Hertford has been the county town of Hertfordshire since the Saxon times, and is also a civil parish in the East Hertfordshire district of the county. The east Hertfordshire district council, and the Hertfordshire county council are based around County Hall. Hertford is also the home of the McMullen’s brewery based in Old Cross, and one of a dwindling number of independent pre-1970 family brewers in the UK.
With a population of approximately 26,000, according to the 2011 census, and lying only 19.2 miles from Central London.
Hertford town still has its medieval layout, with many timber-framed buildings hidden under later frontages, particularly in St Andrews Street. It retains its country-town feel. With this, there are fewer of the usual chain shops found in most high streets, making Hertford different from other clone towns. There are a higher number of independent shops and business within the town, with a variety of boutiques to salons, coffee shops and of course Lock Stock & Barrel.