Watford Past

Robert Bard

Historical Publications


ISBN 1-905286-01-5


A hundred years ago Watford was one main street and hardly anything else, apart from the palatial homes of the Earls of Essex and Clarendon. It is now one of the most important industrial and commercial centres of Hertfordshire, though it fell victim to a wholesale development in its historic centre. The grandest building was Cassiobury House with its extensive park, from the 17th century until the First World War the home of the Earls of Essex. The house is now gone, but much of the park is still enjoyed by the public.

Watford's transition from quiet market town in the shadow of St Albans to a bustling conurbation and commuter town is told with the aid of many illustrations, many of which have not been published before.

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Early Times

Cassiobury House and Park

The Grove and Watford Place

The Civil Wars and After

The Parish Church

Tales of St Mary's Churchyard

Vicars of St Mary's

Getting About

The Colne and Floods

Learnin Places

The Poor and the Sick

More Churches

Crime and Punishment

In Transition

Various Disorders

Drinking Places

Industrial Watford

The High Street

Ghostly Watford

Leisure Times


Watford Museum

Further Reading


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March 2013   Page Created