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Market town
Tring High Street.jpg
Tring High Street
Tring is located in Hertfordshire
Area 36.21 km2 (13.98 sq mi)
Population 11,730 
• Density 321.32/km2 (832.2/sq mi)
OS grid reference SP924117
Civil parish
  • Tring
  • Dacorum
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town TRING
Postcode district HP23
Dialling code 01442
Police Hertfordshire
Fire Hertfordshire
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament
  • South West Hertfordshire
List of places
51°47′46″N 0°39′33″W / 51.7962°N 0.6592°W / 51.7962; -0.6592

Tring is a market town and civil parish in the Borough of Dacorum, Hertfordshire, England. It is situated in a gap passing through the Chiltern Hills, classed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, 30 miles (50 km) from Central London. Tring is linked to London by the Roman road of Akeman Street, by the modern A41 road, by the Grand Union Canal and by the West Coast Main Line to London Euston. Settlements in Tring date back to prehistoric times and it was mentioned in the Domesday Book; the town received its market charter in 1315. Tring is now largely a commuter town within the London commuter belt. As of 2013, Tring had a population of 11,731.



The name Tring is believed to derive from the Anglo-Saxons Tredunga or Trehangr. Tre', meaning 'tree' and with the suffix 'ing' implying 'a slope where trees grow'.

Pre-history and medieval

There is evidence of Prehistoric settlement with Iron Age barrows, and defensive embankments adjacent to the Ridgeway Path and also later with Saxon burials. The town straddles the Roman road called Akeman Street, which runs through it as the High Street.

SS Peter and Paul, Tring from the Rose and Crown - - 706204
The Church of Saints Peter & Paul, Tring. Viewed from across the High Street

Tring was the dominant settlement in the area, being the primary settlement in the Hundred of Tring during the Domesday Book. Tring had a very large population and paid a large amount of tax relative to most settlements listed in the Domesday book. The Manor of Treunga is described in the Domesday Book of 1086. It was assigned to Count Eustace II of Boulogne by William the Conqueror.

In 1315 the town was granted a market charter by Edward II. This charter gave Faversham Abbey the right to hold weekly markets on Tuesdays, and hold a ten-day fair starting on the 29th of June, the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. It also prevented the creation of any rival markets within a day's travel of the town. The tower of the Church of St Peter and St Paul was built somewhere in between 1360 and 1400.

Early modern

The mansion of Tring Park was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and was built in 1682 for the owner Henry Guy, Gentleman of the Privy Chamber to Charles II. John Washington, the son of the Reverend Lawrence Washington and Amphyllis Twigden was born and brought up in Tring. In 1656 he left Tring to go on a trading voyage to Virginia but after a shipwreck on the Potomac River he remained in Virginia, married and started a family which resulted in the life of his great grandson, George Washington, the first President of the United States.

Tring High Street, 19th century
Tring High Street in the 19th century.

The town's prosperity was greatly improved at the start of the 19th century by the construction nearby of the Grand Junction Canal and soon after in 1835 by the building of the London and Birmingham Railway. Industries which benefitted included flour milling, brewing, silk weaving, lace-making and straw plaiting.

In 1836 Thomas Butcher, a wholesale seed and corn merchant and his son also Thomas, established a private bank 'Thomas Butcher & Son' in Tring High Street. The business was subsequently run by Thomas's grandsons, Frederick and George and was also known locally as Tring Old Bank. By 1900 it had branches in Aylesbury, Chesham and Berkhamsted. From this time it became the subject of successive bank consolidations which concluded in the formation of the last to be represented in the town, the National Westminster Bank.

Walter-zebra-cart 11173 2
Walter Rothschild and his carriage drawn by zebras.

In the late 19th century the estate became the home of the Rothschild family, whose influence on the town was considerable. Nathan Mayer Rothschild's son Lionel Walter Rothschild (2nd Lord Rothschild, 1868–1937) built a private zoological museum in Tring. This housed perhaps the largest collection of stuffed animals worldwide. As the Natural History Museum at Tring, it has been part of the Natural History Museum since 1937. In April 2007 the museum changed its name to the Natural History Museum at Tring in order to make people more aware of the museum's link to London's Natural History Museum. The 2nd Lord Rothschild also released the edible dormouse into Tring Park. He used to ride around the town in a carriage drawn by zebras.

20th century and contemporary

The former livestock market in Tring, redeveloped in 2005, was believed to be the last remaining example of its type in the UK. It is now the home of weekly Friday market and fortnightly Saturday farmers' market. Some of the former livestock pens have been retained. The old livestock market office is now the home of the Tring Local History Museum, which opened in September 2010.

In 2008 Tring became a Transition Town with the support of Tring Town Council.


Tring looking North
View over Tring, looking north

Tring is in west Hertfordshire, adjacent to the Buckinghamshire border, at a low point in the Chiltern Hills known as the 'Tring Gap'. This has been used as a crossing point since ancient times, being at the junction of the Icknield Way and under the Romans Akeman Street, the major Roman road linking London to Cirencester. It is transected east and west by the ancient earthwork called Grim's Dyke. It is located at the summit level of the Grand Union Canal and both the canal and railway pass through in deep cuttings. Tring railway cutting is 2.5 mi (4.0 km) long and an average of 39 ft (12 m) deep and is celebrated in a series of coloured lithographs by John Cooke Bourne showing its construction in the 1830s.

The four Tring Reservoirs – Wilstone, Tringford, Startops End and Marsworth – were built to supply water for the canal. These have been a national nature reserve since 1955, and identified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest since 1987. Nearby, within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that almost surrounds the town, is the Ashridge Estate, part of the National Trust and home to Ashridge Business School.


Tring experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) similar to almost all of the United Kingdom.

Climate data for Tring
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 6
Average low °C (°F) 3
Precipitation mm (inches) 69.3


Tring Cutting, 1839
Lithograph entitled Tring Cutting by John C. Bourne (1839) illustrating the excavation near Tring for the London and Birmingham Railway

Tring railway station is about 2 miles (3.2 km) east of the town. It is served by London Northwestern services from Milton Keynes Central to London Euston and Southern operates the cross-London service to East Croydon via Clapham Junction. The station is served by slow and semi-fast trains. The station was originally opened in 1837 by the London & Birmingham Railway, under the direction of the railway engineer Robert Stephenson.

The remote location of Tring railway station was due to changes to the route of the railway imposed on Stephenson by local landowners such as Lord Brownlow, who wished to protect his Ashridge Estate. The location is sometimes wrongly attributed to objections, which were said to have been made by Lord Rothschild to protect his land in Tring; in fact, Lord Rothschild was not born until 1840, three years after the railway had opened and the Tring lands were only acquired by his father Lionel in 1872. He did, however, object to a much later plan to build a steam tramway between Tring Station and Aylesbury.

London Midland train at Tring Station
London Midland train at Tring railway station

An extension of the Metropolitan Railway was once considered from Chesham making Tring railway station the terminus, with connections to the main line companies serving the north. This project was not realised.

In 1973, the A41 Tring bypass was opened. The bypass runs through Tring Park and was originally conceived as the first stretch of a new motorway, the A41(M), which was planned to run from the M25 at Hunton Bridge to Aylesbury, but the project was not realised and the bypass was downgraded to trunk road status. In 1993, the A41 bypass was extended with 12 miles (19 km) of grade-separated dual carriageway that links the Tring bypass to the M25.


Edward Lear makes reference to Tring in A Book of Nonsense:

There was an Old Person of Tring,
Who embellished his nose with a ring;
He gazed at the moon,
Every evening in June,
That ecstatic Old Person of Tring.



Pendley Manor Hotel - - 787469
Pendley Manor

Pendley Manor, a hotel, conference and arts centre, is situated about 1 mile (1.6 km) east of the town, near the railway station.

Tring Brewery has been operating in Tring since 1992.

The UK headquarters of Huel Ltd. is in Tring.

Tring is home to the Tring Book Festival; a ten-day festival held in November. Tring is part of the Dacorum Local Food Initiative.


Tring Sports Centre is in the grounds of Tring School.

Tring is the former home town of Premiership referee and 2003 FA Cup Final referee Graham Barber, now retired in Spain. It is also home to the retired FA and World Cup referee Graham Poll.

Tring is home to three football clubs, Tring Athletic, Tring Town and Tring Corinthians, all of which play in the Spartan South Midlands Football League, and to a youth football club, Tring Tornadoes, which field sides for boys and girls up to 16. It is also home to a rugby club, Tring R.U.F.C., which won promotion to London Division One in 2008, Tring Hockey Club, with three men's and two ladies' sides, and Tring Park Cricket Club, in the Home Counties Premier Cricket League and a squash club


Tring School is a state secondary school and sixth form with approximately 1,500 pupils (ages 11–18). It is located on Mortimer Hill on the east side of the town. It is now designated a Specialist Humanities College with History, Geography and English as its lead subjects. It has had Academy status since September 2012.

Tring Park School for the Performing Arts (formerly known as the Arts Educational School, Tring Park) is an independent specialist performing arts and academic school. It is located in Tring Mansion, and has 300 pupils.

Tring has four state junior schools: Bishop Wood CE Junior School, Dundale Primary and Nursery School, Goldfield Infants and Nursery School and Grove Road Primary School.

Tring has a youth club – The Tring Youth Project – for those between 11 and 18 at the Temperance Hall in Christchurch Road.

Tring also has a theatre youth group, Court Youth Theatre, which is connected to the Court Theatre, Pendley Manor. This has three sections to it: juniors, intermediates and seniors.

There is also an air cadet squadron in Tring (2457 Squadron) on New Road.

Notable people

  • Sir Francis Verney (1584–1615), English adventurer and pirate.
  • John Washington (1631–1677) great-grandfather of George Washington, the first President of the United States.
  • Sir William Gore (1643–1707), merchant and Lord Mayor of London. Subject of an impressive monument in the parish church.
  • John Brown (1795–1890), brewer in Tring; he built and owned several public houses in the area.
  • Gerald Massey (1828–1907) – poet, literary critic, Egyptologist and Spiritualist – was born nearby at Gamnel Wharf, New Mill, on the Wendover branch of the Grand Union Canal.
  • Lord Rothschild (1868–1937), banker, politician and zoologist.
  • Edward Barber (VC) (10 June 1893 – 12 March 1915) born and lived in Tring, was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery during the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in the First World War.
  • Roger Moorhouse, a British historian and author
  • Lawrence Ward, former Serjeant at Arms of the British House of Commons lived at Kingsley Walk, Tring between 1977 and 1999, attending Dundale Junior and Tring Secondary Schools.
  • Julian James, a former professional footballer.
  • Graham Poll, an English former football referee for the Premier League
  • Gilbert Lacy (1834–1878), cricketer
  • Arthur Butcher (1863–1955), cricketer
  • Robert Holmes (scriptwriter) (1926–1986), television writer, notable for writing several episodes of Doctor Who, was born in Tring.

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