Historic Hertfordshire Guide

by Ben Johnson

Facts about Hertfordshire

Population: 1,200,000
Famous for: Film & TV studios, the ‘Magic Roundabout’
Distance from London: 30 mins – 1 hour
Local delicacies: Pope Lady Cakes
Airports: None (close to Luton though)
County town: Hertford
Nearby Counties: Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Buckinghamshire, Greater London

Home to two ‘garden cities’, Welwyn and Letchworth, Hertfordshire nevertheless boasts a rich heritage. Visit the cathedral city of St Albans and explore not only the famous cathedral but also its beautiful medieval architecture and the city’s Roman past. The Roman theatre here at Veralumium is one of the finest examples in England.

There are many historic attractions in Hertfordshire including stunning Knebworth House, seat of the Lytton family since 1490, and Berkhamstead Castle, a fine example of an 11th motte-and-bailey Norman castle. One of the 12 beautiful Eleanor Crosses is to be found at Waltham Cross. King Edward I had one of these crosses erected at each overnight stop of his queen’s funeral cortege on its way from Harby in Nottinghamshire to Westminster Abbey.

Hertfordshire was also home to the famous sculptor Henry Moore. His house at Perry Green is open to the public and well worth a visit. Shaw’s Cottage near Welwyn was owned by the playwright George Bernard Shaw and has been preserved as it was during his lifetime. Visitors can also view the revolving summerhouse where he liked to write.

Children will enjoy living as a Celt for the day and experiencing life in the Iron Age at Celtic Harmony Camp near Hertford. And of course, a visit with the family to Hertfordshire would be incomplete without a trip to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour near Watford; a must for all Harry Potter fans!

Traditionally associated with St Albans, Pope Lady Cakes (or ‘Pop Ladies’) have been made in Hertfordshire for centuries. Formerly made as human figures, these small, sweet cakes are flavoured with almond or rose water.

Christmas Gift Guide

Fretting over what Christmas present to buy for the history buff in your life? Well fret no more, for we’ve got just the gift guide for you!

Christmas Gift Guide for History Buffs

Next article