Visit Watford and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Watford, Hertfordshire, is the county's biggest town, much modernized, with many industries including brewing and printing. It is, however, an ancient town, and there are still many buildings of interest to be seen.
The long narrow High Street leads down to the River Come, which skirts the hill on which the town stands. A l6th-century half-timbered house, with an overhanging upper story, is on the corner of Church Street and High Street and to the south are several houses of character. Lower down is the imposing l8th-century dwelling house of Benskin's Brewery, two and a half stories high with five bays and a lower outer wing, and behind it are the tall, yellow-brick Victorian brewing premises with 1836 maltings on the opposite side of the road. At the end of High Street is Frogmore House, three stories high, built about 1700. Its rusticated doorcase has Roman Doric columns topped by carved metopes.
In Church Road will be found the Victorian Salter's Company Almshouses, a long central line of houses of red-brick Tudor style with a tower and a stepped gable. Around the buildings are fine cedar trees and the gates to the street are of ornate iron.
About l ½ miles north west of the centre of the town are two first-class farm-houses, Grove Mill House and Heath Farm House, and also the Grove, a red-brick house with stone quoins, which was built in 1756 and twice enlarged. It has two principal fronts accentuated by angle pilasters. The lodges, towards the Hemel Hempstead road, are late l8th-century stuccoed.
There is a modern town hail in the centre of the town with a ‘Scandinavian’ lantern but it is generally fashioned in neo-Georgian style. It forms the nucleus of Watford's civic centre.
Cassiobury Park, once the home of the Earls of Essex, forms an attractive public park running down to the River Gade, where the banks are overhung by lovely willows.
There are several churches in the town but two are of particular interest, Holy Rood and St Mary's.
Holy Rood, a Roman Catholic church in Market Street, is Victorian with fine examples of the Gothic Revival style. The exterior, with its vestries and outer rooms encompassed in a square plan, is of flint, and its main feature is a square north-west tower and two turrets with copper spires.
St Mary's Church, standing in the large churchyard, is basically 13th-century with additions of the the 15th century. It is long, broad and low, made of flint with a large tower which has diagonal buttresses, a stair-turret and a spike. In the chancel is a beautiful double piscina. The Essex Chapel (1595) is its most important feature. It is separated from the chancel by a Tuscan arcade and holds the tombs of the Morrisons of Cassiobury, both showing reclining life-sized figures under rich canopies with kneeling mourners. Many other lesser monuments are of interest.
Around St Mary's churchyard are pleasant low cottages and Mrs Elizabeth Fuller Free School, a charming brick building dated 1704, with a central cupola, a door with segmental pediment and arched windows. The Bedford Almshouses of 1580 have a five-gabled plastered front with outer gables.
Nearby towns: St Albans, Borehamwood, Chorleywood, Harrow, Hemel Hempstead, Rickmansworth, Harrow
Nearby villages/suburbs: Abbots Langley, Bushey, Denham, Hampstead, Highgate, Kings Langley, London Colney, Radlett, South Oxney
Have you decided to visit Watford or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Watford bed and breakfast (a Watford B&B or Watford b and b)
- a Watford guesthouse
- a Watford hotel (or motel)
- a Watford self-catering establishment, or
- other Watford accommodation