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Borough of Dacorum
Dacorum UK locator map.svg
Dacorum shown within Hertfordshire
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region East of England
Administrative county Hertfordshire
Admin. HQ Hemel Hempstead
  Type Non-metropolitan district
  BodyDacorum Borough Council
   Leadership: Leader & Cabinet
   Mayor John Birnie
  LeaderAndrew Williams
   MPs: Gagan Mohindra
Mike Penning
  Total82.0 sq mi (212.5 km2)
  Rank 156th
 (mid-2019 est.)
  Rank Ranked 128th
  Density1,900/sq mi (730/km2)
Time zone UTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
  Summer (DST) UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
ONS code 26UC (ONS)
E07000096 (GSS)
Ethnicity93.1% White
3.2% South Asian
1.4% Black
1.5% Mixed
Website dacorum.gov.uk

The Borough of Dacorum is a local government district in Hertfordshire, England that includes the towns of Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, Tring and Kings Langley. The district, which was formed in 1974, had a population of 137,799 in 2001. [1] Its name was taken from the old hundred of Dacorum which covered approximately the same area. It is the westernmost of Hertfordshire's districts, being bordered to the west by the Chiltern and Aylesbury Vale districts of Buckinghamshire.



The name Dacorum comes from Latin and it means "of the Dacians" [2] (with a "hundred" implied). The latter word was used mistakenly in the Middle Ages for 'Danes'. This happened because of a legend asserting that certain tribes from Dacia had migrated to Denmark. [3] The hundred of Dacorum was first recorded in 1196, although it has existed since the 9th and 10th centuries, when it lay near the southern boundary of the Danelaw, on the River Lea. In 1086, the Domesday Book records the hundreds of Tring and Danais in places that became parts of the hundred of Dacorum.

In 1974, the modern district of Dacorum was formed under the Local Government Act 1972. Major components were the municipal borough of Hemel Hempstead, the urban districts of Berkhamsted and Tring, the rural districts of Berkhamsted and Hemel Hempstead and those parts of the rural districts of St Albans and Watford which were within the designated area of Hemel Hempstead new town.

The district was granted borough status in 1984. Hemel Hempstead had maintained Charter Trustees from 1974 to 1984. The amalgamation of the former local authorities was symbolised in the seven oak leaves which surround a tudor rose on the Dacorum coat of arms. [4]

Main settlements

The main towns and villages of the borough are:

Aldbury, Bovingdon, Berkhamsted, Bourne End, Bulbourne, Chipperfield, Cow Roast, Dudswell, Flamstead, Flaunden, Frithsden, Gaddesden Row, Great Gaddesden, Hemel Hempstead, Kings Langley, Little Gaddesden, Little Tring, Long Marston, Markyate, Nettleden, New Mill, Northchurch, Potten End, Ringshall, Tring, Tringford, Water End, Wigginton and Wilstone

The borough is entirely parished, apart from Hemel Hempstead.

Political representation

Dacorum Borough Council
Dacorum Borough Council.svg
John Birnie, Conservative
since 11 May 2022
Andrew Williams,Conservative
since 1999
Seats51 Councillors
Svgfiles 2022-01-10-18-51-10-769085-10910546773969901269.svg
Political groups
  Conservative (31)
Other parties
  Liberal Democrat (19)
  Independent (1)
Plurality voting system
Last election
2 May 2019
Meeting place
The Forum, Dacorum Borough Council.jpg
The Forum, Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead, Herts, HP1 1DN

Dacorum Borough Council consists of 51 elected members, representing twenty-five electoral wards. 14 of the wards elect two councillors each. Six, indicated below, elect three councillors each. Five, also shown below, elect one each. [5]

The council is currently controlled by the Conservatives, who hold 31 of the 51 seats. The Liberal Democrats hold 19, and 1 seat is held by an independent. [6]


Conservative 31-15
Liberal Democrats 19+16
Independent 1+1
Labour 0-2


Dacorum consists of twenty-five wards. Wards electing three members are denoted with an asterisk (*). Those electing one member are denoted with an obelus (†).

Political control

Party in controlYears
Labour 1973–1976
Conservative 1976–1995
Labour 1995–1999
No overall control 1999–2003
Conservative 2003–present


From its creation, the council was based at Dacorum Civic Centre on Marlowes in Hemel Hempstead. This building had previously been called Hemel Hempstead Town Hall, having been built for Hemel Hempstead Borough Council in 1966 to replace the Old Town Hall on High Street. On 16 January 2017 the council opened its new headquarters at The Forum, on the corner of Marlowes and Combe Street, immediately south of the Civic Centre, which was demolished shortly afterwards. [7]


Coat of arms of Dacorum
Granted 21 January 1992.
A sprig of seven oak leaves Proper and acorns Or inflected to the sinister out of a mural crown Or.
Or seven oak leaves stalks inward Vert radiating from a Tudor rose Proper.
Two stags in trian aspect Proper attired and unguled Or gorged with a wreath Or and Gules ribbons flowing outward depending therefrom a bezant charged with oak leaves and a Tudor rose as in the Arms standing on a compartment Vert strewn with sprigs of oak leaves Proper and acorns Or. [8]

Town twinning

Two of the civil parishes in the borough also maintain their own separate twinning arrangements:

See also

Related Research Articles

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Berkhamsted Town in Hertfordshire, England

Berkhamsted is a historic market town in Hertfordshire, England, in the Bulbourne valley, 26 miles (42 km) north-west of London. The town is a civil parish with a town council within the borough of Dacorum which is based in the neighbouring large new town of Hemel Hempstead. Berkhamsted, along with the adjoining village of Northchurch, is encircled by countryside, much of it in the Chiltern Hills which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Hemel Hempstead Town in Hertfordshire, England

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Nash Mills Human settlement in England

Nash Mills is a civil parish within Hemel Hempstead and Dacorum Borough Council on the northern side of the Grand Union Canal, formerly the River Gade, and in the southernmost corner of Hemel Hempstead. There is evidence of a mill in this location since the 11th century and the row of 16th century mill cottages still remain. John Dickinson established a number of papermaking mills in the area in the 19th century.

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Primary schools in Dacorum

This article gives brief information on schools that cater for pupils up to the age of 11 in the Dacorum district of Hertfordshire, England. Most are county maintained primary schools, sometimes known as "junior mixed infant" (JMI). A small number are voluntary aided church schools or independent (fee-paying). The Local Education Authority is Hertfordshire County Council.

Cow Roast Human settlement in England

Cow Roast is a hamlet within the civil parishes of Northchurch and Wigginton in Hertfordshire, England. It is between Tring and Berkhamsted, along the A4251, adjacent to the Grand Union Canal and the West Coast Main Line. Today it comprises a row of 20th-century houses and a marina, together with several older properties including a public house. There are three car dealerships and a petrol station beside the main road.

Peter Melvin English architect

Peter Anthony Paul Melvin, RIBA, was an English architect. His work over a period of fifty years evolved from large-scale Brutalist projects to small-scale made-to-measure designs. He was a vice-president for education at the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Dacorum Heritage Trust English history advocacy group

Dacorum Heritage (DH) is a local history advocacy group in the United Kingdom. It collects and records the history of the Borough of Dacorum, Hertfordshire, in the south of England, and aims to encourage the appreciation of the heritage of Dacorum.

Danais (hundred)

DanaisHundred was a judicial and taxation subdivision of Hertfordshire, in the west of the county, that existed from the 10th to the 19th century. It gave its name to the local government district of Dacorum. Danais was latinised to Dacorum in 1196. The name Danais means the Hundred of the Danes and refers to its incorporation into the Danelaw for a period in the tenth century.

Tring was a hundred occupying an area now compromised by Dacorum, Hertfordshire. Tring hundred was absorbed by Dacorum in the 16th century.

Berkhamsted Town Hall Municipal building in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England

Berkhamsted Town Hall is a municipal building in the High Street, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England. It is a Grade II listed building.

Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead Municipal building in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England

The Old Town Hall is a municipal building in the High Street, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England. The town hall, which was the meeting place of Hemel Hempstead Borough Council, is a Grade II listed building.


  1. "Page 3559". Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 13 April 2009.
  2. Latin Dictionary, accessed 10 August 2022
  3. Tom Williamson, 2010. The Origins of Hertfordshire. Hertfordshire Publications: Hertfordshire
  4. "About Dacorum". Archived from the original on 18 December 2008. Retrieved 13 April 2009.
  5. "Articles of the Constitution" (PDF). Dacorum Borough Council. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  6. "Dacorum Borough Council". BBC.
  7. "New £15m home for Dacorum Borough Council and library officially opens in Hemel Hempstead". Hemel Today. 16 January 2017. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  8. "East of England Region". Civic Heraldry of England. Retrieved 8 March 2021.


Coordinates: 51°46′N00°32′W / 51.767°N 0.533°W / 51.767; -0.533