"ROYSTON, a parish, post and market town, chiefly in the hundred of Odsey, county Herts, but partly in the hundred of Armingford, county Cambridge, 18 miles north-east of Hertford, and 38 from London by road, or 45 by the Hitchin and Cambridge section of the Great Eastern railway, on which it is a station. It is situated at the intersection of the Icknield Way and the Ermine Street, under the Downs, in a bleak open country. It is a polling and petty sessions town, and was formed into a separate parish about 1540. Its present name is derived from Roisia de Vere, Countess of Norfolk, by whom a cross was set up, and near to which an Austin priory was founded in Henry II.'s time by Eustace-de-Mere, which led to the erection of houses, and the place acquired the appellation of Royse's Town, or Royston." (There is more of this description).