Hertford is a town steeped in history from its Castle with beautiful gate house and sweeping tree lined river to the medieval layout of this market town with it’s many original timber framed buildings. One of which is home to our new office for our independent and family run estate agents, Abel of Hertford. This particular 15th Century building is very unusual because of the size of the timber frame which runs from the corner of Fore Street and Market Place which is our building, and quite a way down Fore Street, encompassing a number of shops and residential properties. It’s a bit of a mystery to local historians because a market town this size doesn’t usually have such a grand structure from this period, these would have been the reserve of larger towns and cities. There is speculation that this building was constructed to house members of parliament during the period that London was besieged by the Plague, the Castle was also used to house parliament so maybe the situation required a more permanent and larger structure to be built.
It was built using the ‘Post and Beam’ technique which made it possible to create large interior spaces as the huge pieces of wood were strong enough to hold up to a lot more weight so upper floors could be created, the beams are still as solid today as they were when built roughly 500 years ago! The up exterior is covered in ornamental stucco patterns currently painted with a white wash
The earliest references to the town are in 731AD which refer to the town as ‘Herutford’, ‘Herut’ being the old English spelling of Hart meaning a fully mature stag, thus meaning the ford where Harts are found. Hertford is located at the joining of four rivers, the Rib, Beane, Mimram which all join the River Lea on its way into London.
Hertford today is a growing, vibrant and forward thinking town with great local shops, fantastic schools, great community events and beautiful country walks to name but a few. We are so proud to be located at the heart of this market town surrounded by all this history!