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A street within the WD17 postcode
16, WD17 A street within the WD17 postcode 27, WD17 A street within the WD17 postcode 4a, WD17 A street within the WD17 postcode aa, WD17 A street within the WD17 postcode
Watford is the largest town in Hertfordshire, situated 17 miles northwest of central London. Watford tube station lies at the end of a branch of London Underground's Metropolitan Line.
Watford contains Cassiobury Park, a public park that was once the manor estate of the Earls of Essex, and Watford Football Club, a professional team.
The town developed from an Anglo-Saxon settlement between a ford of the River Colne and the crossroads of two ancient tracks. St Albans Abbey claimed rights to the manor of Cashio, which included Watford. The parish church of St Mary the Virgin was built in 1230 on the same site as an earlier Saxon church, along with stalls for a weekly market.
The town grew modestly - assisted by travellers passing through to Berkhamsted Castle and the royal palace at Kings Langley, with the main developments being the 17th century houses of Cassiobury and The Grove. The coming of the Grand Junction Canal in 1798 and the London and Birmingham Railway in 1837 allowed the town to grow faster, with paper-making mills, such as John Dickinson and Co. at Croxley, influencing the development of printing in the town which continues today.
Two industrial scale brewers Benskins and Sedgwicks flourished in the town until their closure in the late 20th century.
Today, Watford is a major regional centre for the northern home counties. Hertfordshire County Council designates Watford, along with Stevenage, to be its major sub-regional centre. The town contains the head offices of a number of national companies.
Watford was created as an urban district under the Local Government Act 1894, and became a municipal borough by grant of a charter in 1922. The borough had 90,301 inhabitants at the time of the 2011 census. The borough is separated from Greater London to the south by the urbanised parish of Watford Rural in the Three Rivers District.