A New History of Ware
Ware has a long and fascinating history. It grew up where one of the ancient trackways of pre-historic Britain crossed the River Lea. That track became a military road for the Roman Legions and so a small Roman town was established – followed by a Saxon settlement, which eventually became the centre of a large estate.
Mentioned twice by Chaucer in his Canterbury Tales’, Middle ages Ware was an important stopping point on the ‘Old North Road’ from London to Scotland and inns lined the south side of the High Street – then known as Water Row. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, visitors were attracted by the famous Great Bed of Ware – mentioned by Shakespeare and other playwrights. However, the local economy could not rely on the inn trade indefinitely, and was eventually replaced by something nationally more important as Ware became a key centre for malting brown malt, used in brewing ‘porter’.
Never before has the full story of Ware been told, but all of this and more is described in vivid detail in David Perman’s ‘New History’. A New History of Ware uses a variety of historical sources to reveal how this quaint Hertfordshire town has grown up from the earliest times to the present.