Status Ceremonial & Non-metropolitan county
Origin Historic
Region: East of England
- Total
- Admin. council
Ranked 36th
634 miles² (1,643 km²)
Ranked 32nd
Admin HQ: Hertford
ISO 3166-2: GB-HRT
ONS code: 26
- Total (2004 est.)
- Density
- Admin. Council
Ranked 16th
634 / km²
Ranked 6th
Ethnicity: 93.7% White
3.0% S. Asian
1.1% Afro-Carib.
Arms of Hertfordshire County Council
Hertfordshire County Council
Executive Conservative
Members of Parliament

  1. Three Rivers
  2. Watford
  3. Hertsmere
  4. Welwyn Hatfield
  5. Broxbourne
  6. East Hertfordshire
  7. Stevenage
  8. North Hertfordshire
  9. St Albans
  10. Dacorum

Hertfordshire (pronounced "Hartfordshire" and abbreviated as "Herts") is an inland county in the United Kingdom and part of the East of England Government Office region. It is one of the Home Counties.


Hertfordshire is located to the north of Greater London, and much of the county is part of the London commuter belt. The county has a wide range of transport links, with the M1, M10, A1(M), the M25 and other motorways passing through it. To the east of Hertfordshire is Essex, to the west is Buckinghamshire and to the north are Bedfordshire, Luton and Cambridgeshire.

The highest point in the county is 803 feet (245 m) above sea level, a quarter mile (400 m) from the village of Hastoe near Tring. The county motto, is "Trust and fear not". As part of a 2002 marketing campaign, the plant conservation charity Plantlife chose the Pasqueflower as Hertfordshire's county flower.


Hertfordshire was originally the area assigned to a fortress constructed at Hertford under the rule of Edward the Elder in 913. The name Hertfordshire appears in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 1011.

Most English counties have nicknames for people from that county, such as a Tyke from Yorkshire and a Yellowbelly from Lincolnshire; the traditional nickname for people from Hertfordshire is 'Hertfordshire Hedgehog' or 'Hertfordshire Hayabout'; although hedgehogs are abundant in the county, the nickname is probably a corruption of 'haycock', a haystack, referring to the county's cornfields, which formed the county's principal Medieval export to the food markets of London.

The Domesday Book recorded the county as having nine hundreds. Tring and Danais became one, Dacorum. The other seven were Braughing, Broadwater, Cashio, Edwinstree, Hertford, Hitchin and Odsey.

Hertfordshire is the starting point of the New River: a man made waterway, opened in 1613 to supply London with fresh drinking water.

In 1965, under the London Government Act 1963, Barnet Urban District and East Barnet Urban District were abolished and their area transferred from Hertfordshire to Greater London to form part of the London Borough of Barnet. At the same time the Potters Bar Urban District was directly transferred from Middlesex to Hertfordshire.

From the 1920s until the late 1980s, the town of Borehamwood was home to one of the major British film studio complexes, including the MGM-British Studios. Many well known films were made here, including 2001: A Space Odyssey and the original Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies. Television productions are still made at the nearby Elstree Studios, which were taken over by the BBC. The Order Of The Phoenix, the 5th Harry Potter movie, was filmed in Hertfordshire.

On the morning of 11 December 2005, a large explosion and fire occurred at a petroleum fuel depot near Hemel Hempstead, in Buncefield. Forty three people were injured, luckily nobody was killed, but considerable damage was caused. The two day fire was the largest in peacetime Europe, and a pall of smoke darkened London and much of South East England.

In 2012, the Hertfordshire town of Broxbourne will host the canoe and kayak slalom events of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.


This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Hertfordshire at current basic prices published (pp.240-253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.

Year Regional Gross Value Added4 Agriculture1 Industry2 Services3
1995 11,742 96 3,292 8,354
2000 18,370 77 4,138 14,155
2003 20,937 82 4,348 16,507

Note 1: includes hunting and forestry

Note 2: includes energy and construction

Note 3: includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured

Note 4: Components may not sum to totals due to rounding


The rocks of Hertfordshire belong to the great shallow syncline known as the London basin. The beds dip in a south-easterly direction towards the syncline's lowest point roughly under the River Thames. The most important formations are the Cretaceous Chalk, which is exposed as the high ground in the north and west of the county and the younger Palaeocene, Reading Beds and Eocene, London Clay which occupy the remaining southern part. The eastern half of the county was covered by glaciers during the Ice Age and has a superficial layer of glacial boulder clays.

Urban areas

These are the main towns in Hertfordshire.

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