Hertfordshire is known as one of the ‘Home Counties' bordering Greater London in the eastern region of England. It has an ancient heritage with the origins of its county town, Hertford, dating back to AD913. The name Hertford is derived from the Anglo-Saxon heart ford meaning deer crossing and Hertfordshire, originally the area assigned to a fortress at Hertford, first appears in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 1011.
Following the Roman conquest of Britain in AD43, Hertfordshire succumbed to the Roman way of life reasonably quickly and Verulamium (present day St Albans) became the third largest town in Roman Britain. It was after the Romans left Britain in the early 5th century, during the so-called Dark Ages, that the area was occupied by the Anglo-Saxons and Hertford was created.
With the arrival of the Norman king William in 1066, Hertfordshire came under the Conqueror's sway and Norman castles were constructed at Bishops Stortford and at the royal residence of Berkhamstead. When William ordered the Domesday Book be compiled in 1086 it included Hertfordshire and made mention of nine townships.
In the present day, because of the county's close proximity to the English capital, as London grew so much of Hertfordshire became a part of the London commuter belt. However, it is not wholly dependent upon the metropolis for its livelihood. The town of Borehamwood was home to one of the major British film studios, Elstree, where many well-known films were made including the first three Star Wars movies. At Leavesden Film Studios, an old aerodrome site, the Harry Potter series were filmed as well as a James Bond movie. In addition, Hertfordshire has become home to the headquarters of many large UK companies.
Places of interest in the county include Aldenham Country Park, Berkhamstead Castle, the Henry Moore Sculpture Park, the Jacobean Hatfield House, St Albans Cathedral, Roman Verulamium, Knebworth Country Park, George Bernard Shaw's House, Gardens of the Rose and the Therfield Heath Nature Reserve. The county also has literary connections with Oscar Wilde, Jane Austen and E.M.Forster.