An old market town, it developed into an industrial centre in the 19th century with the coming of the railway and the Grand Union Canal.
In the forefront of its industries were printing and brewing.
St. Mary`s Church dates from the 13th century, and contains the impressive 16th century Essex Chapel.
Holy Rood Church (Catholic) was designed in the 1880s by J. F. Bentley.
The Town Museum is housed in an 18th century mansion which formerly served as the offices of Benskin`s Brewery.
The Elizabeth Fuller Free School dates from 1704, and the Bedford Almshouses from 1580.
Cassiobury Park, once the home of the Earls of Essex, is now a golf course and public park.
Among the prominent people born in Watford are Joy Batchelor, animated cartoon producer; Michael Bentine, comedian; T. E. B. Clarke, screenwriter; Geri Halliwell, singer; Mark Ilott, England cricketer; and Gareth Southgate, England footballer.
Blue Badge Guide Colin Crosby is available to lead Guided Walks around Watford for groups.