Ware: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 51°49′01″N 0°01′45″W / 51.817°N 0.029182°W / 51.817; -0.029182

Ware is located in Hertfordshire

 Ware shown within Hertfordshire
Population 18,000 
OS grid reference TL495215
Parish Ware
District East Hertfordshire
Shire county Hertfordshire
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town WARE
Postcode district SG11 and SG12
Dialling code 01920
Police Hertfordshire
Fire Hertfordshire
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament Hertford and Stortford
List of places: UK • England • Hertfordshire

Ware is a town of around 18,000 people in Hertfordshire, England close to the county town of Hertford. The Prime Meridian passes to the east of Ware.



The town lies on the north-south A10 road which is partly shared with the east-west A414 (for Hertford to the west and Harlow to the east). There is a large viaduct over the River Lea at Kings Meads. The £3.6m two-mile bypass opened on 17 August 1976. At the north end of the bypass is the Wodson Park Sports Centre, with an athletics track, and the Marriott Hanbury Manor Hotel and Country Club. The former route of the A10 is now the A1170. The railway station is on the Hertford East Branch Line and operated by National Express East Anglia and is only single track.

Historical information

Arms of Ware Town Council

Archaeology has shown that Ware has been occupied since at least the Mesolithic period (which ended about 4,000 BC)[1] The Romans had a sizable settlement here and foundations of several buildings, including a temple, and two cemeteries have been found.[2] A well-preserved Roman skeleton of a teenage girl has been found as well.[3] Ware was on Ermine Street, the Roman road from London to Lincoln. It has been said that Ware is one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe.[4]

The modern name of the town dates from the Anglo-Saxon period[5] when weirs were built to stop the invading Vikings from escaping in their longships after defeat by Alfred the Great in a battle near Ware. It was also a great coaching town, being on the Old North Road, less than a day's journey from London. In the seventeenth century Ware became the source of the New River, constructed to bring fresh water to London. England's first turnpike (toll) road ran from Wadesmill to Ware. The town was once a centre of malting.

The Ware Town Council coat of arms (shown on the left) was issued in 1956 by the College of Arms to Ware Urban District Council, and transferred to Ware Town Council in 1975. The arms are derived from matters with which Ware is associated — the barge rudders reference the bargemen of Ware, with the red and white striping on the rudders being the livery colours of the City of London, associating the Ware bargemen's free entry rights to that City (q.v.); the crossed coach horns reference the town's long history as a coaching town; and the sheaves of barley reference the malting history of Ware. The motto of the town "cave" (Latin for "beware") was suggested by the College of Heralds, with the intent of its being a pun on the town's name.[6]

Ware Weir, GSK offices behind

With the River Lee (aka River Lea) flowing through the centre of Ware, transport by water was for many years a significant industry. As an old brewing town (and some of the old maltings still stand, although none are functional), barley was transported in, and beer out via the river. Bargemen born in Ware were given the "freedom of the River Thames" — avoiding the requirement of paying lock dues — as a result of their transport of fresh water and food in during the great plague of 1665–66. A local legend says that dead bodies were brought out of London, but there is no evidence for this. "Buryfield" in Ware is thought by many to be where these supposed bodies were buried. The name apparently originating before 1666, with the burial of large numbers of Roman inhabitants of Ware.[7]

Tragedy struck the town on 25 January 1990 when a 15-year-old local girl struck by a falling tree was one of 39 people to die in a storm that ravaged Britain.[8]


Ware has a fourteenth-century priory, now the local council offices and a conference centre. Recent restoration work has shown that the 'priory' – it was really a friary – dates from the thirteenth century. Opposite the priory is the large fourteenth-century parish church of St. Mary. It is known for its elaborate font with large carved stone figures. The town is also famous for its many 18th-century riverside gazebos, several of which have been restored recently. It is also famous for the Great Bed of Ware, which was mentioned by Shakespeare and is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Ware is also mentioned in the Canterbury Tales. Ware was the unintended destination of John Gilpin in William Cowper's comic poem.[9]

Today the town's main employer is GlaxoSmithKline which has a large plant in the town, but there are also many other small factories. It is also a commuting town for London, with regular rail services between Ware railway station and London Liverpool Street.

Ware is home to Scott's Grotto, built for John Scott, an 18th-century poet who owned Amwell House from 1768. The grotto, the largest in the UK, is a series of chambers extending over 65ft into the chalk hillside. The chambers are decorated with shells, stones such as flint and coloured glass. The grotto is owned by East Herts District Council and was restored in 1990 by the Ware Society.

During two weeks of the summer, Ware Council holds the 'Ware Festival' culminating in the 'Rock at the Priory' a one-day open-air Music Festival that grows each year in popularity.

Education facilities

The town's secondary schools include Presdales School for girls, a former grammar school, which is now a language college and The Chauncy School. Between the town and Hoddesdon, to the west of the A10 is Haileybury and Imperial Service College. There is also St Edmund's College, a private school near Puckeridge to the north. Hertford Regional College is the FE college in Ware.

Ware FC

The Club was founded in 1892, and although first called Ware Town soon changed its name to plain Ware FC. This unassuming designation makes it probably the shortest named affiliate of the Football Association and has caused problems for programme editors and journalists ever since. Ware FC train at Wodson Park sports centre in Ware, Hertfordshire.[10]


Notable residents

Nearby communities

External links


  1. ^ Ware and Hertford, From Birth to Middle Age, Robert Kiln and Clive Partridge, Castlemead Publications, Welwyn Garden City, 1994 ISBN 0 948555 37 8 (page 8)
  2. ^ Ware and Hertford, From Birth to Middle Age, Robert Kiln and Clive Partridge, Castlemead Publications, Welwyn Garden City, 1994 ISBN 0 948555 37 8 (pages 30 - 54)
  3. ^ Ware and Hertford, From Birth to Middle Age, Robert Kiln and Clive Partridge, Castlemead Publications, Welwyn Garden City, 1994 ISBN 0 948555 37 8 (page 44)
  4. ^ http://www.wareonline.co.uk/history/default.asp
  5. ^ Ware and Hertford, From Birth to Middle Age, Robert Kiln and Clive Partridge, Castlemead Publications, Welwyn Garden City, 1994 ISBN 0 948555 37 8 (page 137)
  6. ^ "Armorial Bearings". Ware Town Council. http://www.waretowncouncil.gov.uk/Contents/Text/Index.asp?SiteId=792&SiteExtra=7725696&TopNavId=773&NavSideId=12838. Retrieved 2 March 2010. 
  7. ^ "Ware - The Story so Far - 3 of 3". Ware Online. http://www.wareonline.co.uk/history/history3.asp. Retrieved 2 March 2010. 
  8. ^ "On This Day: 1990: Children killed in devastating storm". BBC. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/january/25/newsid_3420000/3420797.stm. Retrieved 2 March 2010. 
  9. ^ http://www.accd.edu/sac/English/bailey/jogilpin.htm.htm
  10. ^ [1]


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also ware, and wäre



Middle Low German ware


Ware f. (genitive Ware, plural Waren)

  1. goods

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