There was a time when every field, and often each hedgerow, had its own name and identity. The boundary line between one parish and the next was frequently identified and confirmed by the ceremony known as ‘Beating the Bounds’.
Chipperfield was part of Kings Langley as a hamlet, until 1838. It was not until 1871, however, that it received a separate count in the National Census.
To the east the traditional boundary between Kings Langley and Abbots Langley, as this map shows, was the River Gade which was basically reconstructed to form the canal. However when there were houses on Monk’s Island (previously the Slipe), by Water Lane bridge, the boundary crossed over the island from a remaining part of the river to the canal, right through at least one house – allegedly!
For those living along what is now Railway Terrace, Primrose Hill and Station Road (just to the east of the canal and not shown on this map) the Kings Langley village centre, the church and the school were all very much more accessible than their Abbots Langley counterparts. In fact Primrose Hill became part of the Kings Langley Ecclesiastical Parish in 1883 and Railway Terrace in 1919. (from Abbots Langley Then 1760-1960 by Clive W. Clark, 1997) In 1883 the Station Road area between the railway and the canal was also added to the parish of Kings Langley (all these from Abbots Langley). More recently (from the south side of the now reconstructed Ovaltine building) was transferred to Langleybury parish.
Kings Langley is now part of the Benefice of Langelei. This comprises the Parishes of All Saints at Kings Langley, St.Mary's at Apsley, Holy Trinity at Leverstock Green and St.Benedict's at Bennetts End
The railway (1838) made for another demarcation line and tended to reinforce the idea that the land between the canal and the railway was, for practical (if not ecclesiastical nor civil) purposes, effectively part of Kings Langley.
Nowadays such ancient and revised ecclesiastical limits have been superceded by civil local government boundaries which, certainly in the case of Kings Langley, notably on the east side of the parish, do not co-incide! The civil boundary has actually retained the canal as the dividing line as shown on the above illustrated map
The latest confusing development has been the introduction of post codes. The WD4 code, based on Kings Langley, includes Chipperfield to the west. On the east side the WD4 code extends up Toms Lane approaching Bedmond encroaching into both the ecclesiastical and civil territory of Abbots Langley.