The cancellation of the pre-war project to extend the Northern Line to Elstree, and then the creation of the Green Belt, have helped the area retain much of its rural nature and atmosphere, although Boreham Wood became more industrial after the main line railway opened.
Elstree is synonymous with film making, but in fact, most film production was actually in Boreham Wood, where many well-known films were made, such as
The Dambusters, "Where Eagles Dare, 2001: Space Odyssey,
and in later days TV has made
and Big Brother
here. At their peak the studios in the area made up the largest film production facility outside Hollywood.
Elstree still retains much of historic interest.There are houses of medieval origin, and buildings dating from the 15th century. These include Aldenham House, home to the Hucks Gibbs family. This is now used by the Haberdashers' Aske's School.
This new book on the area uses many illustrations for the first time. It explores the different natures of the two former villages which grew up together, but at different speeds.