In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Hertfordshire like this:
Hertfordshire (or Herts), an inland co. in SE. of England, bounded N. by Cambridgeshire, E. by Essex, S. by Middlesex, W. by Bucks, and NW. by Bedfordshire; greatest length, NE. and SW., 35 miles; greatest breadth, E. and W., 26 miles: 465,141 ac., pop. 203,069. In appearance the co. is hilly, but interspersed with fine pasture lands, arable farms, and picturesque parks and woods. The Lea, the Colne, and the Ivel are the principal rivers; the Grand Junction Canal likewise passes through a part of the co. ...
A large number of the inhabitants are employed in husbandry, and in addition to grain of choice quality, hay, vegetables, and numerous fruits and flowers are extensively cultivated, especially for the London market. (For agricultural statistics, see Appendix.) The greater portion of the commerce of the co. is supported by the trade in corn and malt. Mfrs. are few; paper-making, silk-weaving, and straw-plaiting being the principal industries. Railways penetrate to all parts of the co.; no place is at a greater distance than 5 miles from a station. Geologically the greater part of Herts consists of Lower, Middle, and Upper Chalk; in the S. is the London clay. The minerals are of no commercial importance. Herts comprises 8 hundreds, 138 pars., and parts of 3 others, and the mun. bors. of Hertford and St Albans. It is almost entirely in the diocese of St Albans. For parl. purposes it is divided into 4 divisions, viz., Northern or Hitchin, Eastern or Hertford, Mid or St Albans, and Western or Watford, 1 member for each. It sent 3 members till 1885.
For an overview of how the county has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern of Hertfordshire -- but you should check this covers the area you are interested in.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Hertfordshire | Map and description for the county, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 19th May 2013
Click here for more detailed advice on finding places within A Vision of Britain through Time, and maybe some references to other places called "Hertfordshire".