infobox UK place
country = England
latitude = 51.795
longitude = -0.078

static_image_caption= Parliament Square, Hertford Town Centre
official_name = Hertford
population = 24,180 (2001 Census)
shire_district = East Hertfordshire
shire_county = Hertfordshire
region = East of England
constituency_westminster = Hertford and Stortford
post_town = HERTFORD
postcode_district = SG13, SG14
postcode_area = SG
dial_code = 01992
os_grid_reference = TL325125
london_distance=19.2 mi (30.9 km) S
website= [http://www.hertford.gov.uk www.hertford.gov.uk]

Hertford (standard pronunciations /IPA|'hɑːtֽfəd/ and /IPA|'hɑːֽfəd/; local pronunciation /IPA|' [h] ɑːʔֽfəd/) is the affluent county town of Hertfordshire, England, and is in the East Hertfordshire district of the county. Forming a civil parish, it has a population today of about 24,180 [cite web |url=http://www.hertsdirect.org/infobase/docs/pdfstore/tabKS01sett.pdf |title=Office for National Statistics, 2001 Census, Key Statistics for HCC settlements. Usual resident population (numbers)] and boasts a wide selection of boutiques, bars and cafes.

In 2006 East Hertfordshire primarily Hertford was ranked within the top 10 places to live in the UK following a survey commissioned by Channel 4. This was in turn due to its small country-town feel, excellent transport links and high standards set by most of its schools.

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

The rivers Rib, Beane and Mimram join the River Lea at Hertford to flow south toward the Thames as the Lee Navigation after Hertford Castle Weir.

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 brewers in the United Kingdom.


The Council of Hertford met in the year 673 at the instigation of Archbishop Theodore of Tarsus, as the first Synod of the whole Church in England, on the site which is now St Joseph's Roman Catholic Church. It was at this meeting that the Roman and Celtic churches came to an agreement on the date to celebrate Easter.

Since 1974, Hertford has lain within the East Hertfordshire district of Hertfordshire.


The town retains very much a country-town feel,Fact|date=October 2007 despite lying only convert|19.2|mi|km|1 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.

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

Surburbs and Estates

* Horns Mill
* Pinehurst
* Rush Green
* Sele Farm

Nearby places

*Bishop's Stortford
*Hertford Heath
*Potters Bar
*Welwyn Garden City


In terms of supermarkets there is a Waitrose, a Marks and Spencer Simply Food and Tesco in the town as well as two Co-Ops on the town's outskirts in Bengeo and Sele Farm. Sainsbury's have submitted designs for store in the town which will be on the old McMullens Brewery site. Iceland has said it is looking for a new site in Hertford, having sold its previous location to M&S. Other national shops include Boots, Lloyds Pharmacy, WH Smith, Clintons, Woolworths.

These retailers aside, there are very few 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 independant shops in the town with a variety of boutiques & salons. It is also home to a well regarded delicatessen named Farrow & Farrow which was recently nominated in UKTV Food's Local Food Hero 2008 competition and emerged in the top 20 of over 500 competitors for the East Anglia region.

The McDonald's in the town centre closed in September 2006 and relocated outside the town, on the A10/A414 junction in Rush Green. There are many pubs and the usual banks and building societies.


In the town are the remains of 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 Town Council. The Motte: From the original Motte and Bailey castle in Hertford, can be found just behind Castle Hall, a short distance from the modern castleThere are several churches in the town, "All Saints"' and "St Andrew's", are late and mid 19th century respectively. In the northern suburb of Bengeo lies "St Leonard's", a two-celled Norman church of considerable architectural interest.

Hertford contains the oldest purpose-built Quaker Meeting House in the world, in use since 1670.The Parliament of England temporarily moved to Hertford during the Great Plague of London. This is why the main square in the town, Parliament Square, is so named, although it is a twentieth century creation.Conspiracy theories link Hertford to the Knights Templar and the Holy Grail.



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), via Tottenham Hale and operated by National Express East Anglia.
*Hertford North (on the Hertford Loop Line) has a service every 20 minutes off-peak to London 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 operated by First Capital Connect.


The A414 main road runs through the middle of the town and runs east to 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 which links it south to London and the M25 and north to Royston and 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 and Waltham Cross. Many of these routes receive subsidy 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, Watford and Heathrow.
* Although bypassed by most National Express routes Hertford (Mill Road) is served by the 767 service which operates from Nottingham to Stansted Airport via Leicester and Luton Airport. For all bus and coach timetables see [http://www.intalink.org.uk/Timetables/6.asp here] .


There are numerous schools in Hertford: these include the [http://www.sele.herts.sch.uk/index.html The Sele School] , Richard Hale School and [http://simonballe.virtualschools.net/ Simon Balle School] at secondary level, with primaries of Hollybush JMI, [http://www.millmead.herts.sch.uk/index.html Millmead Community School] , [http://www.bengeo.herts.sch.uk/index.html Bengeo County Primary School] , Morgans JMI, [http://www.ablesmith.herts.sch.uk/index.html Abel Smith School] , Wheatcroft School, and St Andrew's School.

Private schools include [http://www.duncombe-school.co.uk/ Duncombe School] (a preparatory school in Bengeo) and Haileybury College in Hertford Heath; a short distance to the north of Hertford on the A10 is [http://www.stedmundscollege.org St Edmund's College] .


Hertford has many food, drink and entertainment establishments which have grown in number considerably since the eighties and nineties. It attracts people from nearby towns, and often the North London suburbs. There are approximately 25 pubs and clubs in the area [http://www.hertford.net/leisure/pubs.htm] , and around 35 restaurants, takeaways and snack bars [http://www.hertford.net/leisure/rest.htm] .Hertford also hosts a swimming pool and gym facility based in Hartham Commons, and has also recently acquired a small Skatepark, also based in Hartham.


* The town of Meryton in the Jane Austen novel "Pride and Prejudice" is thought to have been based on Hertford [Deirdre Le Faye, "Jane Austen: The World of Her Novels", 2003, ISBN 0711222789, p. 179: "... and it can be deduced later on that Meryton is, in fact, Hertford ..."] ["The fictional town of Meryton [...] is likely to have been based on the real town of Hertford, according to Deirdre Le Faye", http://janeaustensequels.blogspot.com/2008/01/hertford-possible-setting-for-meryton.html] .
* Harry Potter film star Rupert Grint 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, to concentrate on the Harry Potter films.
* Successful BBC Soap "EastEnders" has filmed in the town twice. Firstly for character Dan Sullivan's trial for shooting Phil Mitchell and again for Sharon and Dennis' marriage. Letitia Dean, who played the character of Sharon, was born in a village about 5 miles to the south of Hertford called Wildhill (Potters Bar). "EastEnders" is filmed about 20 miles from Hertford in Elstree Studios, Borehamwood, Herts.
*The band Deep Purple formed in Hertford in 1968.
*Dani Filth, singer of Cradle of Filth was born in Hertford, but grew up in Ipswich
* John Wilkes was educated in Hertford

Town twinning

*flagicon|France Évron, France
*flagicon|Germany Wildeshausen, Germany
*flagicon|United States Hartford, Connecticut


External links

* [http://www.hertford.gov.uk Hertford Town Council]
* [http://www.hertsdirect.org.uk Hertfordshire County Council]
* [http://www.askwatson-hertford.co.uk Hertford events guide]
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion/Story/0,2763,1382899,00.html Hertford, home of the Holy Grail] ; "The Guardian" 4 January 2005.
* [http://www.hertford.net Discover Hertford]
* http://www.theinsider.org/news/article.asp?id=0620

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