Interesting Facts About Watford
There is evidence of some limited prehistoric occupation around the Watford area, with a few Celtic and Roman finds, though there is no evidence of a settlement until much later. Watford stands where the River Colne could be crossed on an ancient trackway from the southeast to the northwest. Watford’s High Street follows the line of part of this route. Watford town was located on the first dry ground above the marshy edges of River Colne.
Watford is first mentioned in an Anglo-Saxon charter of 1007, where “Watforda” is one of the places marking the boundary of “Oxanhaege”. However, it is not mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, when this area was part of St Albans Abbey’s manor of Cashio. In the 12th century, the Abbey was granted a charter allowing it to hold a market here, and the building of St Mary’s Church began.
Watford is a major regional centre in the northern home counties. Hertfordshire County Council designates Watford and Stevenage to be its major sub-regional centres, heading its list of preferred sites for retail development. The High Street is the main focus of activity at night having a high concentration of the town’s bars, clubs and restaurants. The primary shopping area is the Harlequin Shopping Centre, a large purpose-built indoor mall with over 140 shops, restaurants and cafes built during the 1990s, opened officially in June 1992.