Hertford Museum



At the end of February, 2014, I visited the Hertford Museum for the first time since it was refurbished in 2010. It is a good example of a small town museum  It contains a good local collection with displays well laid out to be attractive to children. Like many such museums, situated in a old town house, its space is limited but it makes good use of what is available.  The ground floor includes a shop - in which I found some interesting books and a display area which includes many of the curio type items which would have been in the museum when it first opened in 1903. There was also an exhibition room - which was being refitted between exhibitions on my visit, and a lecture room which was being used by school children.

Hertford Museum, Bull Plain, Hertford


Rear of Hertford Museum

The Museum is in a 17th century timber-framed house which was refronted in the 18th century. Before becoming a museum in 1903 the ground floor had been opened out as a shop. It contains a good local collection with displays well laid out to be attractive to children.


This shows the rear of Hertford Museum, taken from beside the Jacobean Knot Garden

Old Shop Sign on wall of Hertford Museum


Herts at War display in Herts Museum

This old shop sign, dated 1798, originally marked the shop of Nunn, the locksmith, of 18 Fore Street, Hertford. It is now on the corner of the Hertford Museum.   Hertford at War Display.   To the left are exhibits relating to the First World War. Second World War exhibits are to the right. Select larger image for more detail.
 As I had come to Hertford for a meeting of the Herts At War project I decided to see what information they had on the First World War, There was a large display case (above) containing local items relating to both the First and Second World Wars, with well labelled items. (Click on image to get the Geograph picture - and select more sizes and the biggest image and you will be able to view the exhibits.)
War Medals in Hertford Museum  

The Hertfordshire Regiment display includes a number of sets of medals, such as this one. Lieutenant-Colonel E. C. M. Phillips, Commanding officer of the Hertfordshire Regiment 1917
Distinguished Service Order; 1914 Star; British War Medal 1914-1918; Victory Medal 1914-1919; Defence Medal; George V and Queen Mary Jubilee Medal; George VI and Queen Elizabeth Coronation Medal; George V Territorial Medal

  An interesting display of material relating to the history of the Hertfordshire Regiment.  Select larger image for better view.

Next to the Display of War memorabilia there was cabinet there was a cabinet containing exhibits relating to the Hertfordshire Regiment. The draws underneath open to reveal further goodies, such as the medals of Lieutenant-Colonel E. C. M. Phillips and others.  Most of the other displays on the first floor were very relevant to understanding how people in the town lived in the past, what they wore and what they did - and clearly the educational aspects of the museum are well covered.

Jacobean Knot Garden at Hertford Museum   Hertfordshire Puddingstone
The small area at the back of Hertford Museum has been planted with a modern reproduction of a Jacobean Knot Garden   This 1s a conglomerate made up of water-worn pebbles in a hard matrix, found in small quantities in Hertfordshire.


 There is a small back yard open to the public which is dominated by a Jacobean Knot Garden. There was also a lump of Hertfordshire Pudding Stone, and some sectioned slices had been embedded in the wall round a window - showing up the structure of this interesting conglomerate involving water-worn pebbles cemented in a matrix.

 On leaving the Museum I stopped in the shop to look at what books they had for sale. There were quite a lot that I would like to have brought for my private library but frugally decided to limit my purchases to four modestly priced booklets which will help me to document future updates of the Hertford pages of this web site.

  • Buildings of Hertford (2nd edition) Hertford Civic Society, 2006

  • All Saints Church ... before the fire of 1891  Jean Perkins, 2011

  • Hertford's War ... Memories ... 1939-1945  Hertford Museum & Hertford Oral History

  • Hertford County Hospital 180 years of Babies, Bed Baths & Bandages, 2013

I didn't stop to look at the Photo kiosk which allows visitors to see some of the 12,000 images in the library's collection. There is also an extensive library of books on old Hertford and it it planned to allow public access by appointment.

Finally I should mention the excellent web site, www.hertfordmuseum.org, which includes opening times, details of the special exhibitions and events, and a panoramic tour that gives you a good idea of what you can expect to see.

March 2014   Page created