Friday, 18 October 2013

River Gade Cassiobury

River Gade
The Gade flows east and south
TQ 09961 96539

Area of parks and sports fields to the north of Watford. Relatively posh suburban area surrounding it,

Post to the west Jacotts
Post to the south Rickmansworth Road

Belmount Wood Avenue
Cassiobury Junior School and Infant School. Opened in 1968. The schools' badge has a coronet plus the arms of the Capel family, the Earls of Essex who owned the area of the estate
Sun Postal Sports Ground Football Club.The club was founded in 1898 as Sun Engraving Football Club and in 1995 amalgamated with Watford Postal Football Club.
Watford Boxing Club

Cassiobury Drive
53 First Church of Christ Scientist.  It was designed by Arthur Percival Starkey as the first building here in the 1930s.   It is two storey in multicoloured brick with a reading room to the side and a square brick tower

Cassiobury
The manor of Cassio was in the ownership of the Abbey of St Albans, and in the Domesday Book. At the dissolution it was granted Cassio to Richard Morrison who built a house here. This passed to the Earls of Essex, and Moses Cook was employed to lay out formal gardens 1669 - 1680. Subsequently further work was done by George London in 1697, Charles Bridgeman in the 1720s, and Thomas Wright in the 1740s. In 1908 much of the area was sold for housing. The remains of the estate were auctioned in 1922, and some of this land was purchased by Watford Urban District Council in 1923

Cassiobury Park
Watford Urban District Council considered buying this area as a public park in 1909. Local opinion was against this but the area was still purchased. The bridge over the Gade was connected to Rickmansworth Road by a tree lined avenue.
Paddling Pool. This was built in 1933 and upgraded in the early 1980s.  It is privately operated and includes a kiosk.
Model Railway. This is leased out and privately run. It opened in 1959 set up by C.H. Reed. In 1979 Jeff Price became the owner and enlarged it with a new station. The station is next to the paddling pool and has two platforms and a turntable.

Coningsby Avenue
New Sports Field. 
West Herts Hockey Club. The club began in 1921 at the West Herts Sports Ground in Cassion Road where they remained for 82 years.  Redevelopment work led to a move to the Sun Sports Ground in Bellmount Wood Avenue and they have since developed a new pitch with Watford Grammar School
Fullerians Rugby Club. The club began at Watford Grammar School, through the work of sports teacher Stanley Rous and the original club, formed in 1925, was the Watford Grammar School Old Boys Rugby Union Football Club, changed to Old Fullerians RFC in honour of Dame Elizabeth Fuller, who founded the school in the 18th. In 1965 the word "Old" was dropped and five years the present clubhouse and four pitches were built

Cottage Close
7 At the back is the old ice house for Cassiobury House. Modern entrance to a narrow brick corridor, leading to a domed room, of brick. It was probably built around 1800 and it is set into an earth bank. The floor is wood and there is an opening where the original trap door would have been. Below the floor is another chamber

Hempstead Road
191 Two storey detached lodge which was built in 1872 as a lodge to the Cassiobury Estate. It marked the junction with a track going towards Home Farm, which was the main agricultural complex on the Estate.
203 house designed by Hubert Lidbetter for David Greenhill, who moved in 1926. Greenhill was Director and General Manager of the Sun Engraving Company.
211 garden pagoda built for no 202. In the construction old bricks and timber from Cassiobury House were used.

Langley Way
19 Detached ‘modern’ house of brick covered in render designed by Sydney Gomme,
Essex Arms Pub. The Earls of Essex were the owners and residents of Cassiobury House.
St. Luke’s Church. Built in 2005

Richmond Drive
Cassiobury Court. Stable Block to Cassiobury House. Built around 1805-15 the block had been altered in conversion but is the last remnant of the house. It is in red brick and castellated flanked by 3-storey blocks. The original arched doorway survives and some 'arrow-slits' along with another arched doorway and battlemented carriage entry with brick buttresses.

River Gade
Rustic Bridge
Scrape Bridge. A small wooden bridge first placed in 2010 when an off-river support unit for fish was made
Meadow Bridge

Parkside Drive
87 - Electricity sub-station and public shelter built by the Eastern Electricity Board in 1967.

Temple Close
Site of Cassiobury House. The Capel family owned the estate from the early 16th until the 20th. Arthur Capel inherited the estate in 1628 through his wife, daughter of Sir Charles Morison but did not live there. He was beheaded in 1649. After the Restoration his son, Arthur, became Earl of Essex and in 1668 moved to Cassiobury where he engaged architect Hugh May to create a new house, incorporating the old. One wing of Tudor house was kept but other wings were added. Inside was large scale work by Grinling Gibbons with a virtuoso staircase. In 1799 the fifth earl engaged James Wyatt to remodel the house and Humphrey Repton was employed to landscape the park, introducing the lake and canal. Wyatt removed two front wings and enclosed the courtyard. Inside, Gibbon's carvings remained. The 7th Earl died in 1916 after being hit by a taxi, and six years later the estate was put up for sale by the 8th Earl. The contents sale in 1922 lasted ten days. The house didn't sell until August when a group of local businessmen bought it for the development potential. The house was then stripped, and demolished in 1927
Capel House – at the back is a brick cellar with vaulted ceiling. Originally part of Cassiobury House. It was probably used as an air raid shelter in the Second World War. More cellars remaining from Cassiobury House are in the same rear garden, with possible further cellars in neighbouring gardens

The Gardens
Cassiobury Tennis Club

Trefusis Walk
Garden mound – this may mark the site of an obelisk shown in a painting from the 1840s as standing on a flat topped mound.

Watford Grammar School Sports Ground

Sources
British Listed Buildings. Web site.
Cassiobury Park. Web site
Christ Scientist. Watford. Web site.
England’s Lost Country Houses.  Web site
Essex Arms. Web site
Miniature Railway World. Web site
St. Luke’s Church. Web site
Watford Council. Web site
West Herts Hockey Club. Web site

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