The wide streets of Baldock were once used by farmers selling their livestock and produce. Now they are lined with shops (antiques, furniture and food), offices and homes - many housed in some of the county's finest Georgian properties.
Once the site of a Roman settlement, Baldock was established in the 1140s by the religious order of the Knights Templar - at the junction of the Great North Road and the ancient Icknield Way. It's name is rumoured to come from Baghdad, where the warrior knights would have fought in the Crusades. The town gained importance in the coaching era, when it was the first main stop out of London.
Today Baldock retains much of its traditional market town character and olde-world charm. There are more than 100 listed buildings, and it has been named as one of only five towns in Hertfordshire as being of national importance. It's greatest feature is St. Mary's Church with its large 14th C. tower and wood-carved screens. As befits a place that was once thronged by travellers, there are also several interesting pubs, inns and restaurants.