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HERTFORD (/ˈhɑːfəd/, /ˈhɑːtfəd/) is the county town of Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
, England, and is also a civil parish in the East Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
district of the county. Forming a civil parish , the 2011 census put the population of Hertford
Hertford
at about 26,000.

CONTENTS

* 1 Toponomy * 2 Governance * 3 Geography * 4 History * 5 Economy

* 6 Sport and leisure

* 6.1 Cricket
Cricket

* 7 People * 8 Landmarks

* 9 Transport

* 9.1 Rail * 9.2 Road * 9.3 Bus and coach * 9.4 River

* 10 Education * 11 Entertainment * 12 Town twinning * 13 References * 14 External links

TOPONOMY

The earliest reference to the town appears in the _Ecclesiastical History of the English People _, written by Bede
Bede
in 731 AD, which refers to _"Herutford"_. _"Herut"_ is the Old English
Old English
spelling of "hart ", meaning a fully mature stag ; thus the meaning of the name is a ford where harts are found. The Domesday Book
Domesday Book
of 1086 gives a spelling of _"Hertforde"_.

GOVERNANCE

Hertford
Hertford
has been the county town of Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
since Saxon
Saxon
times when it was governed by the king's reeves . By the 13th century, the reeves had been replaced by a bailiff , elected by the burgesses . Charters of 1554 and 1589 established a common council of eleven chief burgesses and a bailiff. Another charter of 1605 changed the bailiff's title to mayor. In 1835, Hertford
Hertford
became a Municipal Corporation; the ratepayers elected twelve councillors , who chose four aldermen , aldermen and councillors composing the council. This body elected the mayor.

Since 1974, Hertford
Hertford
has been within the East Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
district of Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
.The headquarters of Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
County Council is at County Hall in Hertford. East Herts District Council 's offices almost adjoin County Hall, and there is also a Hertford
Hertford
Town Council based at Hertford Castle
Hertford Castle
(see "Landmarks", below).

GEOGRAPHY

Hertford
Hertford
is at the confluence of four river valleys: the Rib , Beane and Mimram join the River Lea at Hertford
Hertford
to flow south toward the Thames
Thames
as the Lee Navigation , after Hertford Castle
Hertford Castle
Weir .The shared valley of the Lea and the Beane is called Hartham Common and this provides a large park to one side of the town centre running towards Ware and lying below the ridge upon which Bengeo
Bengeo
is situated.

The town centre still has its medieval layout with many timber-framed buildings hidden under later frontages, particularly in St Andrew Street . Hertford
Hertford
suffers from traffic problems despite the existence of the 1960s A414 bypass called Gascoyne Way which passes close to the town centre. Plans have long existed to connect the A10 with the A414, by-passing the town completely. Nevertheless, the town retains very much a country-town feel, despite lying only 19.2 miles (30.9 km) north of Central London
London
. This is aided by its proximity to larger towns such as Harlow
Harlow
, Bishop\'s Stortford and Stevenage
Stevenage
where modern development has been focused.

SUBURBS AND ESTATES

* Bengeo
Bengeo
* Foxholes Estate * Horns Mill * Pinehurst, Hertford
Hertford
* Rush Green * Sele Farm

NEARBY HERTFORD

* Hertford Heath * Hertingfordbury * Waterford

Hartham Common

HISTORY

Hertford Castle
Hertford Castle

Possibly the first mention of the town was in 673 A.D.: the first synod of a number of the bishops in England
England
was held either in Hertford
Hertford
or at Hartford, Cambridgeshire . It was called by Theodore of Tarsus ; decisions included the calculation of the date of Easter. In 912 AD, Edward the Elder
Edward the Elder
built two burhs (earthwork fortifications) close by the ford over the River Lea as a defence against Danish incursions. By the time of the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
, Hertford
Hertford
had two churches, two markets and three mills. The Normans began work on Hertford Castle
Hertford Castle
, and Hertford
Hertford
Priory was founded by Ralph de Limesy . King Henry II rebuilt the castle in stone, but in 1216, during the First Barons\' War , it was besieged and captured after 25 days by Prince Louis of France
France
. The castle was regularly visited by English royalty and in 1358, Queen Isabella , wife of Edward II , died there. The priory was dissolved in 1536 and subsequently demolished and in 1563, the Parliament of England
England
met at the castle because of an outbreak of plague in London. Hertford
Hertford
grew and prospered as a market and county town ; communication was improved by the construction of the Lea Navigation Canal in 1767 and the arrival of the railway in 1843.

ECONOMY

Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
County Hall in Hertford
Hertford

A fair amount of employment in the town is centred on County Hall ( Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
County Council ), Wallfields (East Hertfordshire District Council ) and McMullens Brewery , one of a dwindling number of independent pre-1970 family brewers in the United Kingdom. Many residents commute to work in London.

Hertford
Hertford
differs from neighbouring towns as it lacks a modern shopping development (mall). However, it has most of the usual supermarkets. A Tesco
Tesco
store occupies part of the former Christ\'s Hospital Bluecoat Girls School, which closed down in 1985. Sainsburys opened a new store on part of the McMullens Brewery site in June 2012. A Waitrose occupies a reasonably large store in the Bircherley Green Shopping area. The local branch of Woolworths closed for good on 27 December 2008, after the collapse of that store chain. There are fewer of the usual chain shops found in most high streets and this makes Hertford
Hertford
stand out from other "clone towns ". There are a high number of independent shops in the town, with a variety of boutiques and salons.

SPORT AND LEISURE

Hertford
Hertford
has a leisure centre on Hartham Common . There is a Non-League football club Hertford Town F.C. , which plays at Hertingfordbury Park. Bengeo
Bengeo
Tigers Football Club is an award-winning FA Charter Standard Community Football Club .

CRICKET

Hertford Cricket Club is an English amateur cricket club, located in Hertford, the county town of Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
. Cricket
Cricket
records for a Hertford
Hertford
club go back a far as 1825, however the club in its present form has been in existence since 1860. The club plays its matches at Balls park, Hertford.

PEOPLE

* The band Deep Purple
Deep Purple
formed in Hertford
Hertford
in 1968. * Alfred Russel Wallace
Alfred Russel Wallace
who proposed a theory of natural selection at the same time as Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
lived in Hertford
Hertford
between the ages of five and thirteen and attended Hertford
Hertford
Grammar School . * John Wilkes
John Wilkes
, the radical politician, was educated in Hertford. * Sergeant Alfred Alexander Burt VC, soldier in the Hertfordshire Regiment who was born and lived in Hertford. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his valour on 27 September 1915 during the Battle of Loos . * Captain W E Johns , Writer of the Biggles books was born in Bengeo, attended Hertford
Hertford
Grammar School and lived in Hertford.

The statue of Samuel Stone

* Samuel Stone , Puritan minister who established the American town of Hartford, Connecticut
Connecticut
with Thomas Hooker . He lived in Fore Street, Hertford
Hertford
and was baptised at All Saints Church . There is a statue commemorating him, close to the Hertford
Hertford
Theatre. * Jane Wenham was tried at the Hertford
Hertford
Assizes for witchcraft in 1712. The jury found her guilty, one of the last in England
England
to be convicted of this offence. Judge Powell had no choice but to condemn her to death, but through his influence she was later given a Royal Pardon . * Jack Trevor Story , the author of "The Trouble with Harry" and other works, was born in Hertford
Hertford
in 1917. * Rupert Grint
Rupert Grint
, the Harry Potter film star, comes from Hertford, and although he now lives outside the county town, he lived within Hertford
Hertford
when filming began on the Harry Potter series. He attended Richard Hale School before leaving after his GCSE exams in 2004. Other famous pupils at Richard Hale School are listed on that school's page. * Dani Filth , singer of Cradle of Filth was born in Hertford, but grew up in Ipswich
Ipswich
. * Singer George Ezra
George Ezra
was born and grew up in Hertford, attending Simon Balle School . * International rugby union players Robbie Morris ">_ Church of Saint Leonard, Bengeo
Bengeo

* In the town are the remains of the original Hertford Castle
Hertford Castle
, principally a motte. The castle's gatehouse, the central part of which dates to a rebuild by Edward IV in 1463, is the home to Hertford
Hertford
Town Council. The Motte, from the original Motte and Bailey
Motte and Bailey
castle in Hertford, can be found just behind Castle Hall, a short distance from the modern castle. * There are several churches in the town, All Saints\' , and St Andrew's_, are late and mid 19th century respectively, although both stand on the sites of medieval places of worship. In the northern suburb of Bengeo
Bengeo
lies St Leonard\'s , a two-celled Norman church of considerable architectural interest. * In Railway Street can be found the oldest purpose-built Quaker Meeting House in the world, in use since 1670.

Hertford
Hertford
Quaker
Quaker
Meeting House

* The Parliament of England
England
temporarily moved to Hertford
Hertford
during a plague outbreak in London
London
in 1563. This is why the main square in the town, Parliament Square, is so named, although it is a twentieth-century creation. * The home of Alfred Russel Wallace
Alfred Russel Wallace
(see above), now named Wallace House, can be found at 11 St. Andrew St. and is marked with a plaque. * Built in 1779, the SHIRE HALL was designed by Robert Adam
Robert Adam
. The ground floor houses Court Rooms. * The Hertford
Hertford
CORN EXCHANGE was built on the site of a former gaol. After years in the doldrums it has now reverted to being a live entertainment venue.

The Prince Albert
Prince Albert
Cottage

* In Cowbridge, there is a PRINCE ALBERT COTTAGE . The first of these cottages was originally built in Hyde Park by the Society for Improving the Condition of the Labouring Classes in 1851 at the time of the Great Exhibition . Prince Albert
Prince Albert
was involved in their design and financing. * Hertford Museum is housed in a 17th-century historic town house, with a Jacobean-style knot garden . * A stained-glass window in St Andrew's Church is part of a fringe theory that links Hertford
Hertford
to the Knights Templar and the Holy Grail .

TRANSPORT

RAIL

Hertford East railway station
Hertford East railway station

Hertford
Hertford
serves as a commuter town for London, and has two stations :

* Hertford
Hertford
East (on the Hertford East Branch Line ) provides a half-hourly service to London
London
Liverpool Street (taking 52 minutes), via Tottenham Hale
Tottenham Hale
. The line is operated by Abellio Greater Anglia
Abellio Greater Anglia
. * Hertford
Hertford
North (on the Hertford Loop Line ) has a service every 20 minutes off-peak to London
London
Moorgate station (taking 50 minutes), via Finsbury Park (change for King\'s Cross ) and hourly northwards to Stevenage
Stevenage
(for onward connections via the East Coast Main Line ) and Letchworth
Letchworth
(change for Cambridge
Cambridge
). Services are operated by Great Northern .

ROAD

The A414 main road now bypasses the town centre to the south and runs east to Harlow
Harlow
, the M11 and Chelmsford
Chelmsford
and runs west to Hatfield , the A1 , St Albans
St Albans
and the M1 . Hertford
Hertford
also lies just west of the A10 and the Kingsmead Viaduct
Kingsmead Viaduct
which links it south to London
London
and the M25 and north to Royston and Cambridge
Cambridge
.

BUS AND COACH

* The town's bus services are run by a number of companies, most running from the bus station on Bircherley Green, destinations include Bishop\'s Stortford , Royston , Stevenage
Stevenage
and Waltham Cross
Waltham Cross
. Many of these routes receive subsidies from Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
County Council. * The town also lies on the 724 coach route (operated by Arriva the Shires ) which provides an hourly service from Harlow
Harlow
through the town and on to Hatfield , Welwyn Garden City , St Albans
St Albans
, Watford
Watford
and Heathrow
Heathrow
. * Although bypassed by most National Express routes Hertford
Hertford
(Mill Road) is served by the 767 service which operates from Nottingham
Nottingham
to Stansted Airport
Stansted Airport
via Leicester
Leicester
and Luton Airport
Luton Airport
.

For all bus and coach timetables see Intalink .

RIVER

During the months of April to September a scheduled Waterbus
Waterbus
operates between Bircheley Green Shopping centre, Hertford
Hertford
and Ware priory. The Waterbus
Waterbus
runs on Saturdays and Sundays only except in August when it also runs on Thursdays and Fridays.

The bus takes in the Floodplain along the River Lea and has a total journey time between 75–90 minutes.

The Waterbus
Waterbus
is accessible to all and has two toilets one of which has disabled access. Refreshments are available on the Boat and there is also a licensed bar on board. The Boat can accommodate 60 passengers on each journey and people with Pushchairs , Wheelchairss and well behaved Dogs are welcome aboard.

Tickets for the Waterbus
Waterbus
can be purchased on the day depending on availability. Tickets can also be purchased online.

EDUCATION

There are numerous schools in Hertford: these include the Sele School , Richard Hale School and Simon Balle School at secondary level, with primaries of Hollybush JMI, Millmead Community School, Bengeo
Bengeo
Primary School, Morgans Primary School ">

* ^ "Town population 2011". _Neighbourhood Statistics_. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 29 October 2016. * ^ "2011 Census – Unrounded Total Resident Population Estimate by Sex (count) – Large Settlements – Tabular Data View". _atlas.hertslis.org_. Hertfordshire