Portrait of Hertfordshire
Brian J Bailey
Robert Hale, London, 1978
Hardback. 208 pages plus 35 illustrations
Hertfordshire's centuries-old image as a quiet rural landscape devoted to agriculture and its by-products has taken some knocks, owing to its proximity to London. Concrete buildings thrust upwards where once narrow lanes meandered, and crowded roads throb relentlessly through a county once noted for its healthy air. One of the Home Counties, Hertfordshire is also among the smallest and most densely populated in Britain, yet it has more village greens than any other county, and the harvest remains the most important annual event for a large number of the people.
The author's joyful and sometimes witty observation of town and country, scandal and tradition, nature and civilisation, makes this an absorbing portrait of a county possessed of extraordinary variety in both its appearance and its industry.
Illustrations include Wheathampstead, Sarratt, Tring, Hemel Hempstead, Chipperfield, Ashridge, St Albans, Hatfield, Stevenage, Harpenden, Welwyn Garden City, Codicote, Ayot St Lawrence, Bramfield, Hitchin, Hertford, Ware, Westmill, Braughing, Much Hadham, Furneaux Pleham