Little Gaddesden is a village and civil parish in the Dacorum District of Hertfordshire, England three miles north of Berkhamsted. As well as Little Gaddesden village (population 694), the parish contains the settlements of Ashridge (population 53), Hudnall (population 139), and part of Ringshall (population 81). The village of Little Gaddesden borders both Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire, whilst being situated in the county of Hertfordshire. Part of the parish was formerly in Buckinghamshire.
Little Gaddesden and the surrounding area of the Ashridge Estate is owned and managed by the National Trust. Little Gaddesden has many period properties, of note: Ashridge House, (designed by Sir James Wyattville along with gardens and grounds designed by Sir Humphrey Repton and Capability Brown - Golden Valley), the "Manor House" situated on the Green along with "John O’Gaddesden House" and "Marian House", "Little Gaddesden House" along Nettleden Road heading towards the hamlet of Nettleden and the "Old Rectory" past the village shop heading to Ringshall.
The Ashridge Estate that surrounds the village is a 5,000-acre (20 km2) area of open countryside and woodland on the edge of the Chiltern Hills, with a rich variety of wildlife including fallow deer and muntjac (another smaller deer), and the renowned red kite (a type of hawk). There are large areas of mature woodlands with carpets of spring bluebells and fine autumnal displays, along with the panorama from the Bridgewater Monument.
In the early 17th century, Thomas Egerton, 1st Viscount Brackley, had purchased Ashridge House, one of the largest country houses in England, from Queen Elizabeth I, who had inherited it from her father who had appropriated it after the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539. Ashridge House served the Egerton family as a residence until the 19th century. The Egertons later had a family chapel (the Bridgewater Chapel) with burial vault in Little Gaddesden Church, where many monuments commemorate the Dukes and Earls of Bridgewater and their families. Among those buried here is the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, famous as the originator of British inland navigation and the Bridgewater Canal.