Hertford Corn Exchange and Public Hall

Hertford having long been a market town, serving London with country produce by means of the waterways, it is of no surprise that we had a corn exchange. It was constructed 1857-59, under the eye of architect William Hill of Leeds in a modified classical style.

What is surprising to me however is the exterior stonework carving. The hart or deer is an obvious town symbol and it is perhaps standing in the ford that made the market town a meeting place. The hart has a cross on it’s head between its antlers, perhaps a reference to the Synod having met here.

After that, the rest is a puzzle. An online local history website states that the hart is standing next to some grain sacks, which is quite obviously incorrect. I see a castle, possibly showing how the original Hertford castle was; the Sydney opera house sails, (lol I suspect not, but what are they?) and a lush plant vaguely resembling a pineapple. Perhaps the latter denoted trade. I shall have to dig deeper to find out.

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