Some weeks ago we had occasion to visit the town of Hertford in England, it was a family visit but I was able to slip out for a few hours of town exploration which I greatly enjoyed because Hertford is such a lovely and picturesque place, so much of interest to see, a market town originally, most of the centre of the town is a conservation area, and this was plain to see in the many lovely facades of historical buildings. I felt a friendly and pleasant atmosphere there, people young and old looked carefree and happy that morning, it was the weekend. At first I crossed a little bridge over the river Lea, this river looked more like a canal actually, and it had some colourful narrow boats moored along its sides. Turning the corner I came upon a few market stalls selling local produce, nice one I thought, it is always good to see a market, it gives a homely feeling. I walked on just looking at the variety of town buildings, this must have been in the main street. I liked the facades of many of the buildings, highly decorative and a great variety. Turning back on my steps I decided to explore some of the many charity shops which in itself is a relaxing and nice thing to do, the thought in the back of my mind is always something like “I might find a lovely bone china cup in blue and white, or a precious book”. Anyway I knew very well that I could buy nothing as we were coming back from Gozo with three suitcases that were bulging as it was, end of story. But I did buy a book, it turned out to be the read of the year so far for me, I am enjoying it tremendously. It’s a biography cum garden history cum social history of a place in Shropshire called Morville and the author is Katherine Swift.
So far so good, walking on towards a church tower in the distance I then decided it was too far and turned back into the centre of the town where I saw more interesting buildings like the Old Cross Wharf of Nicholas lane. The Mill Bridge Rooms, this forms part of a 19th century Seed Warehouse. What’s very interesting about this place it that there is stored there a rare 4th century Roman Corn Dryer, that’s something I’d like to have seen all right. The Green Dragon Vaults – The Green Dragon Inn: The original inn existed already in 1621. And several other buildings. Very noticeable were some of the shapes of the roofs, I just loved them. There is an interesting museum too but I only got as far as the hall and talking with the people inside there, hoping to have time to visit later on but did not manage that.
In every shop I entered I found the people friendly and chatty, this is always a good way to glean information but there is also an excellent Tourist Office which was also exhibiting some paintings at the time.
A good all round and very pleasant visit it was, adding to the already lovely welcome we received from Ian’s daughter, all of which made for a wonderful experience.  A place I would love to return to for sure as I don’t think I saw half of it yet.


The river Lea and the Old Barge Pub on Folly island


The Old Cross Wharf, historically used to as kiln, grain store, cart shed and tally house, more info on it found at

Some beautiful decorative plaster work, this is called pargetting.

Here seen are the Mill Bridge Rooms and a photo of the Green Dragon Vaults/hotel

Some of the shopping areas and the market stalls


This building across the river Lea here is quite distinctive looking, it is the other side of the Old Cross Warf above, but looking at it from across the river.  Cool!


The Old Cross Library, this building was constructed by British architect Reginald Blomfield.


Along the river Lea, or Lee.



21 thoughts on “THE TOWN OF HERTFORD

  1. I would really agree with Mary, dear Agnes. This is such a beautiful and lovely place that I would like to see myself. Hope you’re fine and it’s getting spring soon. Have a nice day, regards Mitza

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mitza, and yes you would love it too I think, lovely historical buildings and lots of charity shops that you can browse through 🙂 Here in Ireland very cold like winter since a few days ago…..brrrrrr…..

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  2. What a lovely town so enticingly presented. Also fascinated to hear you’re reading our very local author Katherine Swift. Morville is the next village south from Wenlock, and her books are great favourites at Wenlock Books. We were lucky to go to one of her garden open days too. A lovely knowledgeable woman.

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    1. Yes I am so enjoying her book, it is just wonderful and the right combination of history and garden knowledge isn’t it. I did not know she wrote more, will check it out, thank you Tish.

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      1. There is some sort of sequel to the Morville Hours, and she was also working on something rather different a couple of years ago when she came and did a talk at the book shop – a walk across a particular geological segment of Shropshire ending up at Morville.

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  3. Now I need to read Katherine Swift! I’ve no time to work! I have to say, when read the title of your piece, The Town of Hertford, my American brain immediately conjured up Eliza Doolittle singing ’bout “Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire.” Gad, that will be with me all day… Ha … your pictures are so great? this may seem a silly question, but do you take them with your phone? or a camera? I don’t a carry a phone, by design (drives my daughter and my Grands mad, but I tell them I would rather talk with them face to face, than receive a text), so I’ve no experience with a phone/camera…though it seems they make for beautiful shots. Thanks for sharing, as always. Roxie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Roxie, yes do read Katherine Swift, I am kind of delaying ending the reading of the book as I want to hang on to it 🙂
      I often take pictures with my phone which is easy to carry and takes quite good photos. But basically I have a camera it is not an expensive one, a Fujifilm finepix, it works good for me so far though as I take a lot of macro photos I would like to upgrade to a better camera some day…. My phone is an ordinary Samsung androit. 🙂
      Kind regards, Agnes


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