The town name comes from the Old English name ‘Cestrehunt’ (as recorded in the Domesday Book) for the area.
This probably refers to a “castle, erected by the Romans”.
The word cestre (along with the form ceastre), or even its modern forms, chester and caster being derived from the Latin castrum meaning “fort”. This is also commemorated in the arms of the former Cheshunt urban district council.
Cheshunt was a settlement on Ermine Street, the main Roman road leading north from London.
This origin was investigated by the television archaeology programme Time Team.
Before the Norman Conquest, the manor of Cheshunt was held by Eddeva the Fair, but William I granted it to Alan of Brittany.
The parish church of St Mary the Virgin was first recorded in a charter of 1146. It was entirely rebuilt between 1418 and 1448 with a three-stage tower topped by an octagonal turret.
Its horse drawn railway was also the first passenger-carrying monorail and the first railway line to be built in Hertfordshire.