HERTFORD (/ˈhɑːfəd/, /ˈhɑːtfəd/) is the county town of
Hertfordshire , England, and is also a civil parish in the East
Hertfordshire district of the county. Forming a civil parish , the
2011 census put the population of
Hertford at about 26,000.
* 1 Toponomy
* 2 Governance
* 3 Geography
* 4 History
* 5 Economy
* 6 Sport and leisure
* 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
The earliest reference to the town appears in the _Ecclesiastical
History of the English People _, written by
Bede in 731 AD, which
refers to _"Herutford"_. _"Herut"_ is the
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 of 1086 gives a
spelling of _"Hertforde"_.
Hertford has been the county town of
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reeves had been replaced by a bailiff , elected by the burgesses .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 became a Municipal Corporation; the
ratepayers elected twelve councillors , who chose four aldermen ,
aldermen and councillors composing the council. This body elected the
Hertford has been within the East
Hertfordshire .The headquarters of
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 Town Council
Hertford Castle (see "Landmarks", below).
Hertford is at the confluence of four river valleys: the Rib , Beane
and Mimram join the
River Lea at
Hertford to flow south toward the
Thames as the
Lee Navigation , after
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 is situated.
The town centre still has its medieval layout with many timber-framed
buildings hidden under later frontages, particularly in St Andrew
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 . This is aided by its proximity to larger
towns such as
Harlow , Bishop\'s Stortford and
Stevenage where modern
development has been focused.
SUBURBS AND ESTATES
* Foxholes Estate
* Horns Mill
* Rush Green
Possibly the first mention of the town was in 673 A.D.: the first
synod of a number of the bishops in
England was held either in
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 ,
Hertford had two
churches, two markets and three mills. The Normans began work on
Hertford Castle , and
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 . 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 met at the castle because of an
outbreak of plague in London.
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
Hertfordshire County Hall in
A fair amount of employment in the town is centred on County Hall
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 differs from neighbouring towns as it lacks a modern
shopping development (mall). However, it has most of the usual
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 stand out from other "clone towns ". There are a high number
of independent shops in the town, with a variety of boutiques and
SPORT AND LEISURE
Hertford has a leisure centre on
Hartham Common . There is a
Non-League football club
Hertford Town F.C. , which plays at
Bengeo Tigers Football Club is an award-winning
FA Charter Standard Community Football Club .
Hertford Cricket Club is an English amateur cricket club, located in
Hertford, the county town of
Cricket records for a
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.
* The band
Deep Purple formed in
Hertford in 1968.
Alfred Russel Wallace
Alfred Russel Wallace who proposed a theory of natural selection
at the same time as
Charles Darwin lived in
Hertford between the ages
of five and thirteen and attended
Hertford Grammar School .
John Wilkes , the radical politician, was educated in Hertford.
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
Hertford Grammar School and lived in Hertford.
The statue of
Samuel Stone , Puritan minister who established the American town
Thomas Hooker . He lived in Fore Street,
Hertford and was baptised at All Saints Church . There is a statue
commemorating him, close to the
* Jane Wenham was tried at the
Assizes for witchcraft in
1712. The jury found her guilty, one of the last in
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
Jack Trevor Story , the author of "The Trouble with Harry" and
other works, was born in
Hertford in 1917.
Rupert Grint , the Harry Potter film star, comes from Hertford,
and although he now lives outside the county town, he lived within
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
George Ezra was born and grew up in Hertford, attending
Simon Balle School .
* International rugby union players
Robbie Morris ">_ Church of
* In the town are the remains of the original
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
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
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.
Quaker Meeting House
* The Parliament of
England temporarily moved to
Hertford during a
plague outbreak in
London in 1563. This is why the main square in the
town, Parliament Square, is so named, although it is a
* 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 . The
ground floor houses Court Rooms.
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
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
Great Exhibition .
Prince Albert was involved in their design
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 to the
Knights Templar and the
Holy Grail .
Hertford East railway station
Hertford East railway station
Hertford serves as a commuter town for London, and has two stations :
Hertford East (on the
Hertford East Branch Line ) provides a
half-hourly service to
London Liverpool Street (taking 52 minutes),
Tottenham Hale . The line is operated by
Abellio Greater Anglia
Abellio Greater Anglia .
Hertford North (on the
Hertford Loop Line ) has a service every 20
minutes off-peak to
Moorgate station (taking 50 minutes), via
Finsbury Park (change for King\'s Cross ) and hourly northwards to
Stevenage (for onward connections via the
East Coast Main Line ) and
Letchworth (change for
Cambridge ). Services are operated by Great
The A414 main road now bypasses the town centre to the south and runs
Harlow , the M11 and
Chelmsford and runs west to Hatfield ,
the A1 ,
St Albans and the M1 .
Hertford also lies just west of the
A10 and the
Kingsmead Viaduct which links it south to
London and the
M25 and north to Royston and
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 ,
Waltham Cross . Many of
these routes receive subsidies from
Hertfordshire County Council.
* The town also lies on the 724 coach route (operated by Arriva the
Shires ) which provides an hourly service from
Harlow through the town
and on to Hatfield ,
Welwyn Garden City ,
St Albans ,
* Although bypassed by most National Express routes
Road) is served by the 767 service which operates from
Stansted Airport via
Luton Airport .
For all bus and coach timetables see
During the months of April to September a scheduled
between Bircheley Green Shopping centre,
Hertford and Ware priory.
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.
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 can be purchased on the day depending on
availability. Tickets can also be purchased online.
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,
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".