing.

There are public tennis Courts on the edge of Rickmansworth by Chorleywood House as well as Rickmansworth Lawn Tennis Club which also hosts Rickmansworth Table Tennis Club matches.


Batchworth Lake within the Aquadrome

Rickmansworth contains a large public park called the Aquadrome. Covering 100 acres, the Aquadrome is a Local Nature Reserve consisting of lakes, grassland and woodland and is an ideal place for walks.

In July 2009, the reserve received a Green Flag award, which is only given to parks and open spaces with meet certain high standards. The park includes several large lakes, grass and woodland areas and a children's play area (renovated in 2008). A new café and associated amenities opened up in the Aquadrome in early 2009 (http://www.thecafeinthepark.com). The Cafe building also hosts a range of community activities e.g. children's musical workshops etc. and provides a welcome focal point for park users.

From East to West the lakes are named Batchworth, Bury and Stockers and are bounded to the South by the Grand Union Canal and to the East and North by the River Colne.

Batchworth Lake is popular for Water Skiing events and hosts the Rickmansworth Water Ski Club.

The lakes are suitable for canoeing, sailing and fishing. Bury Lake is home to BLYM (Bury Lake Young Mariners) which a sailing club and also an RYA-recognised teaching establishment. The lakes are artificial, being former quarries that have been filled with water and fish, there are also ducks, geese and swans. Some of the stone from the site was used in the building of the original Wembley Stadium.

Arenas, culture and clubs

Watersmeet is a 515-seat venue complex for hire owned by Three Rivers District Council, situated in the centre of the Rickmansworth High Street. The auditorium can transform from a raked theatre to a flat floor for performances "in the round" or dinner dances, cabarets, weddings, indoor markets and craft fairs.

The Rickmansworth Players (affiliated to NODA) are a well-established amateur dramatics society based in Rickmansworth that perform musicals and plays on a regular basis.

Rickmansworth Historical Society meets at 8pm on the second Thursday of the month from September to June in the Cloisters Hall.

There is an annual Ricky Road Run with more than 500 runners taking to the streets of Rickmansworth in 2009 for the 26th year in a row


Church Street

Rickmansworth was never large, as it served the many scattered hamlets in the surrounding area. The rivers Colne, Chess and Gade provided the water for the famous watercress trade and motive power for corn milling, silk weaving, paper making and brewing, all long gone. Now there are commercial offices and the homes of a commuting population, and the rivers, canal and flooded gravel pits provide for recreation.

Cardinal Wolsey, in his capacity as Abbot of St Albans, held the Manor of le More in the valley, now vanished but superseded by the hill-top mansion of Moor Park, once the residence of Admiral Lord Anson and the Barons Ebury, and now the Golf Club House. The wider area, including Croxley Green, Moor Park, Batchworth, Mill End, West Hyde and Chorleywood, formed the original parish of Rickmansworth. In 1851, this had a population of only 4,800, but even that represented great growth necessitating division of the parish. St Mary's Church today serves a parish area concentrated around the town and extending over Batchworth and parts of Moor Park. Today the town has an ever-growing number of residents in many new apartments and houses.

Around the time of the Domesday Book of 1086, there may have been as few as 200 people in the vicinity; then it was recorded as Prichemareworth, one of the five local manors with which the great Abbey of St Albans had been endowed when founded in 793 by King Offa. Local tithes supported the abbey, which in turn provided clergy to serve local people until the Dissolution of 1539.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Rickmansworth)