is a town in the Three Rivers
district of Hertfordshire
, 4¼ miles (7km) west of Watford
The town has a population of around 15,000 people and lies on the Grand Union Canal and the River Colne, at the northern end of the Colne Valley Park.
It began to grow in the 1920s and 1930s as part of the Metro-land area, due to Rickmansworth station on the Metropolitan line of the London Underground. As such, it is largely a commuter town. It is contained within the M25 with good transport links to Luton and Heathrow Airports.
Colloquially Rickmansworth is often shortened to "Ricky" as used in the town's annual "Ricky Week" celebrations.
The town's canal history is remembered every year at the end of Ricky Week with the Rickmansworth Festival.
The name Rickmansworth comes from the Saxon name "Ryckmer", the local magnate, and "worth" meaning farm or stockade. In the Domesday Book
it is known as The Manor of Prichemaresworde. Later spellings are Rykemarwurthe (1119
-46), Richemaresworthe (1180
), Rykemerewrthe (1248
), Richemereworthe (1259
), Rikesmareswrth (1287
) and Rikmansworth (1382
One notable claim to fame is its inclusion on the opening page of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams
Rickmansworth and some of its surrounding communities are also featured in the works of John le Carré
Victorian novelist George Eliot
, real name Mary Ann Evans, had a summer residence in the lower High Street named "The Elms", which now forms part of St Joan of Arc School.
Rickmansworth, and more specifically the Rickmansworth Conservative Association, features in The Adventures of Barry McKenzie
, a 1972 Australian film starring Barry Crocker
, and written by Barry Humphries
The town has a public golf course called Rickmansworth Golf Club which is adjacent to the two courses that make up the private Moor Park Golf Club. Rickmansworth Cricket Club was founded in 1787 and is one of the oldest recorded clubs in England. The present clubhouse was built in 1921 by Sir William Francis Reckitt - a member of the Reckitt and Colman Mustard dynasty.
At the east end of Rickmansworth High Street at the bottom of Scots Hill is situated the Rickmansworth Sports Club. Initially this was the home of Rickmansworth Cricket Club who currently run 4 sides on a Saturday in the Saracens Hertfordshire Cricket League. But over the years other sports have moved into the grounds, including Chess Valley Rugby Football Club and the Rickmansworth & Chess Valley Hockey Clubs
William Penn Leisure Centre in Mill End is named after the former school at the same site, using the original school swimming pool.
Rickmansworth contains a large public park called the Aquadrome. This includes several large lakes, grass and woodland areas and a children's play area. The lakes are suitable for canoeing, sailing and fishing. The lakes are artificial, being former quarries that have been filled with water and fish, there are also a few ducks that cause trouble in the local area. Some of the stone from the site was used in the building of the original Wembley Stadium
Watersmeet Theatre is a 481 seat venue complex owned by Three Rivers District Council, situated in the centre of the Rickmansworth High Street. The auditorium can transform from a raked theatre to a flat floor for performances "in the round" or dinner dances, cabarets, weddings, indoor markets and craft fairs.