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Not to be confused with Bovington.
Bovingdon the bell.JPG
Bovingdon High Street looking north with The Bell public house opposite
Bovingdon is located in Hertfordshire
Bovingdon shown within Hertfordshire
Population 8,999 (2011 Census. Bovingdon,Flaunden and Chipperfield Ward)[1]
OS grid reference TL013037
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district HP3
Dialling code 01442
Police Hertfordshire
Fire Hertfordshire
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°43′23″N 0°32′12″W / 51.72312°N 0.5367°W / 51.72312; -0.5367Coordinates: 51°43′23″N 0°32′12″W / 51.72312°N 0.5367°W / 51.72312; -0.5367

Bovingdon is a large village in Hertfordshire, England, four miles southwest of Hemel Hempstead, and it is a civil parish within the local authority area of Dacorum. It forms the largest part of the ward of Bovingdon, Flaunden and Chipperfield, which had a population of 4,600 at the 2001 census,[2] increasing to 8,999 at the 2011 Census.[1]


St Lawrence Church, Bovingdon

The name is first mentioned in deeds from 1200 as Bovyndon. It could originate from Old English Bufan dune meaning "above the down" or from Bofa's down, the down belonging to Bofa.

There are two churches in the village. The Baptist Church and the Anglican Church. The Baptist church started as a Wesleyan Methodist Church and changed to Baptist. St Lawrence Church was built in 1845 by Talbot Bury. The churchyard is the second largest in Hertfordshire[citation needed] and includes an avenue of clipped yew trees. The village also includes some old cottages. There are three pubs in the village centre, The Halfway House, The Bull and The Bell. A fourth, the Wheatsheaf, is now closed.

The village is sometimes confused with Bovington Camp in Dorset. Halfpenny Green Airfield in Shropshire was renamed from Bobbington, the name of the local village, during World War II after a B-17 tried to land there when the crew became lost.

The village is medieval in origin but it has expanded significantly since the 1940s. It now has a large commuter population. The old parts of the village are mostly around the High Street and the Green.

The Bobsleigh Inn on Box Lane, just east of the village, is a large house with some parts dating to the sixteenth century which is now a hotel and restaurant. It was the Bovingdon Country Club until 1964 when Tony Nash, the son of the owner, was part of the gold medal winning British two-man bobsleigh team at the Winter Olympics at Innsbruck in Austria. It was renamed the Bobsleigh Inn in his honour. During World War 2 many celebrities stayed at the Country Club while entertaining troops at the airfield, including Bob Hope, James Stewart and Glenn Miller.[3]

Bovingdon airfield and HM Prison[edit]

Main article: RAF Bovingdon

Next to Bovingdon is the disused former World War II, Eighth Air Force and post-war Royal Air Force airfield, RAF Bovingdon.

The airfield was built in 1942. Between 1943 and 1946 it became a B-17 operational training base for units such as 92nd Bomber Group, B-17 Flying Fortress Combat Crew Replacement Centre (CCRC), 11th CCRC, and 8th USAAF HQ Squadron. The RAF resumed control until 1951, then the USAF took over again until 1962 flying B-26 Marauders, B-29 Superfortresses, and B-50 Superfortresses. General Dwight D. Eisenhower's personal aircraft was said to be located here, as Bovingdon was the closest Eighth Air Force airfield to London.

Flying ceased in 1969, though some flying scenes for the film Hanover Street were shot there in 1978. The airfield served as airport for Hemel Hempstead during most of the postwar period.

Several films were made there including The War Lover, 633 Squadron, Hanover Street, an episode of The Persuaders!, The Man with the Golden Gun (the flying car scene), and Mosquito Squadron.

The airfield site houses a VOR navigational beacon, code BNN. The airspace above the airfield and nearby Chesham is known as the Bovingdon stack and is a holding area for aircraft approaching Heathrow Airport, 20 miles to the south. At busy times on a clear day a dozen planes circle.

Part of the airfield was used to build The Mount Prison during the 1980s; it was located on the site of the aircraft hangars and administration blocks. The remainder of the site is used for a Saturday market and there is a permanent circuit for banger racing although there has not been any regular racing since 2008. The airfield is also a site for paintballing.

Of the three original runways, the North East/South West runway is still complete, and used for parking on market days.

The North West/South East runway is completely gone. The East/West runway is still complete, the Eastern end of which is used for the weekend Market, the Western end used to be used by the Farmers aircraft. The control tower still exists, but is in a very poor state. A lot of the taxiways, and the 2nd World War Bomb Dump trackways are mostly gone, a victim of hardcore reclamation, a common end of a large number of disused airfields in the UK.



Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year-round. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).[4]

Climate data for Bovingdon, United Kingdom
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 5
Average low °C (°F) 1
Average precipitation mm (inches) 64
Source: Weatherbase[5]

Notable residents[edit]

Infamous crime[edit]

In 1971 the poisoner Graham Frederick Young committed two murders while working for a local photographic company, John Hadland.[6][7]


  1. ^ a b "Dacorum Ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  2. ^ National Statistics Population of Bovingdon, Flaunden & Chipperfield ward at 2001 census. Accessed August 2007
  3. ^ "Heritage special Sign tells of hotel's sporting history". Hemel Hempstead Gazette. 20 February 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2010. [dead link]
  4. ^ Climate Summary for Bovingdon, UK
  5. ^ "". Weatherbase. 2013.  Retrieved on 25 June 2013.
  6. ^ Bowden, Paul (1996). "Graham Young (1947–90); the St Albans poisoner: his life and times". Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health. 6: 17. doi:10.1002/cbm.132. 
  7. ^ Graham Young, the Bovingdon Bug, Author: Johnny Sharp Archived 3 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine.


  • Brown, Sarah C. M. , Bovingdon – A History of a Hertfordshire Village, 2002, pub by Bovingdon Parish Council, Alpine Press, ISBN 0-9542368-0-7

External links[edit]