9 historic places to visit in Hertfordshire

St Albans Clock Tower, behind a tree.

We've put together a list of historic places in Hertfordshire. - Credit: Google - By Owner

Visiting historical places gives us a greater understanding and appreciation for our society.

Intriguing locations that stimulate the mind can be found across Hertfordshire.

Each location has its own story to tell, and lessons to learn.

With that in mind, we've put together a list of historic places from across the county.

1. Cromer Windmill, near Stevenage

A large windmill, with white spokes and a brick base.

Cromer Windmill is the last surviving windmill in Hertfordshire. - Credit: Google Maps

Cromer Windmill is a historical site in Cromer, near Stevenage.

The location is Hertfordshire's last surviving windmill, and dates from 1681.

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In around 1860, the windmill was blown over and was gradually rebuilt.

The mill was left forgotten in the 1920s, until an appeal from local people began the site's refurbishment in 1964.

2. The Clock Tower, St Albans

The clock tower in the city centre.

St Albans Clock Tower was completed in 1405. - Credit: Google Maps

St Albans' Clock Tower is the only remaining medieval town belfry in England.

The site has also been designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

It was built by the people of the city, and was completed in 1405.

The bell situated within the tower first rang during the War of the Roses in 1455, and is still present today.

3. Mill Green Museum & Mill, near Hatfield

Mill Green museum, with brick walls and white windows.

Mill Green Museum features a restored 18th century mill on the River Lea. - Credit: Peter O'Connor on Creative Commons

Mill Green Museum features a restored 18th century mill on the River Lea.

The working watermill can be seen in operation by visitors to the site. 

The museum, meanwhile, houses artefacts from across Welwyn and Hatfield.

The "Miller's Kitchen" on site serves cream tea with scones, amongst other favourites.

4. Roisia's Cross, Royston

A large stone on a small mound, with cars behind.

It is reported that Royston takes its name from the Cross. - Credit: Google Maps

Roisia's Cross. in Royston, sits at the junction between Ermine Street and the Icknield Way.

It is a large, flat stone which sits upon a small mound.

In the 18th century, Reverend William Stukeley described the Cross as "A flatish [stone, of very great bulk, with a square hole or mortaise, in the centre, wherein was let the foot of the upright stone or tenon, which was properly the cross."

It is reported that Royston takes its name from the ancient artefact.

5. The Garden City Collection, Letchworth

The Garden City Collection is described as "an internationally significant collection of historical artefacts".

The collection is home to 250,000 items, including documents from the early Garden City Movement and the architectural plans of the world’s first Garden City.

Monthly open days are held at the collection, or individual bookings can be made.

"Furniture; art and a wealth of social history" can be found within the collection.

6. London Gate, St Albans

An artist's impression of the London Gate.

The London Gate is part of Verulamium Park's Roman Wall. - Credit: Following Hadrian on Creative Commons

The London Gate, in St Albans, is part of Verulamium Park's Roman Wall.

Where once stood imposing stone gates, now only ruins can be seen.

The gates sit where Watling Street once entered the city.

The structure featured two passageways for vehicles and two for pedestrians.

7. Shaw's Corner, near Welwyn

Shaw's Corner, with trees and plants climbing the house.

Shaw's Corner was the country home of playwright Bernard Shaw for 44 years. - Credit: Brian Smithson on Creative Commons

Shaw's Corner, near Welwyn, was the country home of playwright Bernard Shaw for 44 years.

The location is now maintained by the National Trust.

Tours are available of the house, featuring a variety of arts and crafts inspired interiors.

The National Trust website states: "When he moved in, he was at the height of his fame.

"If you'd been walking up the drive 70 years ago, you would have been coming to visit one of the most famous, most photographed and most quoted men in the world."

8. Royston Cave, Royston

Royston Cave by Candlelight. Picture: P Ranson

Royston Cave by Candlelight. Picture: P Ranson - Credit: P Ranson

Discovered by by workmen in 1742, Royston Cave was discovered under a millstone found on the ground of the butter market above.

This millstone covered a narrow vertical shaft, leading to the cave.

It's walls are decorated with extensive carvings, which depict Christian stories and symbols.

Baffling historians and visitors for centuries, no record of the cave or its purpose exist.

9. Scott's Grotto, Ware

Scott's Grotto, Ware, Hertfordshire

Scott's Grotto - an elaborately and mysterious 18th century wonder - Credit: Archant

Scott's Grotto is described as "a magical place of rooms and tunnels clad in a variety of shells, fossils and other materials".

The Grotto was built in the 1760s by Hertfordshire poet John Scott.

The location was restored in 1990, with a new entrance port replacing the demolished original.

The tunnel extends over 20 metres into the hillside, and the deepest chamber is ten metres below the hilltop.