Bushey is a town in the Hertsmere borough of Hertfordshire.
The first written record of Bushey is an account in the Domesday Book, which describes a small agricultural village named ’Bissei’. Chance archaeological findings of Stone Age tools are evidence that the area was inhabited as far back as the Palaeolithic period. The town also has links to the Roman occupation of Britain - a Roman tessellated pavement was discovered near to Chiltern Avenue.
Bushey’s population rose from 85
6 in 1801, to just under 24 000 in the twenty first century. There was an industrial boom caused by the arrival of the railway. Many new jobs were created in and around Watford, and the first council houses were built in Bushey in the early 1920s. The expansion eventually died down when much of the land in and around Bushey was protected under the green belt scheme after the Second World War.
Hubert Herkomer, a poor immigrant from Bavaria arrived in Bushey in 1874, and fell in love with the village. He rented a pair of cottages and a studio near Melbourne Road. With his artistic talents, he founded Herkomer’s Art School in 1883, which, in its twenty years, attracted some 5
00 students to the area. He is sometimes referred to as having found Bushey, giving it an artistic reputation and leaving us with the many paintings by his pupils of past life in the town, a lot of which are on display in the Bushey Museum. Around 1888, he built Lululaund, a Bavarian ’castle’, which was named after his second wife Lulu Griffiths. Lululaund was a feature of the Bushey skyline until 1939 when it was demolished.
Bushey was the hometown of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley.
According to H. G. Wells’ book The War of the Worlds, Bushey Heath was the site where the fourth of ten missiles fired at Earth from Mars landed.