Thursday, 17 October 2013

River Gade Grove Mill

River Gade
The Gade flows southwards

Post to the north Hunton Bridge
Post to the south Jacotts

Grand Union Canal
Grove Ornamental Bridge
Grove Mill Bridge
Rough Wood Bridge
Cassiobury Top Lock
Cassiobury Park Lock

Grove Mill Lane
Grove Mill. Water powered brick corn mill. There had been a mill on this site for centuries, possibly from Domesday. The old mill was probably burnt down in the early 19th and the current building erected around 1875 and worked until 1922. It was converted into flats in 1971. It had previously been owned by British Rail.
Grove Mill Cottage. Remains of an 18th coach house and stables. The group was originally U shaped.
Grove Mill House. Also called The Dower House after its sale in 1922. This is an 18th brick house. There were landscaped grounds with greenhouses and shrubberies to the north east. Refurbished 2009 before which it had been home to Fanny Craddock.
Water wheel and pump. These are north west of the mill house and are at the head of a stream going to the Gade
Canal Bridge. This was altered in the 19th and has brick abutments and iron railing.
Gade Bridge. 19th single arched brick bridge with a plaque saying it was built by the Parish of Watford. 
Brook Cottage.  This was housing for servants at the Grove Mill House. It is a 19th house replacing and earlier one
Old Mill House.  19th house in brick with faince ware window cills. This was owned by British Rail who used it for employees housing’
Canal Cottage. Built by the Canal Co. around 1800 for the lock keeper. It has some 19th additions.
Heath Farm House. This is an 18th building around a 17th building which was divided into flats in the 1960s and following some neglect it was divided into three units and houses built around it called Heath Farm Court.

The Grove Park
Early Bronze Age pottery found nearby
Grove House. The site is first noted in 1294 and described as a Manor and there was a Tudor house here rebuilt in 1703. In 1753 the site was acquired by the future Earl of Clarendon. The current house dates from the 18th and was altered by Robert Taylor perhaps in 1756, and later enlarged.  Artist George Stubbs painted horses in the stables here.  In the mid 19th the 5th Earl gave house parties for the Queen and her followers. From the 1920s it was in corporate use as a school and other uses. It was bought by London Midland and Scottish Railway Company as their secret headquarters during the Second World War. It later became the British Rail Management Centre. It later became a hotel to which has been added the golf centre
Black Walnut. A tree growing near the terrace is said locally to have been presented to the Earl of Clarendon by Captain Cook
Bridge. The drive passes over a balustraded bridge from around 1800 across the Grand Union Canal. It is a ‘roving’ bridge carrying the tow path over in whitewashed brick.
Timber Yard cottage
Six air raid shelters are still extant and a designated wild life site.  They are now home to a large colony of Pipistrelle bats.

Hempstead Road
Water Works.  The drought of 1933/34 reduced the water level and in 1935 proposals were made for a new pumping station at the Grove by the Watford water company and this opened in 1941.

Sources
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Canalplan, Web site
The Grove. Web site
Three Rivers Council. Web site
Watford Council. Web site
Watford Observer. Web site

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