The stories of the Hertfordshire towns ‘lost’ to north London – Herts Live



One of the many benefits of living in Hertfordshire is its close proximity to London.

With most towns and villages being a short hop away from the capital, the two areas are closely connected.

To those unfamiliar with Herts’ geography, some outsiders may even fall foul to the misconceptions that some areas, such as Watford, are part of London.

While that couldn’t be further to the truth, our great county used to include more areas than it currently does in 2020.

That’s because, in the 1960s, London expanded and engulfed a number of towns in neighbouring counties.

And for some residents in those areas that Herts ‘lost’, they arguably still feel an affinity to the county despite London’s expansion.

The London Government Act 1963

London’s Boroughs prior to the 1963 act, not including the likes of Dagenham, Barking and Hornchurch

The London suburbs in the 1960s was growing – and something needed to be done.

The London Government Act 1963 helped to reduce the number of local government districts in the area. This in turn made local authorities responsible for larger areas and populations.

32 London boroughs – plus the City of London – replaced the overarching London County Council.

London’s complexion was therefore about to drastically change.

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Hertfordshire was affected but not quite in the same vein as Middlesex, which was completely dissolved. Most of the county was absorbed by the capital and handed out to neighbouring areas.

Nearby Essex wasn’t exempt from the changes either, with the towns within the boroughs of Havering, Redbridge, Waltham Forest and Barking and Dagenham all being lost to East London.

East Barnet Valley

The London Boroughs as we know them today (Image: londonmap360.com)

This was a local government district between 1863 and 1965, taking in the area around the town of East Barnet.

Part of it was in both our county and Middlesex until 1889 when the Middlesex portion was transferred to Herts.

Back in 1901, the urban district consisted of three civil parishes: East Barnet, Barnet Vale and Monken Hadley.

And in 1935, it was renamed as East Barnet.

This area was abolished by the London Government Act 1963 though, and its former area was transferred from Hertfordshire to Greater London.

Barnet Urban District

This district, which included areas around the town of Barnet, was part of Hertfordshire for 102 years, up until 1965.

It originally consisted of parts of the parishes of Chipping Barnet here in Hertfordshire, and Monken Hadley and South Mimms in Middlesex.

The entire district ended up in Herts, however, after the boundaries were adjusted in 1889 following the Local Government Act 1888.

For elections to Parliament, before it was handed over to Greater London, the urban district was part of the constituency of Mid or St Albans Division of Hertfordshire.

However, in 1945, St Albans was then divided as an emergency measure because its electorate exceeded 100,000 voters.

The urban district therefore became part of the new constituency of Barnet.

It is sometimes an area covered by HertsLive  due to older residents still having an affinity and close link with the county.

Potters Bar Urban District

As a result of the 1963 Act, the district, which was originally in Middlesex and, up until 1934, named the South Mimms Rural District, was transferred to Hertfordshire.

It was part of the review area of the Royal Commission on Local Government in Greater London but it didn’t form part of the proposed Greater London area.

And in 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, the urban district was abolished completely.

Its former area was therefore combined with that of Elstree Rural District, Bushey Urban District and part of Watford Rural District to form what we know today as Hertsmere.

Do you live in Barnet and still feel an attachment to Hertfordshire? Let us know in the comments below.