One of the earliest mentions of Bosci de Boreham (Wood of Boreham), is in 1188:
"In 1188 Pope Clement granted to the kitchen of the monastery the whole land of Elstree. He also gave to the Abbey the wood of Boreham for the feeding of the swine."
In 1776, the House of Lords granted:
"An Act for dividing and closing the Common or Waste Ground, called Boreham Wood Common, in the Parish of Elstree otherwise Idletree, in the Country of Hertford."
Up until 1909, the town was part of the ancient parish of Elstree; the two still share a local council, Elstree and Borehamwood Town Council.
From the 1920s onwards, the town became known as one of the main centres of the UK film, and later television, industries due to the presence of production studios.
Following World War II, the town's population greatly increased, with large areas of council housing set up for displaced Londoners, many of which are now in private ownership. Fast train connections to central London have resulted in the town becoming a primarily residential suburb. In 1946 the Admiralty started to build highly secret high-performance electronic digital computers at Borehamwood in a redundant wartime factory, firstly for the purpose of real time gunnery control and later for surface-to-air guided weapons, missiles and specialist cryptography and code-breaking computers for GCHQ.
Borehamwood is currently[when?] undergoing a substantial housing transformation which has seen hundreds of new homes built over the last five years. There are currently two further developments being built and more are expected.
In addition to the studios, the town is also home to many retail shops, offices and light industry.