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Hemel Hempstead

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Hertfordshire  /  Hemel Hempstead
(3.8/5 based on 1,600+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: fun & games, nightlife, parks
Hemel Hempstead is a large new town in Hertfordshire in the East of England, 24mi northwest of London and part of the Greater London Urban Area. The population according to the 2001 Census was 81,143, but now is estimated at around 90,000 by Hertfordshire County Council.Developed after the Second World War as a new town, it has existed as a settlement since the 8th century and was granted its town charter by King Henry VIII in 1539. It is part of the district (and borough since 1984) of Dacorum and the Hemel Hempstead constituency.HistoryOrigin of the nameThe settlement was called by the name Henamsted or Hean-Hempsted, i.e. High Hempstead, in Anglo-Saxon times and in William the Conqueror's time by the name of Hemel-Amstede. The name is referred to in the Domesday Book as "Hamelamestede", but in later centuries it became Hamelhamsted, and, possibly, Hemlamstede. In Old English, "-stead" or "-stede" simply meant a place, such as the site of a building or pasture, as in clearing in the woods, and this suffix is used in the names of other English places such as Hamstead and Berkhamsted.
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