Step back in time with local historian Marilyn Taylor

Hertford is steeped in history, unrivalled by other towns of similar size. There’s a story to be told around every corner of our lovely town. We have teamed up with local historian Marilyn Taylor who has a phenomenal knowledge of Hertford through the years.

Marilyn has lived in Hertford all her life and has tracked her family back to the 1700s  as residents. She has a genuine passion for our local history. Over recent years Marilyn has curated exhibitions at St Leonards Church, sharing her knowledge and raising money for the buildings upkeep. The following images are genuine postcards from the past each with some background as expertly described by Mariyn.

Journey with us, to a time before social media. To a Hertford so similar yet so different 🙂

Hertford Castle Cinema

Opened in 1914 and modernised in 1939  it was damaged by the bomb in 1944, reopened in 1946. Closed for good in 1959 and stood empty for many years before being demolished. The empty space became a car park and was then built on as the Castle Hall, now the Hertford Theatre.

The Old Hertford Castle Entrance

Longmores had developed an existing entrance to Hertford Castle in the 1830s. This entrance closed up around 1912 when the new castle gates were built.  The old archway can still be seen in the brickwork of Longmores offices in Castle Street. There is also evidence in the wall at the rear from their car park where the entrance continued through to the Castle grounds.

The Old Coffee House

Stood on the corner of Maidenhead Street and Honey lane. Originally called “The Rose” the name changed between 1721 and 1741. Closed in 1936  and demolished in 1938 for Burtons to be built. Mr H C Andrews curator of Hertford Museum rescued the carved wooden pilasters from the rubble and they are still on display in the museum.

All saints Church

There is thought to have been a church on the site of All Saints from before the Norman Conquest. The one thought to have been built in the 15thcentury that had many alterations was completely gutted by fire in 1891 which also destroyed all the memorials inside the original building. This picture is from just after that date when it was rebuilt in perpendicular style of Runcorn stone.  And dedicated in 1895. The tower that we see today was completed 10 years later.

The view from Port Hill

View from a private garden in Bengeo looking over Port Hill and the old Cowbridge Station towards the brewery .

Holy Trinity Church Bengeo

Holy Trinity Church, Bengeo taken from New Road. 1922 before the houses were built on New Road. The old water tower in Tower Street can be seen in the distance, it was replaced in 1929 by the current Bengeo water tower.

The Castle Gates

This is from c 1912 when the gates were opened. The house on the right was demolished for the Castle Cinema. The gates were designed by James Farley and the foundations built by Ekins, with Terracotta piers and walls by Dalton and Co of Lambeth and Wrought iron by Hill and Smith of Wolverhampton. They were paid for by Osmond Henry McMullen and dedicated in memory of his brother and partner Alexander Peter McMullen.

To be continued.....

A huge thanks to Marilyn Taylor for this glimpse into Hertford’s past. If you would like to see more postcards from the past please do leave a comment below 🙂