Maps of Hertfordshire
County Maps & Histories Hertfordshire
by Valerie G Scott & Tony Rook
Published 1989,: ISBN 1 870948 20 3
This book provides a short history of Hertfordshire, illustrated by the maps by the following map makers - in colour, where appropriate,
Christopher Saxton, 1577
Joan Blaeu, 1645
John Speed, 1676
John Ogilby, 1675
John Oliver, 1695
For those who find the county boundaries a mystery the following extract may explain why:
The origins of the county of Hertford are obscure. Its name is first recorded in the eleventh century, but it is likely that it started as an administrative district of the fortress town of Hertford created by Edward the Elder in 912. Even after the changes that took place in 1965 its boundaries seem prety arbitrary. For example, the border almost runs along the bottom of the scarp slope of the Chilterns, the range of hills which form the northern edge of the London basin - but in some places it bends further north, while in others it yields territory to Bedfordshire or Buckinghamshire.
In 1824 a letter in the county archives records: The Justices request me to make a return of the property in the Hamlet of St Thomas' Chapel (Meppershall) which is out of my power to do, as the counties of Hertford and Bedford are so intermixed with one another that no one knows how to divide them.
The county boundary went right through the rectory! Inscribed on a beam in the parlour was If you would sit in Hertfordshire then draw your chair near the fire.
Royston, a market town created by a priory at a crossroads in 1189 without consideration of invisible boundaries, was in five parishes until given a single parish status in 1540, and remained in both Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire until 1897. ...
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Page updated April 2005