Shortstown was constructed by the Shorts brothers in 1917 to house workers at the airship factory: the area had been chosen by the Admiralty in 1916 for the building of airships because of the flat east-west valley and its proximity to London. The first airship shed was built to house the R101 airship, permission for the construction of which was given by the government in 1924. The smaller No. 2 shed was brought from Norfolk and reconstructed on its present site in 1928.
Most of the roads in Shortstown, in the original development as well as subsequent estates, are named after aeroplanes or people involved in the aviation industry, in order to preserve the history that created the village. There are currently 1625 electors.