Cheshunt, Hertfordshire Family History Guide

Cheshunt is an Ancient Parish in the county of Hertfordshire.

Other places in the parish include: Woodside, Cheshunt Street, and Waltham Cross.

Status: Ancient Parish

Parish church:

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1559
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1800

Nonconformists include: Baptist, Countess of Huntingdon Methodist, Independent/Congregational, Presbyterian, Society of Friends/Quaker, Unitarian, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Parishes adjacent to Cheshunt

  • Waltham Abbey
  • Hatfield St Mary
  • Northaw
  • Enfield Jesus Chapel
  • Wormley
  • Nazeing
  • Enfield St James

Historical Descriptions

Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales Circa 1870

CHESHUNT, a parish and a sub-district in the district of Edmonton and county of Hertford. The parish lies on the verge of the county, the river Lea, the New river, Ermine-street, and the Eastern Counties railway, in the vicinity of Waltham Abbey; is divided into the wards of Waltham-Cross, Cheshunt-Street, and Woodside; contains the villages of Cheshunt and Cheshunt-Street,—the former a seat of petty sessions, and once a market-town; and has the stations of Waltham and Cheshunt on the railway, 14 ¾ and 16 ¼ miles NNE of London, and the post-offices of Cheshunt and Waltham-Cross, under London N. Acres, 8,493. Real property, £32,178. Pop., 6,592. Houses, 1,346. The property is not much divided. The manor belonged to Alan, the Conqueror's nephew; and passed to John of Gaunt and the Fitzroys. Cheshunt House, now the seat of Sir G. Prescott, Bart., was a residence of Cardinal Wolsey. Theobalds, now the seat of Sir H. Meux, Bart., was originally built by the famous Lord Burleigh; became a favourite residence, and the death-place, of James I.; was occasionally visited by Charles I.; underwent confiscation, and partial demolition, in the time of the Commonwealth; passed, for a time, to General Monk; was given by William III. to Bentinck, Earl of Portland; went afterwards through various hands; and was rebuilt, by the Prescotts, in 1765. Pengelly House, now the seat of the Osbornes, was the residence of Richard Cromwell from 1680 till his death. Cheshunt Park, now the seat of the Russells, was once the property of Oliver Cromwell; and came to its present owners through intermarriage with his descendants. Cheshunt Nunnery, or Nunsbury, is the seat of the O'Briens. A nunnery was founded here, before the time of Stephen, by Peter de Belingey. Cheshunt Wash, near Turnford, is thought by Gough to have been the Roman Durolitum; and has yielded coins from Hadrian to Constantine. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Rochester. Value, £401. Patron, the Marquis of Salisbury. The church is a handsome edifice of the time of Henry VI.; and contains four brasses and some old monuments. The p. curacy of Waltham-Cross is a separate benefice. There are an Independent chapel, a theological college founded by Lady Huntingdon, and charities to the yearly amount of £478. Lady Huntingdon's college was removed hither from Talgarth in 1792; gives training to 40 students; and has an income of upwards of £1,200. The charities include a free school, alms-houses, and a trust of £310 a-year, which originated in compensation by James I. for a portion of Cheshunt common taken into Theobalds park.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].


  • County: Hertfordshire
  • Civil Registration District: Edmonton
  • Probate Court: Court of the Archdeaconry of Middlesex (Essex and Hertfordshire Division)
  • Diocese: Post-1844 - Rochester, Pre-1845 - London
  • Rural Deanery: Ware
  • Poor Law Union: Edmonton
  • Hundred: Hertford
  • Province: Canterbury