Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Tykes Water Aldenham House


Tykes Water
Two tributary streams rise in this area and flow northwards

Parkland area to the west of Boreham Wood and Elstree.  Farmland, land around the reservoir and that of the Aldenham Estate have been used for public parks and leisure areas.  The big house is now an up-market school.  In the west of the area a pre-Second World War aerodrome remains in its original use.

Post to the south Aldenham Reservoir
Post to the east Aldenham Park
Post to the north Slades Farm

Aldenham Country Park
The park is sited in what was Aldenham Common. It had a series of owners but became part of the Aldenham Estate. In 1938 Hertfordshire County Council, London County Council, Barnet Rural District Council, Bushey Urban District Council and Watford Rural District Council bought land next to the Aldenham Reservoir for public open space. Other land was leased to Bushey Urban District Council as public playing fields but the Second World War meant that farming continued until 1973. This site was chosen as Hertfordshire’s country park and was opened in 1982.  Because of cuts in government funding a public appeal was launched and tenders invited for an organisation to make it financially sustainable. It is now managed by Aldenham Renaissance Ltd
The Avenues – some of the tree collection of the Aldenham Estate. This is a double row of Turkey Oaks flanked by hawthorn and lime planted in 1880 to extend an avenue of elms, thought to be the oldest in England, but uprooted in 1961, for the school cricket square.
Rare Breeds Farm and Heritage Orchard
Woodland Adventures
100 Aker Wood with Pooh Bear trail

Aldenham House
Aldenham House. There had been two country houses in Grubb's Lane in the 16th and 17th century. They were eventually both owned by the Coghill family in the 17th. They originally lived in Penn's Place which was a substantial brick moated house and was later called Aldenham Hall. The Coghills also owned Wigbournes to the south and this was rebuilt as Aldenham House
Moat. This is the site of Penne's Place which was also called Aldenham Hall.
Aldenham House. This red brick house, originally called Wigbournes, was built around 1672 for H.Coghill the Younger and extended in 1785 for R.Hucks the Younger. It was remodelled in 1870-3 by A.Blomfield for Henry Hucks Gibbs, Lord Aldenham. He was a former governor of the Bank of England and one of the four richest men in England, with a fortune made from imported guano. He inherited Aldenham House in the year 1843. He found the house in a "neglected and somewhat dilapidated state". The Drawing Room had been used as a farm storeroom and Jacobean panelling in the entrance hall had been painted over. In 1883 a clock tower and court room were added, death duties meant that the family could not afford upkeep and it was auctioned off. The house became a country club, catering for from Elstree film studios. In the Second World War the BBC used it as an overseas broadcasting station. It then remained empty until bought by the school in 1959.
Haberdasher Aske's School. Robert Aske left the Haberdashers Company £20,000 in 1690 for a hospital and a school for 20 boys in Hoxton. The foundation was reorganised in 1873 when four schools were established with boys and girls taught separately.  The need to expand led to the Boys’ School to move to Elstree, in 1961, followed by the Girls in 1974. These private fee paying schools have preparatory departments and are highly academic
Stables. These enclose a yard built in 1785 by Gray and Perry, Builders for R.Hucks the Younger. The date is on a stone. On the wall is a stone plaque which records the enlargement of the house and
outbuildings and addition of tower by H.H.Gibbs 1870-3

Haberdashers Aske’s Boys School. Teaching takes place in classrooms built around a central Quadrangle. The Bourne Building has the largest assembly hall, the library plus history, ICT and classics classrooms. The Maths block includes the Bates Dining Room and Sixth Form Common Room. The Taylor Music School has a performance hall. The Aske Building has Science and Geography classrooms and the Aske Hall and English and Modern Languages buildings. Sports Hall with indoor courts and changing rooms leads to astro-turf, a shooting range, cricket nets with video technology, basketball and badminton. The Preparatory School is surrounded by trees and contains a small stream and pond nearby. The drawing room is now the school office and a new chapel is on the site of the kitchen.
Haberdashers Aske’s Girls School. Also has lots of facilities
Aldenham House Garden. This was one of the finest English gardens, said to boast the largest privately owned collection of trees and shrubs in the world. The formal gardens behind the house have changed little in the past 80 years. The kitchen garden dominated the horticultural shows and produced much exotic fruit. The red brick wall next to the school assembly hall is all that remains. The pleasure grounds were entered through, iron gates supported by tall brick piers with stone caps and surrounded by curved walls with a pierced brick balustrade.  French windows from the house on lead to a raised parterre laid out with rose beds in a geometric pattern with central stone pond. Stone steps lead to a lawn bounded by a yew hedge.  There are also the remains of a water garden created by the Gibbs family in the 19th with Pulhamite rockwork. A stream emerges from the site of the former kitchen garden, and runs beneath rustic bridges which carry drives and which opening out into a series of ponds. A rectangular pond may have been a swimming pool and the stream empties into the moat of the former Penn's Place.

Aldenham Road
The Aldenham to Elstree road was moved west and sunk out of sight by Henry Hucks Gibbs
Lodge – another small, red-brick lodge built around a hexagonal centre with a pyramid roof and central chimney. This is the site of the original west entrance to the estate before henry Hucks Gibbs had the road moved. 

Butterfly Lane
This was once called New Grubs Lane. Grubs Lane itself was realigned under Henry Hucks Gibbs having been moved northwards.
Gates to Aldenham House. There are elaborate iron gates and gate piers flanked by stone piers and iron railings
Aldenham Lodge, this is a single-storey, 20th building. The entrance is flanked by iron gates with brick piers and iron railings.
The brick park wall continues alongside
Battleaxes Inn. This pub was originally called the Wrestlers or the Two Wrestlers in 1809. This building was demolished around 1890 when the old Elstree Road and Grubs Lane were realigned. The replacement pub was called the Battle Axes

Hogg Lane
Elstree Aerodrome. This has been a very active centre of private flying.  In the late 1930s the Aldenham estate was a country club. Flying was smart and fashionable and the Aerodrome started as a grass field to cater for their needs together with a small hanger and a clubhouse. It was soon after being used by Hendon and Northolt.  In the Second World War a concrete runway was laid plus more hangars for Fairfield Aviation to test RAF aircraft and modify them. MAP hangars were provided for tyis.  A large wartime Bellman hangar remains on site as well as a MAP R-type hangar, a pair of Super Robins and a Blister.. There is a flying club and Helicopter Services now on site.
Harmshall Cottage. 16th house with timber frame

Sources
Aldenham Country Park. Web site
Battleaxes. Web site
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Elstree Aerodrome. Web site
English Heritage. Web site
Haberdashers Aske’s Old Boys. Web site
Haberdashers Aske Schools. Web site
Osborne. Defending London

No comments: