It was founded in 1855 (as The St Albans Times and Herts Advertiser) by Richard Gibbs the Elder, whose brother John had founded the Aylesbury Times in 1836 as a vehicle for his Radical Liberal political interests. The order of the two elements of the title was reversed in 1866 to make it The Herts Advertiser and St Albans Times. It assumed its present name in 1960.
Originally a paid-for title, it became a freesheet in the late 1980s. It was voted Best Free Newspaper in London and the South East in 2005/06.
It’s published by Archant Herts & Cambs, which is part of Archant Anglia, a division of Norwich-based media group Archant. The editorial offices are in St Albans.
Until recently it went by the formal title of Herts Advertiser – St Albans & Harpenden Edition – a little confusing, as there appeared to be only the one edition! Separate St Albans and Harpenden editions were launched in October 2010.
It comes out on Thursdays. Both editions are also available as (free) e-editions on the website, as are the property supplement and motoring section, as well as archives of the main paper going back to 2006. It’s also recently started distributing a few hundred copies through pickup points.