History of Tring

The market town of Tring lies at the edge of the Chiltern Hills where the ancient Icknield Way crosses the Roman Akeman Street. The Ridgeway National Trail also runs close by from its starting point at Ivinghoe Beacon.

The Manor of Tring is described in the Domesday survey of 1086. The Town received its charter from King Edward II in 1315. Tring has a close connection with the forebears of George Washington. John Washington, the son of the Reverend Lawrence Washington and Amphyllis Twigden, was born and brought up in Tring. in 1656 he left Tring to go on a trading voyage to Virginia but after a shipwreck on the Potomac River he remained in Virginia, married and started a family which resulted in the life of his great-grandson George Washington, first President of the USA. In 1682 Tring Manor House, designed by Christopher Wren, was built for Colonel Henry Guy, Groom of the Bedchamber to King Charles II. In the late 19th century the Manor became the home of a branch of the Rothschild family whose influence on the town was considerable.

The Grand Junction Canal, now the Grand Union, was begun in 1793 and a wharf opened at New Mill. Trade developed quickly and in 1823 the Silk Mill in Brook Street was constructed by William Kay. The town developed further with the construction of the railway in 1835 by the London and Birmingham Company. The engineer, George Stephenson devised a complex system of ramps and pulleys to enable the digging of the Tring cutting. On completion of the railway, Tring lay just one hour away from London.