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Tring
Market town
Tring High Street.jpg
Tring High Street
Tring shown within Hertfordshire
Area 36.21 km2 (13.98 sq mi)
Population 11,730 
• Density 321.32/km2 (832.2/sq mi)
OS grid reference SP924117
District
  • Dacorum
Shire county
Region
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
Website www.tring.gov.uk
List of places
UK
England
Hertfordshire

Tring /trɪŋ/ is a small market town and civil parish in the Borough of Dacorum, Hertfordshire, England. Situated in a gap passing through the Chiltern Hills, classed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, 30 miles (48 km) north-west of London, and linked to London by the old Roman road of Akeman Street, by the modern A41, by the Grand Union Canal and by rail lines to Euston Station. As of 2013 Tring has a population of 11,730.

Settlements in Tring date back to Prehistoric times and it was mentioned in the Domesday Book. Tring received its market town charter in 1315. Tring is now largely a commuter town within the London commuter belt.

History

Toponymy

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 - geograph.org.uk - 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.

Geography

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.

Climate

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
(43)
7
(45)
10
(50)
12
(54)
16
(61)
19
(66)
21
(70)
22
(72)
18
(64)
14
(57)
9
(48)
6
(43)
13
(55)
Average low °C (°F) 3
(37)
3
(37)
4
(39)
5
(41)
8
(46)
10
(50)
12
(54)
13
(55)
11
(52)
8
(46)
5
(41)
3
(37)
7
(45)
Precipitation mm (inches) 69.3
(2.728)
59.4
(2.339)
46.5
(1.831)
70.1
(2.76)
58.1
(2.287)
58.9
(2.319)
46.0
(1.811)
68.9
(2.713)
51.7
(2.035)
84.3
(3.319)
93.9
(3.697)
80.9
(3.185)
788.0
(31.024)

Transport

Tring Cutting, 1839
Lithograph of entitled 'Tring Cutting' made by John C. Bourne, 1839 showing the excavation to make Tring's segment of the London and Birmingham Railway.

Tring railway station is about 2 mi (3 km) from the town and is served by London Midland services from Milton Keynes Central to London Euston, and Southern operates the cross-London service to South Croydon via Clapham Junction. The station is served by slow and semi-fast trains. The station was originally opened in 1837 by the London and Birmingham Railway (L&BR) 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

Tring railway station was once considered as the terminus of an extension to the Metropolitan Railway (today's London Underground Metropolitan line) from

  1. REDIRECT Template:Tubestation but this project was not realised. Tring was identified in 2011 as the possible terminus of an extension to the Crossrail lines currently under construction in London, but this proposal has not been approved or funded. If this extension were to go ahead, Tring would be on a direct railway route to central London stations such as
  2. REDIRECT Template:Tubestation.

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

Literature

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.

Gallery

Images for kids


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