Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Thursday, 12 April 2012


Hertford Town Council is based at Hertford Castle;a civil wedding venue and rooms to hire.  Family events throughout the year. The council is responsible for allotments, Hertford Cemetery and the Tourist Information Centre.Hertford is the county town of Hertfordshire. The name is Anglo Saxon and means the ford frequented by harts or stags.

It sits at the meeting of four rivers, the Rib, Beane and Mimram all join the Lea which then flows to the south to join the Thames.
As we approaced Hertford lock we pass along the edge of Hartham Common, a large area of parkland below the ridge where the old village of Bengeo is situated.
The Norman church at Bengeo

After the Norman Conquest a castle, priory and a new mill were built. The castle was a Royal residence for the next 300 years.
Hertford Castle
With a large agricultural area surrounding the town and important visitors and residents at the castle, Hertford became a prosperous place.
The advertisement for the Green Dragon Hotel reads: Catering for McMullen and sons Wine and Spirit Merchants proprietors of Bonded Vaults.
Seed Merchants
The  lovely old seed merchants building also seem to belong to the  Mc Mullens.
Hertford Brewery
A sign of the times as this old brewery building is being regenerated but into a Sainsbury's store.

At the end of the Lee Navigation some old warehouse buildings can still be seen. The river was an important trading route from the agricultural fields to the London corn markets.
These old building on one side of the river are facing a modern wharf development on the other side.
Would you rather live in the old traditional buildings with the view of the new, or have the comfort and convenience of the new but be able to appreciate the view of the old?

 An example of pargetting on a builiding in Fore Street, this is decorative, relief plaster work on timber framed buildings from the 1800's.

Looking along the river from Folly Bridge with the Old Barge pub alongside. A lovely place to stop and stay a while. (No, not just the pub, I meant Hertford).

Lee or Lea?
Apparently it is the River Lea, but the Lee Navigation. The river was navigable before Elizabeth 1 reign. It has been a source of water supply for London since the 17th century. I may not have always used the correct spelling!!


  1. Interesting that you ask about Lee or Lea because, when you first wrote about the Lee, my instinct was to think it was wrong. Then I looked it up and found Lee Navigation, so decided that it was I who was wrong. Seems we were both right after all (and I have learned something new :) )

    I think I would want to live in the old and look at the new.