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Apsley is a town in the county of Hertfordshire, England. It is an historic industrial site situated in a valley of the Chiltern Hills. It is positioned below the confluence of two permanent rivers, the Gade and Bulbourne. In an area of little surface water this was an obvious site for the location of water mills serving local agriculture.

Table of contents
1 Brief History
2 Apsley Today
3 Origin of Name
4 Apsley Time Line
5 References
6 External Links
7 Apsley House

Brief History

It was the construction of the trunk canal between London and the Midlands through the valley at the start of the 19th century that begun its industrial rise. The canal gave an easy way of transporting the raw and manufactured products to and from the mills.

John Dickinson, the inventor of a new method of continuous paper making, purchased an existing mill in the area in 1809 . There is record of paper making already taking place nearby at this time. His business expanded throughout the Victorian age coming to occupy large parts of the flat land in the valley bottom. Streets of mill workers' terraced houses grew up adjacent to the mills. Production peaked during the Second World War. The site was however not ideal for large scale paper making in the 20th century and later became a warehouse and distribution centre for products made elsewhere. The last John Dickinson warehouse closed in 1999. In 2003 there is a project to build a National Paper Museum in some remaining mill buildings. Paper is still made a short distance away at Nash Mills by the global Sappi group at a former John Dickinson mill.

Apsley Today

Today Apsley is an outer district of Hemel Hempstead and is still a busy commercial centre. The Victorian shops that grew up when it was a mill town are now house newsagents, restaurants, and a healthy range of small businesses. The former mill sites are taken up with supermarkets, retail parks and offices. Housing developments combining the canal side location with the ease of access to Apsley station have been very successful.

An important local issue in the summer of 2003 is the proposal to build on green field land on the Shendish manor estate.

Origin of Name

The name Apsley dates from the Anglo-Saxon period and means aspen wood.

Apsley Time Line


A Hertfordshire Valley by Scott Hastie photographs by David Spain, Alpine Press Ltd, Kings Langley, 1996, ISBN 0952863103

External Links

History of St Mary's Apsley End

Information on The National Paper Museum Project

Apsley Local History and pictures from Hemelonline

Shendish Manor today with its history

Apsley House

Apsley House is located at Hyde Park Corner, London and was the home of the Duke of Wellington. It has no connection with Apsley the town.