Hertfordshire (/ˈhɑːrtfərdʃɪər/ (listen); often abbreviated Herts) is one of the home counties in England. It is bordered by Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire to the north, Essex to the east, Greater London to the south, and Buckinghamshire to the west. For government statistical purposes, it is placed in the East of England region.
In 2013, the county had a population of 1,140,700 in an area of 634 square miles (1,640 km2). The four towns that have between 50,000 and 100,000 residents are Hemel Hempstead, Stevenage, Watford and St Albans. Hertford, once the main market town for the medieval agricultural county, derives its name from a hart (stag) and a ford, used as the components of the county's coat of arms and flag. Elevations are high for the region in the north and west. These reach over 800 feet (240 m) in the western projection around Tring which is in the Chilterns. The county's borders are approximately the watersheds of the Colne and Lea; both flowing to the south; each accompanied by a canal. Hertfordshire's undeveloped land is mainly agricultural and much is protected by green belt.
The county's landmarks span many centuries, ranging from the Six Hills in the new town of Stevenage built by local inhabitants during the Roman period, to Leavesden Film Studios. The volume of intact medieval and Tudor buildings surpasses London, in places in well-preserved conservation areas, especially in St Albans which includes some remains of Verulamium, the town where in the 3rd century an early recorded British martyrdom took place. Saint Alban, a Romano-British soldier, took the place of a Christian priest and was beheaded on Holywell Hill. His martyr's cross of a yellow saltire on a blue field is reflected in the flag and coat of arms of Hertfordshire.
Hertfordshire is well-served with motorways and railways, providing good access to London. The largest sector of the economy of the county is in services.
|Motto: "Trust and fear not"|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Lord Lieutenant||Robert Voss|
|High Sheriff||Mrs Sarah Beazley  (2019-20)|
|Area||1,643 km2 (634 sq mi)|
|• Ranked||36th of 48|
|Population (mid-2017 est.)||1,180,900|
|• Ranked||13th of 48|
|Density||718/km2 (1,860/sq mi)|
|Ethnicity||80.8% White British|
1.5% White Irish
0.1% White Gypsy or Irish Traveller
5.1% Other White
0.8% White & Black Caribbean
0.3% White & Black African
0.8% White & Asian
0.6% Other Mixed
1.6% Other Asian
1.8% Black African
0.8% Black Caribbean
0.3% Other Black
|County council||Hertfordshire County Council|
|Area||1,643 km2 (634 sq mi)|
|• Ranked||26th of 27|
|• Ranked||6th of 27|
|Density||718/km2 (1,860/sq mi)|
Districts of Hertfordshire
|Members of Parliament||List of MPs|
|Time zone||Greenwich Mean Time (UTC)|
|• Summer (DST)||British Summer Time (UTC+1)|
Hertfordshire was the area assigned to a fortress constructed at Hertford under the rule of Edward the Elder in 913. Hertford is derived from the Anglo-Saxon heort ford, meaning deer crossing (of a watercourse). The name Hertfordshire is first recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 1011. Deer feature in many county emblems.
There is evidence of humans living in Hertfordshire from the Mesolithic period. It was first farmed during the Neolithic period and permanent habitation appeared at the beginning of the Bronze Age. This was followed by tribes settling in the area during the Iron Age.
Following the Roman conquest of Britain in AD 43, the aboriginal Catuvellauni quickly submitted and adapted to the Roman life; resulting in the development of several new towns, including Verulamium (St Albans) where in c. 293 the first recorded British martyrdom is traditionally believed to have taken place. Saint Alban, a Romano-British soldier, took the place of a Christian priest and was beheaded on Holywell Hill. His martyr's cross of a yellow saltire on a blue field is reflected in the flag and coat of arms of Hertfordshire as the yellow field to the stag or Hart representing the county. He is the Patron Saint of Hertfordshire.
With the departure of the Roman Legions in the early 5th century, the now unprotected territory was invaded and colonised by the Anglo-Saxons. By the 6th century the majority of the modern county was part of the East Saxon kingdom. This relatively short lived kingdom collapsed in the 9th century, ceding the territory of Hertfordshire to the control of the West Anglians of Mercia. The region finally became an English shire in the 10th century, on the merger of the West Saxon and Mercian kingdoms.
A century later, William of Normandy received the surrender of the surviving senior English Lords and Clergy at Berkhamsted, resulting in a new Anglicised title of William the Conqueror before embarking on an uncontested entry into London and his coronation at Westminster. Hertfordshire was used for some of the new Norman castles at Bishop's Stortford, and at King's Langley, a staging post between London and the royal residence of Berkhamsted.
The Domesday Book recorded the county as having nine hundreds. Tring and Danais became one—Dacorum—from Danis Corum or Danish rule harking back to a Viking not Saxon past. The other seven were Braughing, Broadwater, Cashio, Edwinstree, Hertford, Hitchin and Odsey.
As London grew, Hertfordshire became conveniently close to the English capital; much of the area was owned by the nobility and aristocracy, this patronage helped to boost the local economy. However, the greatest boost to Hertfordshire came during the Industrial Revolution, after which the population rose dramatically. In 1903, Letchworth became the world's first garden city and Stevenage became the first town to redevelop under the New Towns Act 1946.
From the 1920s until the late 1980s, the town of Borehamwood was home to one of the major British film studio complexes, including the MGM-British Studios. Many well-known films were made here including the first three Star Wars movies (IV, V, & VI). The studios generally used the name of Elstree. American director Stanley Kubrick not only used to shoot in those studios but also lived in the area until his death. Big Brother UK and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? have been filmed there. EastEnders is filmed at Elstree. Hertfordshire has seen development at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden; the Harry Potter series was filmed here and the 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye.
On 17 October 2000, the Hatfield rail crash killed four people with over 70 injured. The crash exposed the shortcomings of Railtrack, which consequently saw speed restrictions and major track replacement. On 10 May 2002, the second of the Potters Bar rail accidents occurred killing seven people; the train was at high speed when it derailed and flipped into the air when one of the carriages slid along the platform where it came to rest.
Hertfordshire is the county immediately north of London and is part of the East of England region, a mainly statistical unit. A significant minority of the population across all districts are City of London commuters. To the east is Essex, to the west is Buckinghamshire and to the north are Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.
The county's boundaries were roughly fixed by the Counties (Detached Parts) Act 1844 which eliminated exclaves; amended when, in 1965 under the London Government Act 1963, East Barnet Urban District and Barnet Urban District were abolished, their area was transferred to form part of the present-day London Borough of Barnet and the Potters Bar Urban District of Middlesex was transferred to Hertfordshire.
As at the 2011 census of the ten Districts, East Hertfordshire had the minimal, 290 people per km2, whereas Watford had the maximal 4210 people per km2
The rocks of Hertfordshire belong to the great shallow syncline known as the London Basin. The beds dip in a south-easterly direction towards the syncline's lowest point roughly under the River Thames. The most important formations are the Cretaceous Chalk, exposed as the high ground in the north and west of the county, forming the Chiltern Hills and the younger Palaeocene, Reading Beds and Eocene, London Clay which occupy the remaining southern part. The eastern half of the county was covered by glaciers during the Ice Age and has a superficial layer of glacial boulder clays.
Some quarrying of sand and gravel occurs in the St Albans area. In the past, clay has supplied local brick-making and still does in Bovingdon, just south-west of Hemel Hempstead. The chalk that is the bedrock of much of the county provides an aquifer that feeds streams and is also exploited to provide water supplies for much of the county and beyond. Chalk has also been used as a building material and, once fired, the resultant lime was spread on agricultural land to improve fertility. The mining of chalk since the early 18th century has left unrecorded underground galleries that occasionally collapse unexpectedly and endanger buildings.
Fresh water is supplied to London from Ware, using the New River built by Hugh Myddleton and opened in 1613. Local rivers, although small, supported developing industries such as paper production at Nash Mills.
Hertfordshire affords habitat for a variety of flora and fauna. One bird common in the shire is the Hooded Crow, the old name of which is the eponymous name of the regional newspaper, the Royston Crow published in Royston.
In November 2013, the uSwitch Quality of Life Index listed Hertfordshire as the third-best place to live in the UK.
This is a table of trends of regional gross value added of Hertfordshire at current basic prices with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.
|Year||Regional Gross Value Added[n 1]||Agriculture[n 2]||Industry[n 3]||Services[n 4]|
Hertfordshire has headquarters of many large well-known UK companies. Hemel Hempstead is home to DSG International. Welwyn Garden City hosts Tesco, as well as Roche UK's headquarters (subsidiary of the Swiss pharmaceutical firm Hoffman-La Roche) and Cereal Partners production facilities, Pure the DAB radio maker is based in Kings Langley. JD Wetherspoon is in Watford. Skanska is in Rickmansworth, GlaxoSmithKline has plants in Ware and Stevenage. Hatfield used to be connected with the aircraft industry, as it was where de Havilland developed the world's first commercial jet liner, the Comet. Now the site is a business park and new campus for the University of Hertfordshire. This major new employment site is home to, among others, EE, Computacenter and Ocado. A subsidiary of BAE Systems, Airbus and Finmeccanica in Stevenage, MBDA, develops missiles. In the same town Airbus (Defence & Space Division) produces satellites. The National Pharmacy Association (NPA), the trade association for all of the UK's community pharmacies, is based in St Albans. Warner Bros. also owns and runs Warner Studios in Leavesden.
Arsenal W.F.C. play at Meadow Park alongside Conference Premier side Boreham Wood, in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire. The club was formed in 1987 and have played in the FA Women's Super League since its inaugural season in 2011.
Stevenage F.C. have played at the Lamex Stadium since 1980. Stevenage was the first club to win a competitive match at the new Wembley Stadium, beating Kidderminster Harriers 2-3 in the 2007 FA Trophy Final. The club currently play in the EFL League Two and have been managed by former player Dino Maamria since March 2018.
Watford F.C. play their home games at Vicarage road, where the club has played since 1922. The club joined the football league in 1920 as a founding member of the third division and first played in the First Division of English football in 1982. Watford have played in the Premier League since their promotion from the EFL Championship following the 2014-15 season.
There are several semi-professional and amateur football clubs in Hertfordshire. Most notable amongst these are Borehamwood F.C. who play in the Conference Premier, the fifth tier of English football, and Hemel Hempstead Town F.C. and St Albans City F.C. who both play in the National League South, part of the sixth tier of English football.
Hemel Stags are a rugby league team based in Hemel Hempstead. Hemel Stags have played at Pennine Way Stadium since the club's founding in 1981. The club plays in league 1, the third tier of the British rugby league system.
Below is a list of notable visitor attractions in Hertfordshire:
Four principal national railway lines pass through the county:
A number of other local rail routes also cross Hertfordshire:
Three commuter lines operated by Transport for London enter the county:
Hertfordshire has 26 independent schools and 73 state secondary schools. The state secondary schools are entirely comprehensive, although 7 schools in the south and southwest of the county are partially selective (see Education in Watford). All state schools have sixth forms, and there are no sixth form colleges. The tertiary colleges, each with multiple campuses, are Hertford Regional College, North Hertfordshire College, Oaklands College and West Herts College. The University of Hertfordshire is a modern university based largely in Hatfield. It has more than 23,000 students.
The 2015 East Hertfordshire District Council election took place on 7 May 2015 to elect members of the East Hertfordshire District Council in England. It was held on the same day as other local elections.East Hertfordshire
East Hertfordshire is a local government district in Hertfordshire, England. The main settlement is Bishop's Stortford.
The other main towns in the district are Hertford, Ware (on the River Lea), Buntingford (on the River Rib), and Sawbridgeworth (on the River Stort). Of these five major towns, all except Buntingford fall within the parliamentary constituency of Hertford and Stortford. Buntingford is part of the North East Hertfordshire constituency.
East Herts, as its council is officially known, is bordered by North Hertfordshire, Stevenage, Welwyn Hatfield, and Broxbourne in Hertfordshire, and by Epping Forest, Harlow, and Uttlesford in Essex.
The district was formed on 1 April 1974, as a merger of the municipal borough of Hertford with Bishop's Stortford, Sawbridgeworth and Ware urban districts, and Braughing Rural District, Ware Rural District and part of Hertford Rural District. By area it is the largest of the ten local government districts in Hertfordshire.
In the 2006 edition of the Channel 4 "Best and Worst Places to Live in the UK", East Hertfordshire was rated the seventh best district to live in. In 2012 Halifax voted East Herts the 9th best place to live.Ed Westwick
Edward Jack Peter Westwick (born 27 June 1987) is an English actor and musician, best known for his role as Chuck Bass on The CW's teen television drama series Gossip Girl alongside co-stars Blake Lively and Leighton Meester. He made his feature film debut in Children of Men (2006) and has since appeared in the films Breaking and Entering (2006), Son of Rambow (2007), S. Darko (2009), Chalet Girl (2011), J. Edgar (2011), Romeo and Juliet (2013), Bone in the Throat (2015), Freaks of Nature (2015), and Billionaire Ransom (2016). He currently plays Vincent Swan in the BBC Two television comedy series White Gold (2017).Grade II* listed buildings in Hertfordshire
The county of Hertfordshire is divided into ten districts. The districts of Hertfordshire are Three Rivers, Watford, Hertsmere, Welwyn Hatfield, Broxbourne, East Hertfordshire, Stevenage, North Hertfordshire, St Albans, and Dacorum.
As there are 472 Grade II* listed buildings in the county they have been split into separate lists for each district.
Grade II* listed buildings in Three Rivers
Grade II* listed buildings in Watford
Grade II* listed buildings in Hertsmere
Grade II* listed buildings in Welwyn Hatfield
Grade II* listed buildings in Broxbourne (borough)
Grade II* listed buildings in East Hertfordshire
Grade II* listed buildings in Stevenage
Grade II* listed buildings in North Hertfordshire
Grade II* listed buildings in the City and District of St Albans
Grade II* listed buildings in DacorumHarpenden
Harpenden () is a town in the St Albans City district in the county of Hertfordshire, England. The town's population is just over 30,000. Harpenden is a commuter town, with a direct rail connection through Central London and property prices well over double the national average. Geographically it is located between (and a short distance from) two much larger neighbours: Luton town (to the north) and the city of St Albans (to the south). It is flanked by the villages of Redbourn (to the west) and Wheathampstead (to the east).Hatfield, Hertfordshire
Hatfield is a town and civil parish in Hertfordshire, England, in the borough of Welwyn Hatfield. It had a population of 29,616 in 2001, and 39,201 at the 2011 Census. The settlement is of Saxon origin. Hatfield House, home of the Marquess of Salisbury, forms the nucleus of the old town. From the 1930s when de Havilland opened a factory until the 1990s when British Aerospace closed it, aircraft design and manufacture employed more people there than any other industry. Hatfield was one of the post-war New Towns built around London and has much modernist architecture from the period. The University of Hertfordshire is based there.
Hatfield lies 20 miles (30 kilometres) north of London beside the A1(M) motorway and has direct trains to London King's Cross railway station, Finsbury Park and Moorgate. There has been a strong increase in commuters who work in London moving into the area.Hatfield House
Hatfield House is a country house set in a large park, the Great Park, on the eastern side of the town of Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England. The present Jacobean house, a leading example of the prodigy house, was built in 1611 by Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury and Chief Minister to King James I, and has been the home of the Cecil family ever since. It is a prime example of Jacobean architecture. The estate includes extensive grounds and surviving parts of an earlier palace. The house, currently the home of Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 7th Marquess of Salisbury, is open to the public.Hertford
Hertford ( HART-fərd, locally HAR-fərd) is the county town of Hertfordshire, England, and is also a civil parish in the East Hertfordshire district of the county. The town has a population of approximately 26,000, according to the 2011 census.Hertfordshire County Cricket Club
Hertfordshire County Cricket Club is one of twenty minor county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the historic county of Hertfordshire.
The team is currently a member of the Minor Counties Championship Eastern Division and plays in the MCCA Knockout Trophy. Hertfordshire played List A matches occasionally from 1964 until 2004 but is not classified as a List A team per se.The club is based at Balls Park, Hertford and also plays matches around the county at Cricket Field Lane in Bishop's Stortford, Long Marston, Brunton Memorial Ground in Radlett and North Mymms.Hertfordshire Rugby Football Union
The Hertfordshire Rugby Football Union is the governing body for the sport of rugby union in the county of Hertfordshire in England. The union is the constituent body of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) for Hertfordshire, and administers and organises rugby union clubs and competitions in the county. It also administers the Hertfordshire county rugby representative teams.Hitchin
Hitchin () is a market town in the North Hertfordshire District in Hertfordshire, England, with an estimated population of 33,350.North Hertfordshire
North Hertfordshire is a local government district in Hertfordshire, England. Its council is based in Letchworth.
The district was formed on 1 April 1974 by the amalgamation of the urban districts of Baldock, Hitchin, Letchworth, and Royston and the Hitchin Rural District.
From eastward clockwise, it borders the districts of East Hertfordshire, Stevenage, Welwyn Hatfield, St Albans in Hertfordshire, Central Bedfordshire, Luton, Central Bedfordshire again, and South Cambridgeshire.St Albans
St Albans () is a city in Hertfordshire, England, and the major urban area in the City and District of St Albans. It lies east of Hemel Hempstead and west of Hatfield, about 20 miles (32 km) north-northwest of central London, 8 miles (13 km) southwest of Welwyn Garden City and 11 miles (18 km) south-southeast of Luton. St Albans was the first major town on the old Roman road of Watling Street for travellers heading north, and it became the Roman city of Verulamium. It is a historic market town and is now a dormitory town within the London commuter belt and the Greater London Built-up Area.Stevenage
Stevenage ( STEE-vən-ij) is a town and borough in Hertfordshire, England, 28 miles (44 km) north of London. Stevenage is east of junctions 7 and 8 of the A1(M), between Letchworth Garden City to the north and Welwyn Garden City to the south. In 1946, Stevenage was designated the United Kingdom's first New Town under the New Towns Act.Tring
Tring is a small market town and civil parish in the Borough of Dacorum, Hertfordshire, England. It is situated in a gap passing through the Chiltern Hills, classed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, 30 miles (48 km) north-west of London, and linked to London by the old Roman road of Akeman Street, by the modern A41, by the Grand Union Canal and by the West Coast Main Line to London Euston. As of 2013 Tring has a population of 11,730.Settlements in Tring date back to prehistoric times and it was mentioned in the Domesday Book. Tring received its market town charter in 1315. Tring is now largely a commuter town within the London commuter belt, residents drive or cycle to the nearby Tring railway station.University of Hertfordshire
The University of Hertfordshire is a public university in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. The university is based largely in Hatfield, Hertfordshire. Its antecedent institution, Hatfield Technical College, was founded in 1948 and was identified as one of 25 Colleges of Technology in the United Kingdom in 1959. In 1992, Hatfield Polytechnic was granted university status by the British government and subsequently renamed University of Hertfordshire.
With a student community of over 25,130 including more than 5,200 international students that together represent 100 countries, the university has a global network of over 165,000 alumni. The university is one of Hertfordshire's largest employers with over 2,700 staff, 812 of which are academic members of staff. It has a turnover of more than £235 million. The university is a member of University Alliance, Universities UK and European University Association.Verulamium
Verulamium was a town in Roman Britain. It was sited in the southwest of the modern city of St Albans in Hertfordshire, Great Britain. A large portion of the Roman city remains unexcavated, being now park and agricultural land, though much has been built upon. The ancient Watling Street passed through the city. Much of the site and its environs is now classed as a scheduled ancient monument.Watford
Watford ( (listen)) is a town and borough in Hertfordshire, England, 15 miles (24 km) northwest of central London.
The town developed on the River Colne on land belonging to St Albans Abbey until the 16th century. During the 12th century a charter was granted allowing a market, and the building of St Mary's Church began. The town grew partly due to travellers going to Berkhamsted Castle and the royal palace at Kings Langley. A mansion was built at Cassiobury in the 16th century. This was partly rebuilt in the 17th century and another country house was built at The Grove.
The Grand Junction Canal in 1798 and the London and Birmingham Railway in 1837 resulted in Watford's rapid growth, with paper-making mills such as John Dickinson at Croxley, influencing the development of printing in the town. Two brewers, Benskins and Sedgwicks, amalgamated and flourished in the town until their closure in the late 20th century. Hertfordshire County Council designates Watford to be a major sub-regional centre. Several head offices are based in Watford. Both the 2006 World Golf Championship and the 2013 Bilderberg Conference took place at The Grove.Watford became an urban district under the Local Government Act 1894 and a municipal borough by grant of a charter in 1922. The borough, which had 90,301 inhabitants at the time of the 2011 census, is separated from Greater London to the south by the parish of Watford Rural in the Three Rivers District. Watford Borough Council is the local authority with the Mayor of Watford as its head; one of only 18 directly elected mayors in England and Wales. Watford elects one MP for the Watford constituency. Prior to the establishment of this constituency in 1885, the area was part of the three-seat constituency of Hertfordshire.Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Garden City ( WEL-in) is a town in Hertfordshire, England. It is located approximately 20 miles (32 km) from Kings Cross, London. Welwyn Garden City was the second garden city in England (founded 1920) and one of the first new towns (designated 1948).
It is unique in being both a garden city and a new town and exemplifies the physical, social and cultural planning ideals of the periods in which it was built.
|Boroughs or districts|
1974–1996 ← Ceremonial counties of England → current
|Cities and towns|
Civil parishes of Hertfordshire
Listed buildings in Hertfordshire
Pubs in Hertfordshire
Rivers and watercourses of Hertfordshire
Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Hertfordshire
Local Nature Reserves in Hertfordshire