About Hemel Hempstead
Hemel Hempstead is often referred to simply as 'Hemel'. It is a large new town, which has grown out of the ancient market town of Hemel Hempstead. Hemel Hempstead is a popular place to live with many attractive properties. It has excellent local amenities including banks (NatWest and Barclays), many restaurants & cafes as well as supermarkets such as Tesco, Waitrose soon to be joined by Morrisons and Sainsbury's.
History of Hemel Hempstead
Hemel Hempstead has first settled over 2000 years ago, although there is evidence that the Romans lived in the area before then. It became an important market town in Saxon times. Saint Alban, the first Christian Martyr of Britain is said to have lived in a house on the corner of what is now Market Square. The town has connections to several of the kings who reigned during the Middle Ages, including Offa, Alfred and Henry VIII. There are many historic buildings scattered throughout Hemel Hempstead, some dating back to before the 17th century.
Hemel Hempstead - Shops
The town is noted for its shops, especially its large indoor shopping centre, The Marlowes. This dates back to the 1970s when the original outdoor market was replaced by a covered mall. The mall has since been redeveloped and expanded, and now includes a cinema, several restaurants and a range of high street shops.
The district's former market town status was symbolised not only by its tiled-roof tourist attractions but also through the installation of a fountain on one of the town centre roundabouts. The installation is designed to evoke the memory of Hemel Hempstead's historic roots as a market town.
Several developments have been built in Hemel Hempstead since it became a new town, including the Marlowes Shopping Centre, the Forum (a leisure and entertainment complex), the Water Gardens (an office and retail development) and the Gadebridge Park.
Hemel Hempstead - Culture
The arts play a big role in Hemel Hempstead life. The locally-based theatre group, "Spare Tyre", has put on productions of many classic works such as Hamlet and Uncle Vanya.
The town is also home to several local choirs and orchestras, the most notable being the Aelred Watkin Singers (who have performed all over the world) and the Hemel Hempstead Symphony Orchestra.
In recent years, Hemel Hempstead has also become known for its annual outdoor music festival, "Hemel Hempstead Live!". The event - which takes place in the town's Victoria park - features a mix of local and international performers, and attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year.
Hemel Hempstead - Economy
Hemel Hempstead is a town in Hertfordshire, England. The town lies in the valley of the River Gade and has a population of around 85,000. Hemel Hempstead's economy is largely based on service industries, although there is also a significant manufacturing sector.
The town hosts the Head Office of Dixons retail group and beverage giant Britvic. Hemel Hempstead is home to some large companies, including Warner Bros. Studios UK and Pringles.
It is also home to two main industrial estates, including Junction 12 on the M1 motorway. In the 21st century, Hemel Hempstead is a commercial and commuter town. The M1 motorway passes close to the town, and London Luton Airport is also nearby.
Hemel Hempstead - Development
Hemel Hempstead was designated as a new town in 1946, alongside Basildon and Harlow. Construction began in the early 1950s, and over the next two decades, several housing developments were completed to house the growing population in the area.
Hemel Hempstead was planned as part of a general trend amongst planners in the 1940s and 1950s to move people out of cities into new towns. The town's planners drew inspiration from the garden city movement, which aimed to combine the best aspects of town and country living.
The new town's first residents were Hemel Hempstead's original inhabitants, who were evacuated from the town centre during World War II. Many of these residents were elderly or working-class, and they were joined by young families whose homes had been bombed in London.
Hemel Hempstead was designated as a new town on 16 March 1947 under the New Towns Act of 1946 after it had been identified as a suitable site for one of the UK's new towns. The town was planned from scratch, with a population of 50,000 and extensive green belt land.
Hemel Hempstead - Transport
The town centre has an award-winning bus station, which was redeveloped in 2006 to incorporate a new railway station for the High-Speed Train services on the West Coast Main Line. Hemel Hempstead is now served by direct trains to London, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool.
The rail network in Hemel Hempstead is extensive as it was a major train centre. It has four railway stations: Hemel Hempstead, Boxmoor, Apsley and Mill Green.
Hemel Hempstead Town Bus Services serve the town from all directions and run around the clock. Routes include Headstone Manor – Bus Station – Marlowes – Gadebridge – Apsley – Boxmoor; Apsley – Bus Station – Marlowes - Gadebridge - Hemel Hempstead Town Centre; and Mill Green – Bus Station - Gadebridge - Hemel Hempstead Town Centre.
Hemel Hempstead - Sport
Hemel Hempstead Town FC plays in the Conference South football league and has a large modern stadium at Vauxhall Road, which is also home to Hemel Hempstead RUFC rugby union club.
Hemel Hempstead Cricket Club play their cricket in the Saracens Hertfordshire Premier League and have just moved into their new ground on the Warren adjacent to the A41 roundabout Hemel Hempstead Hockey Club plays their home games on one of the best pitches in the country at Pennine Way. They play in the Herts and Essex Division 1 and have a strong junior section
The town also has two alpine ski slopes (Dacorum & Hemel Snowdome), an Olympic sized lido (Dacorum Sports Centre), a cricket club, three rugby clubs (one of which is the aforementioned Hemel Hempstead RUFC) and are home to two female football teams, namely AFC Dunstable F.C. Women's team and Dacorum Ladies F.C.
Hemel Hempstead - Education
There are several schools in Hemel Hempstead, both state and private. These include:
The John Henry Newman Catholic School, The Cavendish School, Hemel Hempstead School, South Hill Park School, The Robert Barclay Academy, John F Kennedy Special Educational Needs School, Aylesbury High School (for girls), Presdales School (for girls), Berkhamsted Collegiate School and many others.
The tertiary or further education institutions include :
Hertford Regional College, Hemel Hempstead School Of Motoring (Part Of The Motor-Plus Consortium), Herts And Middlesex Business And Computing College and BTEC Performing Arts at Hadham Sixth Form.
A new university has been suggested for the area.