Bengeo is on a rise between the River Beane and River Rib overlooking Hartham Common. Its toponym is derived from an Old English name meaning spur or ridge over the River Beane. The Domesday Book of 1086 records it as Belingehou. It evolved through forms including Beneggho and Beningho in the 13th century, Bengeho in the 15th century and Benjow in the 16th century before reaching its current form.
See map of Bengeo.
Other than the south east corner which adjoins Hertford, Bengeo is mostly surrounded by countryside. Informally (the terms having no official status) Bengeo consists of Upper and Lower Bengeo; Upper Bengeo is the area at the top of Port Hill leading out of Hertford town centre, while Lower Bengeo is the area on the side of the hill and centred on Byde Street. On an approximate north-south trajectory Bengeo is bisected by the B158, known as Port Hill as it leaves Hertford and climbs the hill to Upper Bengeo and then as Bengeo Street as it continues through, and then out of, Bengeo to the north. Leaving Port Hill to the east runs The Warren, an ancient footpath along the edge of the River Beane and Hartham Common leading to the ancient church of St Leonard.
Bengeo has various of its own amenities including a Post Office, local shops, several public houses, two veterinary practices, a number of sports teams, two churches (see below) and a Plymouth Brethren Meeting Room. There are two State primary schools, Mill Mead Primary School in Port Vale in Lower Bengeo close to Hertford and, at the opposite end of Bengeo on the north end of The Avenue, Bengeo Primary School; on the east side is Duncombe School, an independent preparatory school.
The Church of England parish church of St Leonard, Bengeo, is a 12th-century Norman building and the oldest building in Hertford. It was the parish church of Bengeo until 1855, when it was succeeded by the new Holy Trinity parish church designed by Benjamin Ferrey. St. Leonard's is still used for regular Sunday services in summer months, as well as hosting exhibitions and concerts.