Visit Hertford and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Hertford, Hertfordshire. This rural town is the county town of Hertfordshire. It centres around Parliament Square, which was formed as an open space in 1821, and is filled with many features of interest. In its picturesque streets stand houses and cottages of varying periods, with three rivers, the Lea, Beane and Rib, meeting at its centre.
Only a little remains of the ancient castle, built by the second son of King Alfred - Prince Edward - to protect London against the Danes. Today it is a modernized 15th-century gatehouse, now used as offices by the council, with walls 22 ft high. It stands in a charming park stretching down to the river and has four towers. The Gothic-style windows and one wing were added at the beginning of the 19th century, and over the doorway is the coat of arms of England and France, for many kings stayed here, and Elizabeth I lived in the castle during her childhood. In the grounds, which are open to the public, is a boundary mark, a monument in the form of a pebble stone dated 1621. Near to the pebble stone is a beautiful tulip tree, one of the finest in England.
In Fore Street, leading off Parliament Square, will be found Christ's Hospital School for Girls, founded in 1683 for younger children by the governors of Christ's Hospital in London, the famous Bluecoat School. In the gateway and on the walls are figures of the Bluecoat boys and girls.
The Victorian Corn Exchange and Public Hall has a stone-faced front, three bays with large Corinthian pilasters and a Cinquecento-style window. The Salisbury Arms, at the corner of Church Street and Fore Street, although much restored since the early 17th century, still retains its Jacobean staircase and projecting upper floor.
Shire Hall, in the middle of the town, is of the 18th century and, although designed by the Adam brothers, it is not as graceful as might be expected. It is a simple large yellow-brick building and its rear arcades originally gave access to a covered market. In the centre of its upper floor is a splendid rotunda and in the hail are portraits of famous personalities including a painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds of Charles James Fox.
The old Hale's Grammar School, by the churchyard, is a 17th-century, building of red brick with an interesting chimney and small dome. It is gabled and under its hoed moulds are brick windows. The new Richard Hale Grammar School still retains the door from the old school.
Near Salisbury Square, on Bull Plain, is Lombard House, facing the River Lea, with its original l7th-century brick, timber and plasterwork intact. This was the home of the Hertfordshire historian and judge, Sir Henry Chauncy, who conducted one of the last witchcraft trials to be held in England, on Jane Wenham. Queen Anne reprieved her after she was sentenced to death and the case led to the abolition of the witchcraft laws.
Of modem interest, but fitting well in this ancient town, is County Hall, built in 1939, a large group of buildings fashioned in Scandinavian style with a slim cupola, fluted portico and ornamental motifs.
At Hertford Heath, 2 ½ miles to the south east, is Haileybury College, the boys' public school. Originally founded in 1806 as the East India College for the sons of Englishmen serving with the East India Company, it took its present status in 1862. The older school buildings are grouped round a spacious quadrangle.
Nearby towns: Bishop's Stortford, Cheshunt, Hoddesdon, Potters Bar, Stevenage, Waltham Abbey, Ware, Welwyn Garden City.
Nearby villages: Hertingfordbury, Knebworth, Panshanger, Waterford, Bayford, Brickendon.
Have you decided to visit Hertford or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Hertford bed and breakfast (a Hertford B&B or Hertford b and b)
- a Hertford guesthouse
- a Hertford hotel (or motel)
- a Hertford self-catering establishment, or
- other Hertford accommodation