Rickmansworth is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Hertfordshire.
Other places in the parish include: Batchworth, Croxley Green, and Mill End.
Parish church: St. Mary
Parish registers begin:
- Parish registers: 1653
- Bishop’s Transcripts: 1562
Nonconformists include: Baptist, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Independent/Congregational, Irvingite (Catholic Apostolic Church), and Wesleyan Methodist.
A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848
RICKMANSWORTH (St. Mary), a parish, and formerly a market-town, in the union of Watford, hundred of Cashio, or liberty of St. Alban’s, county of Hertford, 24 miles (S. W. by W.) from Hertford, and 18 (N. W. by W.) from London; containing 5026 inhabitants. The name of this town, in ancient records, is written Rykemereswearth and Richmeresweard, signifying “the rich moor meadow.” The manor, which, with four others constituted the lordship of Pynesfield, formed part of the demesne of the Saxon kings, and was bestowed by Offa of Mercia on the monks of St. Alban’s, who retained it until the Dissolution. It was given by Edward VI. to Ridley, Bishop of London, upon whose martyrdom it was granted by Mary to his successor, Bonner; in the reign of Elizabeth it again became the property of the crown, and ultimately passed into private hands. The town is pleasantly situated in a valley, near the confluence of the Colne and Gade with the Chess; these rivers are much frequented by anglers, being noted for their trout, and the last, which rises in Buckinghamshire, turns several mills. Its short distance from London, combined with an agreeable adjacent country, renders the town a desirable place of residence: it is irregularly built. Within the parish are some flour-mills and six paper-mills, affording occupation to nearly 600 persons; there is also a large brewery. The manufacture of horse-hair seating for chairs, and of straw-plat, is carried on to a considerable extent; and the cultivation of water-cresses for the London market gives employment to many persons. The Grand Junction canal passes through the town, and the London and Birmingham railway a few miles on the east of it. Fairs for cattle are held on July 20th and Nov. 24th, and a statute-fair on the Saturday before the third Monday in September. The parish comprises 9769a. 15p., exclusively of roads and rivers; 430 acres are common or waste land.
The living is a vicarage, valued in the king’s books at £16; patron and appropriator, the Bishop of London: the great tithes have been commuted for £1385, the vicarial for £600, and the glebe comprises 108 acres. The church has a large embattled tower of hewn flints at its western end. The body was a few years since rebuilt of brick, coloured in imitation of weather-stained stone; some ancient ecclesiastical coins, and leaden and stone coffins, were discovered in digging for the foundation. Over the altar is a beautiful window of painted glass, representing the Crucifixion, brought originally from St. Peter’s at Rome, and purchased in Paris, in 1800, for £200. A church called Christ Church, erected in the hamlet of Chorley-Wood, chiefly at the expense of James Hayward, Esq., of Loudwater House, was consecrated in November 1845; it is in the style of the 13th century, with a tower, and is of faced flint, with stone dressings: the living is in Mr. Hayward’s gift. At West Hyde, also, is a church dedicated to St. Thomas, of which the first stone was laid in May 1844; it is in the Norman style, with a tower, and was built partly by the Church Commissioners: the living is in the gift of the Bishop of London. There are places of worship for Baptists and Independents. Moor Park, a splendid mansion in the vicinity, the property of Lord Robert Grosvenor, has been occupied at different times by Neville, Archbishop of York, in the reign of Henry VI.; by Cardinal Wolsey; by the unfortunate Duke of Monmouth, son of Charles II.; and by Lord Anson. On the high ground on the other side of, and close adjoining, the town, is Rickmansworth Park, now unoccupied. The parish was the birthplace, in 1553, of Sir Thomas White, lord mayor of London, who is honourably known as the founder of Gloucester Hall (now Worcester College) and of St. John’s College, Oxford; also of Merchant Tailors’ school, London; and for his extensive charities.
Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848
- County: Hertfordshire
- Civil Registration District: Watford
- Probate Court: Court of the Archdeaconry of St Albans
- Diocese: Post-1844 – Rochester, Pre-1845 – London
- Rural Deanery: Pre-1845 – St Albans, Post-1844 – Watford
- Poor Law Union: Watford
- Hundred: Cashio
- Province: Canterbury