A village in its own right
Croxley Green is fortunate in having a strong local history group supported by the Parish Council. Their website is here, and is well worth careful study.
It was a quiet agricultural community, covered by the manor of Croxley owned by Gonville and Caius College Cambridge from 1545. From 1762 it was on the Reading and Hatfield Turnpike, which entered Rickmansworth parish from Watford at Cassio Bridge, but it did not change much until about 1797, when the Grand Junction Canal came through. The canal was never intended to provide much for places like Croxley Green through which it passed: the focus was on London and the Midlands. But the canal attracted the ambitious paper maker John Dickinson, who in 1828 bought land on Common Moor from Gonville and Caius to build the fourth and last of his Hertfordshire paper mills. This introduced for the first time an industrial enterprise which was to remain a dominant feature of the village until 1980, using the canal and the railway to great effect to supply paper to an international market. Croxley Mill carried the name of Croxley Green to a vast public.
Dickinsons were responsible for developing a great number of services and benefits for their staff and the other residents of the village. The image above shows the Maypole on the green during the Croxley Revels, which was well established in the early 1950s an came to the attention of John Betjeman when making his film 'Metroland' twenty years later. The maypole, however, was older, and residents recall it being stored under the stage of the Institute during World War 2.
More from this section
The medieval monastic barn at Croxley Green
Research and text by the late David Harding, who acted for many years as archaeological adviser to Three Rivers Museum Trust and was instrumental in setting up the Friends of Croxley Great Barn