Sources of Information on Tring History



Tring is an ancient market town and information about it is included in the main county histories by Chauncy, Clutterbuck, and Cussans while the Victoria County History section on the town is available online. Virtually every other history or guide book relating to the county of Hertfordshire includes a mention of Tring.

Tring is part of the modern Borough of Dacorum and books relating to Dacorum will often include significant material on Tring. Important modern works are Dacorum within Living Memory, Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted and Tring, and A Hertfordshire Valley. The 1851 census is published in Population ... in 1851: The Berkhamsted Region. A number of the exhibition booklets produced by the Dacorum Heritage Trust include material relating to Tring.

There is no good comprehensive modern history of Tring. Arthur MacDonald's That Tring Air describes itself as "A gossiping and irresponsible history of Tring." In 1974 Sheila Richards published A History of Tring, which is mainly of interest because it contains some useful transcripts of old documents.


Victoria Hall - from Tring Town


In recent years Mike Bass and Jill Fowler have produced some excellent collections of pictures of Tring starting with Tring in old picture postcards: Volume 2 (1993) followed by Around Tring (1996) and Around Tring: The Second Selection (1998) - the last two having been reprinted in a single volume (2001). Mike Bass (MBass1943 @t also sells mounted copies of old local photographs while Jill Fowler has published Tring 1900-1950 (2003) followed by Tring 1951-2000 (2008) and Tring Through Time (2009). She has published two booklets on the town Tring Town and The Tring Triangle. Other picture collections are David & Joan Hay's Tring in old picture postcards (1983) and Barry Woodhouse's Tring: A Pictorial History (1996) contains many photographs and a short text history.

Wendy Austin has produced a number of books on people who have been associated with Tring. These are Tring Personalities (2000) - followed by More Tring Personalities (2003) - and Further Tring Personalities (2004). She  published The Tring Collection (2005), an anthology of poems about Tring, followed by The Second Tring Collection (2007). Other recent volumes are Tring Gardens: Then and Now (2006) and  Tring Silk Mill (2008). She has recently cooperated with Ian Pettigrew to produce a book on local Windmills called Gone with the Wind (2010). Profits from her books go to local charities.

There are several books or booklets relating to life in the town in the mid 20th century. John Langston was born about 1930 and his booklet I'm a Country Bumpkin describes life on farms in the Tring area during his childhood. Fred Woodhouse's Tring Born and Bred (1998) also includes many photographs of the area. He was born in about 1941 and describes urban life in the following years. Tring in 1947 was produced for an exhibition in 1997 using information from the Tring Council minute book, local papers, and the parish magazine - and is reproduced on this web site.

Books on limited topics have also been published. Clifford Watkins wrote The History of Tring School (1993) and Kenneth Dix wrote The Akeman Street Story (2003) describing the Akeman Street Baptist Church. There are a number of books relating to the Rothschild family (See Tring Mansion) while several of Dorian Williams' books relate to Pendley Manor (q.v.) American visitors to the town will find The Washingtons of Tring contains detailed information about President George Washington's Tring forebears.

It is impractical to list all the booklets, leaflets, and related ephemera that relate to Tring, and obtaining copies of many of them may be difficult if not impossible. When I drafted Tring in 1947 I discovered that a town guide had been published in 1947 - but there was no copy in the Tring Council Records (now at HALS), in the Local Studies library at HALS, in Watford Central Library (which had a good collection of Hertfordshire town guides) or any of the copyright libraries. The best I could do was Tring - The Official Guide - 1952. There have been various church guides over the years, the Tring & District Local History & Museum Society has produces a newsletter and has published various booklets and information leaflets. Other clubs and societies within the town over the years. There will be guides and programmes for events, advertising leaflets, etc., and the earliest of this can be considered historical documents - with adverts of local businesses, while modern ones sometimes contain articles of historical interest.

See also Tring Books published in 2014

 It should be noted that some "books", such as The Railway comes to Tring are now being published online.

The page Looking for Books uses Tring as an example to show what books can be identified online.

19th Century Newspapers

Local newspapers from the early 19th century were often no more than a single folded sheet containing advertisements and very brief local news items from several counties. Some articles from the County Chronicle were reprinted in the Times (which has been indexed). The Hertfordshire Mercury included news of a few of the more noteworthy events, but I suspect it might go for a year or more without mentioning the town.  The first newspapers to include regular news on Tring were the Bucks Gazette, the Bucks Herald and the Aylesbury News - first published in 1836 and later renamed the Bucks Advertiser. When the Newspaper tax was removed in 1855 the number of local newspapers increased and there was definitely some Tring news in early issues of the Herts Advertiser (which may have been based on the Bucks Advertiser - as both papers were owned by members of the Gibbs family.) In 1867 The Hemel Hempstead Gazette was published for the first time, and at various later dates special editions for Berkhamsted/Tring have been published.

Web Sites

Tring Town Council web site contains many useful links. It includes a short history of the town and a number of local views. The Tring Today web pages, provided by the Hemel Hempstead Gazette, contains both recent news,  historical pages and useful links. The Old Tring web site has historical photographs of Tring (which can be purchased) and some local links including to the Tring and District Local History and Museum Society (with details of their currently available publications). Our Dacorum (associated with Hertfordshire Memories) contains some pages related to Tring.

Web sites associated with particular buildings or organisations are included on the relevant pages on this site.

October 2010   Various updates of new books
June 2011   Our Dacorum
December 2013   The Railway comes to Tring link