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Hertford

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Arms of Hertford Town Council
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Arms of Hertford Town Council

Hertford (pronounced "Hartford") is the county town of Hertfordshire, England, and is in the East Hertfordshire district of that county. It has a population today of about 24,000.

The name is Anglo Saxon and means the ford frequented by harts or stags.

The rivers Rib, Beane and Mimram meet with the River Lea, at Hertford to flow south toward the Thames.

Hertford is principally a commuter town for London, with rail links provided from Hertford North to London Kings Cross and Moorgate stations and from Hertford East to London Liverpool Street. The latter is by far the oldest link but is now the slowest and least frequent. Employment in the town is centered at County Hall (Hertfordshire County Council), Wallfileds (East Hertfordhire District Council) and McMullen's Brewery; one of a dwindling number of independent brewers in the UK.

The town retains very much a country town feel, despite lying only 20 miles north of London. This is aided by a lack of large chain stores in the town which is too small to support them and by its proximity to larger towns such as Harlow and Stevenage where modern development has been focused.

The town has the remains of a castle, principally a motte and the administrative buildings of the Town Council whose lower parts are of considerable age. The two churches in the town All Saints and St Andrews are early twentieth century and mid nineteenth century respectively. In the northern suburb of Bengeo lies St Leonards a two celled Norman church of considerable architectural interest.

The town is beset by traffic despite the existence of the 1960s ringroad called Gascoyne Way. However the town centre is still a labyrinth of medieval streets with many timbered framed buildings hidden under later frontages, particularly in St Andrew's Street.

The shared valley of the Lea and the Beane is called Hartham Common and this provides a large attractive park to one side of the town centre running towards Ware and lying below the ridge upon which Bengeo is situated.

Hertford contains the oldest purpose built Quaker Meeting House in the world, in use since 1670. The English parliament temporarily moved to Hertford during the Great Plague. Conspiracy theories link Hertford to the Knights Templar and the Holy Grail.

Nearby places:

External links

de:Hertford pl:Hertford

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