Thursday, 31 October 2013

River Chess Chenies

River Chess
The Chess flows eastwards
TQ 01579 98408

Posh village with posh school, mill, manor etc in posh countryside

Post to the west Latimer
Post to the east Chenies

Bedford Close
2 Old Well Cottage. This is a 17th timber-framed building
Chenies School.   A school was held in the Rectory kitchen of the vicar, Lord Wriothesley Russell. 1831 to 1846. In 1845 The Duke of Bedford arranged for an Infant School to be built at what is now 49 Chenies and the following year some of the present school was built to educate the estate children. In 1887 the school was taken over by a School Board and in 1957 it was extended taking in many children of the staff at Latimer House.

Chenies Bottom
Mill leat. Parallel to the Chess is a broad channel built to provide a head of water to the Mill.
Dodds Mill. A mill at Chenies is recorded as a fulling mill in 1324 and was the property of Missenden Abbey.  It also appears to have been a corn mill. There was a John Dodd here in 1741 after whom the Chenies mill is presumably named and it was a paper mill in the early 19th. It is noted as being on an island site on the Chess and there is an associated mill leat. It appears to have ceased work in around 1914. There are a number of mill stones set in garden paving etc. around the house. The modernised house is also said to have has a working water wheel generating electricity

Chenies Hill
Mill Farm. The farm was built in 1847, as a dairy farm and it remained as such into the 1980s. It was worked by the Fitch family who bought it when the Chenies Manor Estate was sold by the Duke of Bedford in 1954. Barns and outhouses now converted to housing.

Chenies House
The Village is built on a high ridge. Up to the 16th it was called Isenhamsted but the name gradually changed to that of the first lords of the manor, the Cheyne family.
The Lodge. 1857 estate building.
St. Michael.  The first church known to have been built here was at the end of the 12th by Alexander de Isenhampstead.   This church was probably built of wood two pieces of carved stone survive, John Earl of Bedford’s, will. By the late 18th the chancel roof was derelict and the chancel boarded off. In 1836 St Michael’s was restored and reopened under vicar, Lord Wriothesley.  In this period the flint facing was reworked and a porch battlements turret and flagstaff were added.  In 1886-7 the hammer beam roof was installed and changes made to allow the installation of an organ. A belfry chamber was installed in 1933.  
The Bedford chapel. Built in 1556 by Anne Countess of Bedford in accordance with the instructions in her late husband. It has a sequence of tombs described as the richest collection of funerary monuments in any parish church in England. The earliest are tomb chests with effigies of the early earls of Bedford and their wives. Later are tomb chests with effigies, many by prominent sculptors. There is also a 14th tomb with effigies of Cheyne family members.
Parish Pump. This is on the village green and has a 19th pump shelter with a tented roof on 4 corner posts
Manor House. This is a 15th house with parts dated to 1530 and altered in the 19th. It was the manor house of the Cheyne family. It was rebuilt about 1530 by the first Earl of Bedford. It is in brick with distinctive picaresque Tudor chimney stacks. Inside some original glass is said to remain including arms of the Russell family, plus some old tiles and three fireplaces of Totternhoe stone.
Armoury. This is a 19th building attached to the Manor House. In 1835-6 the vicar Lord Wriothesley also persuaded the Duke, his father to allow use of the armoury wing of the Manor House as parish rooms and it remains as such.   
Ruined walls.  There are some walls west and north of the churchyard which were part of a house ruinous by 1750 and demolished by 1800
The Nursery. Brick building of 1530 apparently built to serve as Russell children's nursery.
Manor Garden. There are extensive compartmented gardens including a Tudor sunken garden. Physic Garden, White Garden colour co-ordinated borders, topiary, a Victorian kitchen garden with orchard, and two mazes, one yew the other in turf. Away from the house is a parterre with two fountains with an avenue of stone urns and conical yews leading to the ancient oak tree - once said to be the oldest in Europe - under which Queen Elizabeth I is said to have sat
Well House. 19th octagonal well house with 15th well shaft and horse driven pumping machinery. There is a 19th lead lined water storage tank in the ceiling.

Latimer Road
1 Keeper's Cottage. Built around 1850 for the Bedford estate in red brick
Placehouse Copse.  This is an area of ancient woodland. It was probably once coppiced and then planted with beech which was probably felled during Second World War. There has been some planting since with conifers.  It was part of the Chenies Estate sold off in the 1950s to persons unknown
Swimming bath. This was here in the 1920s west of the cottages.
Chenies Place. This is now in two units, one of which is a wing known as Woodside. Before the 1880s the house was owned by the Bedford Estate and had been a girls' boarding school. In 1893 Adeline, Dowager Duchess of Bedford moved here, and commissioned Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll to design the garden. In 1896 C E Kempe remodelled the house. In 1946 the property was leased by Air Commodore C E Benson from Metropolitan Railway Country Estates. The main entrance us through a replica of the original wooden Lutyens gateway. The house is an irregular, red-brick building. On the south front us a colonnaded garden room.  There is a formal south garden, with red-brick walls and a cedar plus a dividing yew hedge. At the west side is a terrace with a wall covered by climbing roses and steps lead to a lawn with a box hedge. Lutyens designed an axial path from the house to the Chess mill race and eventually the mill. There are lawns with trees and shrubs introduced by Air Commodore Benson. A brick footbridge with seating designed by Lutyens in 1893 crosses the mill race on an axis with the main path. Downstream is another footbridge by Lutyens. There are the remains of a substantial river garden which has gone but there is an informal water garden fed by the mill race, with a shallow, serpentine water course and an island.  There are also the remains of a kitchen garden.
The Court House. This was originally the stables of Chenies Place
Sewage works in woodland on the east side of the road. Some buildings remain.
18 -19 This is a 17th timber-framed house altered in the 19th
20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 Brick estate cottages built 1849, in the model village style.
28 – 29 this is a 17th timber-framed house
33 this is a 17th timber-framed house
49 original school building. It carries a Bedford crown and the date 1845
The Bedford Arms Hotel. This was built as a house in 1842 and was converted to a restaurant in the 1930’s and ungraded in 1957
Greathouse Farm

Benefice of Chenies, Little Chalfont, Latimer and Flaunden. Web site
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Buckinghamshire County Council. Web site.
Chenies School. Web site
Chiltern Council. Web site.
Domesday Reloaded.  Web site
English Heritage. Web site
London Transport. Country Walks
Mausolea and Monuments Trust. Web site
Mee. Hertfordshire
Parks and Gardens UK. Web site
Whitelaw. Hidden Hertfordshire

Monday, 28 October 2013

River Chess - Latimer

River Chess
The Chess flows eastwards

Post to the west Latimer
Post to the east Chenies

Church Lane
Latimer House.  A manor house is first mentioned here in 1194 and this hillside site is that of the Elizabethan Manor House. In 1331 the manor was given to William Latimer by King Edward III and it remained in the family’s ownership until the middle of the 16th. The house is where Charles I was held in 1647 and Charles II is said to have been before escaping abroad. In the 19th it was owned by members of the Cavendish family who became the barons Chesham. The original Elizabethan house burnt out in the 1830s and was rebuilt by the Earl of Burlington, father of the first Lord Chesham in 1834-38 to designs by E Blore. It is a symmetrical red brick mansion in Tudor style. There are ranges around a courtyard with a wall, battlemented with a clock tower with a cupola. Requisitioned in the Second World War this was Number One Distribution Centre seemingly a supply depot. But really it was used by British Intelligence to eavesdrop on the conversations of captured German U-boat submarine crews and Luftwaffe pilots. The original prison cells still exist in what were the wine cellars. Later it was the home of the British military's Joint Service Defence College during the twentieth century.  It is now a conference centre facilities have been built in the grounds – it has 44 meeting rooms, a pool and other leisure facilities and bedrooms for 197. The Cavendish coat of arms remains above the principal door.
Church of St Mary Magdalene. Built 1841 by E Blore and later altered by Giles Gilbert Scott in 1867. It is in red brick with a wooden roof on corbels with wild flower carving. Stained glass by Clayton and Bell and also Powell and Sons and Kempe. Monuments of 1632 and 1706.
Pumping engine, later a sewage works is shown on maps up to the 1970s north of the path between Church Lane and the Chess.

Latimer Road
Coney Wood
St Mary Magdalene church. This was Flaunden parish church, now a ruin. It was built in the 13th and abandoned in 1838 when new church as built in the village. It was a small flint building. All that remains is some wall hidden in coppice on the edge of the Chess.  For a long time traces of early mural painting remained but ivy and exposure have lost them.
Liberty tomb. This is alongside a path west of Mill Farm. It is the tomb of 'William Liberty of Chorley Wood Brickmaker who was by his own desire buried in a vault on this part of his estate died 21 April 1777 aged 53 years and Alice Liberty his wife'. 
Latimer Village Green
31 17th timber-framed house
34–35 Foliots. 16th or 17th timber-framed house with colourwashed roughcast walls.  It has a 17th central brick chimney stack of thin bricks and the original door which is now a window is in front of it.
36 Anne Cottage – 37
. 17th timber-framed house subdivided and refronted in the 19th.
38 16th timber-framed house with 17th addition.
Latimer Cottage. 17th timber-framed house
Rectory Cottage. This was an 18th outbuilding to the old Rectory. It is timber-framed and weatherboarded,
Pump in a metal tented surround. This supplied water to residents until the 1940s
Obelisk in honour of local men who fought in the Boer War.
Stone mound with plaques saying 'The horse ridden by General de Villebois Mareuil at the Battle of Boshof, S. Africa, 5th. April 1900 in which the General was killed and the horse wounded'. On the other side it says 'Villebois, Brought to England by Major General Lord Chesham KCB in 1900. Died 5th. Feb. 1911.

River Chess
Lower Water. This is impounded water created in the 18th as part of landscaping work on Latimer Park,

Stoney Lane
School Cottage. Old school building of 1850 in red brick. The school was for boys and girls and infants.
Walk Wood

British History. Buckinghamshire. Web site.
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Buckinghamshire Family History Society. Web site
Chiltern District Council. Web site
Latimer. Wikipedia Web site
London Transport Country Walks.
Waymarking. Web site.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

River Chess - Latimer

River Chess
The Chess flows south eastwards

Post to the north Latimer Park
Post to the east Latimer
Post to the south Little Chalfont

Bell Lane
Forest Cottages
Ladies Arbour Wood

Chenies Avenue
Westwood Park. Football and cricket pitches plus a pavilion.  There is also tennis and a children’s play area.

Latimer Road
Latimer Park Farm. Previously this was called Dell Farm and this was changed to Home Farm in the 19th and again in 1954 to the current name. 1898 map shows a saw mill and a gasometer (estate gas making plants were not unusual). Restore Hope Latimer is a local charity based in the farm complex as are number of businesses
Roman Villa. This dated from about 170 AD and included the skeleton of a Roman cat. The current farm buildings cover the site.

River Chess
Great Water. The lake was formed in the 1750s by the damming of the River Chess.
Neptune Waterfall. This is a dam which holds the water for the formation of the lakes. It is on the site of a mill – which may have been a medieval fulling mill. The mill was originally improved and named 'Latimer Castle', but was demolished in 1763.  There is said to be a statue of Neptune on the top of the weir.
Boat house

Buckinghamshire County Council. Web site
Chiltern Voice. Web site
English Heritage. Web site
Little Chalfont. Parish.Web site
London Transport. Country Walks.

River Chess Latimer Park

River Chess
The Chess flows south-eastwards

Post to the west Blackwell Hall
Post to the south Latimer

Frith Wood

Latimer Park
This is a landscape park which Lancelot Brown may have advised about.  The estate passed to Elizabeth Cavendish and her husband in the early-1750
Tower, this was a folly by a waterfall on the Chess, It has now gone. The Tower Weir holds the water in the Great Water at its western end.

Parkfield Wood
This area is part of a much altered area of the pleasure grounds of Latimer Park. Buildings of what was the National Defence College and housing encircle the wood. It was originally planted on a hitherto open paddock in the mid 19th from which some specimen trees remain.

Stockings Spring Wood

The Grove
This area is a much altered part of the remains of the pleasure grounds of Latimer Park. Most of the early plantings have now gone.

Tooleys Croft
Cave dell. The Cave was a folly. now gone.

British Listed Buildings. Web site
UK Parks and Gardens. Web site

River Chess. Blackwell Hall

River Chess
The Chess flows south eastwards
SP 99443 01606

Countryside area on the further reaches of the Metropolitan Line. Posh countryside though

Post to the west Chesham Bois
Post to the east Latimer Park

Blackwellhall Lane
A William Blackwell was a local landowner in the 13th.
Blackwell Hall. The Hall fronts onto the Chess and is on the site of an important ancient manor. It is a half timber and plaster house originally 15th. It was based on a hall with a solar at one end and another room at the other.  Later an upper floor was installed and plaster replaced by brick.
Blackwell Farm.  The farmhouse is a timber framed 15th hall and crosswing house. Barn from the 16th or 17th with a timber-frame. It is weatherboarded, on a brick plinth and has a central wagon door. The stables are now converted to housing.

British History. Buckinghamshire. Web site
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Chess Valley History Group. Web site

River Chess - Chesham Bois

River Chess

The Chess flows south eastwards

Post to the north Lower Bois
Post to the east Blackwell Hall

Blackwell Stubs
A small piece of ancient woodland managed by the Woodland Trust and in a steep-sided valley. It has old beech trees and there are wood banks along the southern boundary and near the railway are some old coppiced hornbeam trees on the wood bank.

Hollow Way Lane
The road is thought to be part of a prehistoric trade route
Cressbed Villas. Built 1901

Latimer Road
Sewage Works. Now run by Thames Water. The original Chesham sewage works is across the road and nearer the river however filter beds had been built to the north of the road by the 1920s.
Blackwell Hall Cottage. 18th house in flint rubble and red brick
Ivy House Farm.  The farm house is 16th or 17th and there are 17th and 18th barns, timber framed with weatherboarding, some with flint rubble dressing and with red brick. They form three sides of a yard with the house.

Woodside Avenue
Elangeni Primary School. "Elangeni" is a Zulu word for "Where the sun shines through". The school is in the site of a house was built for Frank and Sophie Colenso as a country retreat. Frank was the son of Bishop John Colenso, first Bishop of Natal. Frank was chief legal advisor to King Cetawayo in boundary disputes against the British. Eventually the house was sold and a school built there which was opened by that Thatcher woman.

Amersham News and Views. Web site
British Listed Buildings. Web suite
Elangeni School. Web site
Woodland Trust. Web site

Saturday, 26 October 2013

River Chess - Lower Bois

River Chess
The Chess flows south eastwards

Post to the south Chesham Bois

Bottom Lane

Bunns Lane

Latimer Road
Cannon Mill. This was a corn mill which was once been known as Canham Mill or Middle Mill and is said to have records from the 12th. It is also said to have been owned by the canons of Missenden Abbey. Last worked in 1937 and demolished around 1960
Watercress beds – these were found all down the Chess and some relics remain. A railway ran at the back of Weir House.
Weirhouse Mill. 18th building restored and enlarged with Painted weatherboarding and brick. A wing over the river was demolished. This was a corn mill and in the 18th used as a paper mill – ornamental writing paper made here by Bancks was shown at the Great Exhibition in 1851. It reverted to corn in 1858 and ended work in the 1940s.
Mill House to Weirhouse Mill. 18th building in whitewashed brick
Hardware warehouse and industrial buildings. Pow Wow water cooler plant. This was Pow Wow Water Co’s bottling warehouse with offices and laboratory, previously Holywell Spring. Pow Wow was part of Hutchison Whampoa and then sold to Nestle.  There was also a trout farm here using what is also known as Pow Wow lake
Weir Lodge.  House alongside the river with bridges, ponds and planted banks- there are also wood carvings and sculptures. Mature trees, including beeches in a paddock, where sheep are kept.
Milk Hall. Milk Hall farm was on land left to the parish by John Gawdry in 1670 for the benefit of 12 poor widows.  Milk Hall Barns are now converted to housing.
Sewage Works. The original site, by the river was built by Chesham Council in 1887

Pump Lane
Hill Farm

British Listed Buildings. Web site
Buckinghamshire County Council. Web site.
Chesham Council. Web site
History Reality. Web site
National Archives. Web site
Tutorgigpedia. Web site

Friday, 25 October 2013

River Gade - Croxley Green

River Gade
The Gade flows south westwards
TQ 08784 95869

A once industrial area along the canal with sites now being taken for housing.

Post to the north Rousebarn
Post to the west Croxley

Baldwin’s Lane
Named for the Baldwin family who were 16th land holders in the area.

Beechcroft Avenue
Part of a 1930s development on Caius College land.

Beggars Bush Lane
The lane once provided access from the east to Croxley Mills.
Cassio Wharf.  Residential narrow boats are moored on the canal. The wharf dates from the early 1830s and was used for the transhipment of bricks and general cargoes.

Blackmoor Lane
Office and trading area parallel with the south side of the canal.

New housing on the site of the Croxley Mills.
Croxley Mills. Built by John Dickinson in 1826 purchasing the site from Caius College Cambridge which needed a private act of Parliament.  A mill head was built to the Gade at Cassio Bridge and a mill tail to join the canal below the mills. The mill was given an ‘Egyptian front’ to meet objections from Lord Ebury. Work at the mill began in 1829 and in 1835 it was producing 14 tons of paper a week. It was the first paper mill in the world to take in raw material at one end, and send it out ready for sale at the other.  The mill later had its own gas works.  By 1894 it had eight Foudrinier machines plus much other equipment including a new triple expansion engine and a dynamo house.  In the 1920s a new storage building and offices was built and by the time of the mill’s centenary in 1929 the works was all electric with machinery to produce 100 tons of paper a week. ‘Croxley’ was the brand name for writing paper as well as Three Candles manuscript paper, and Basildon Bond paper and much else. The mill closed in 1980 following company takeovers and losing jobs for 900 people. ‘Croxley’ remains a brand name for the Sappi group
Rail sidings. The mills were linked to Watford by the rail sidings in 1899 and had their own locomotive.  In the 1920s the line went directly into the warehouse area.  The line entered the site from the south east along the line of what is now Ebury Way.
Woodland covering the area of a large sheet of water south of the mill

Claremont Crescent
Part of a 1930s development on the Parrots Farm Estate.  It was completed after the Second World War.

Common Moor
Site of Special Scientific Interest, it stretches to the south east of this area. There was a miniature rifle range on this part of it.

Croxley Business Park
Developed in the 1980s on part of the site of Croxley Mills
Sun Ink Factory. This was separate from the Sun Print Works but supplied ink to them.

Dorrofield Close
Named after a local family, some of whom grew watercress in this area

Ebury Way
Foot and cycle path on the line of the old railway between Watford Junction and Rickmansworth

Grand Union Canal
Cassio Bridge
Cassio Bridge Bridge
Beggars Bridge Footbridge. This footbridge over the canal was on the line of the closed railway from Watford West
Common Moor Lock. Coal was delivered here by barge to Croxley Mills and a stock pile of coal was kept to be delivered to the mill by a conveyor belt which ran continually
Croxley Green Bridge

Hatters Lane
Private road built to serve Croxley Business Park

Malvern Way
Malvern Way Junior and Nursery School. This was built in  1949, designed by David Mett and replaced a temporary school set up in a local church for evacuee children in the Second World War.

This road and the estate round it was built in the 1970s by Huntingate Homes on the site of the LMS goods yard; which had later been the site of the Lynwood Joinery Works.  The housing courtyards were named after squares in the west end of London.

Nuttfield Close
On the site of Nuttfield House. This was built in 1891 for the Manager of Croxley Mills.  It was sold in the 1930s as development land to Croxley Estates.

Watford Road
This was a turnpike road between Hatfield and Reading
Cassio Bridge
Croxley Green Station. This was the terminal station of a branch off of the London Midland and Scottish railway from Watford Junction to Rickmansworth by 1912 and never extended. It was burnt down, perhaps by suffragettes in 1913. There was an electric service from 1922.  The platform was of wood and high on an embankment over the canal. There was a brick street level building on the area which is now the roundabout and a covered staircase between the two.  Rolling stock on the line was eventually tube line stock serving Broad Street and Euston. The station was first closed illegally in 1963 but services revived with the opening of Watford Stadium station to the east on the line. By the 1980s the platform was too dangerous to use and was demolished in 1989. A new stairway to the platform was demolished but has now gone and the temporary platform was also removed. In 1996 the station was closed to allow for the building of Ascott Road and a bus service replaced it.  The line has never reopened but the there are plans to include it in a new line linking it to the Metropolitan Line currently going to Watford station.  There are some remains – in particular the Network South East sign on the roundabout indicating a station now hidden in the undergrowth.
Goods Yard. Opened in 1912 with two sidings but there were later extensions and buildings. Closed in 1966 but one private siding remained open for longer.
TS Renown. Rickmansworth and Watford Sea Scouts
Halfway House. This pub predated the canal and was on the south side of Watford Road. It was eventually used as a local depot and wharf by Benskins Brewery and was demolished for road widening in the 1950s.
Harvester pub. The real name of this pub was Two Bridges. It dates from 1956s and is on the site of two cottages purchased by Benskins in order to transfer the licence from the Halfway House. It was designed by R.G.Muir.
British Legion.
Croxley Green Scout Hut

Woodshots Meadow
Trading and industrial area.

Croxley Green. Wikipedia Web site.
Croxley Green Parish Council. We site
Croxley Green Station. Wikipedia Web site
Disused stations. Web site
Evans. The Endless Web
Greenman. Croxley Green through its Street Names
Hertfordshire County Council. Web site
Malvern Way School. Web site
Rickmansworth and Watford Sea Scout. Web site
Roots Web. Web site.
St.Oswald Church. Web site
Three Rivers Council. Web site
West Watford History Group. Web site.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

River Gade. Rousebarn

River Gade
The Gade flows southwards

Post to the north Jacotts
Post to the east Rickmansworth Road
Post to the south Croxley Green

Lodge End
Cassiobridge House. The house was demolished before in 1965. There has been a house here since the 18th with orchards, greenhouses and a poultry farm. In 1939 it was sold to Associated Film Distributors as their headquarters and was demolished when they left.

Grand Junction Canal
This section was part of the Grand Junction Canal, built to link the Oxford Canal at Braunston with the Thames at Brentford.
Rousebarn Lane Lock
Cassiobury Lock
Viaduct across the Gade and Grand Junction Canal for the Metropolitan Railway. The viaduct was built in 1912 by the London & North Western Railway. Train services were withdrawn in 1996 and the track is now cut back
Bridgewater Boats Marina..

Rousebarn Lane
This is named after a 16th local farmer
West Herts Golf Club on a part of the Cassiobury estate. The clubhouse dates from 1911 and has recently been refurbished.
Rousebarn Farm
Gade Bank – just 16 houses

Canalplan. Web site.
Greenman. Croxley Green through its street names
Three Rivers Council. Web site.
West Herts. Golf Club. Web site

River Gade - Rickmansworth Road

River Gade
The Gade flows southwards while looping east and west

Post to the north Cassiobury Park
Post to the west Rousebarn

Cassiobury Park
In 1908 Watford Urban District Council bought 50 acres of the grounds of Cassiobury House for £16,000 and a further 25 acres in 1913 for £7,000.
Bowls – This is leased to the Watford Bowls Club
Tea Pavilion. This was upgraded in 2003, and is leased to Cha Cha Cha Ltd. It is thought that it was built in the 1920s although it may have also been a day nursery. It was partly rebuilt in 2001 following a fire.
Tennis. The courts and a building are used by a Tennis Club
Watercress Beds. These ceased operation in the 1970s
Croquet Lawn. The lawn and a building are used by a Croquet Club
Bandstand. In the 1970s this was moved to outside the town hall.
Nature Reserve alongside the Gade and stretching south of the Cassiobury Park Avenue. The nature reserve is made up of parkland, scrubland, grassland, swamp and water-cress beds. There are muntjac and foxes as well as birds and bats.

Cassiobury Park Avenue
Watford Station. The station was opened in 1925 and is the terminus of the Metropolitan Line from Croxley. It was built by the Metropolitan Railway and London North East Railway Joint as a branch terminus. It was designed by the Met's architect, Charles W Clark in red brick in an Arts and Crafts style, in keeping with Metroland. The intention was for the railway to continue to Watford High Street with a tunnel under Cassiobury Park. There was opposition to the scheme which fell through and the station remains the terminus of the line, and is about a mile from the town centre. It is known locally as "Watford Met". Internally the station is largely unaltered and remains with period tiling and paneling.  The station has never been busy and for years, the Metropolitan Railway operated a bus service from the High Street but patronage remained low.
Sidings, goods and engine shed were south east of the line. Closed 1966. Housing now on site.

Fullerian Crescent
New houses in a gated estate on part of Watford Grammar School for Boys playing field. The name refers to the school’s founder, Elizabeth Fuller.  They are built in a crescent around the site of a swimming bath.

Gade Avenue
Car Park for Cassiobury Park
Railway Bridge

King George’s Avenue
Astra Chemicals. 1950

Linden Avenue
Development on the station goods yard

Manhattan Avenue
Development on the station goods yard

Metropolitan Station Approach
Blue Box storage company in older factory buildings,

Observer Drive
Housing. This is named for the Watford Observer whose printing works moved here in 1961 joined by the editorial and advertising departments in 1973. It left in 2002.

Rickmansworth Road

Watford Grammar School for Boys originated in Watford Free School founded in 1704 by Mrs. Elizabeth Fuller. In the 1880s this changed to an endowed school with the support of the Brewers Company. In 1912 with assistance from the County Council the school purchased part of Cassiobury Park facing Rickmansworth Road to build a new school. In 1944, the schools fully entered the maintained sector as voluntary controlled grammar schools and became purely secondary schools. They became comprehensive in 1975, and continued to expand.  There is a long neo-Georgian main block and adjacent Master's House. It has a new gym and a new music block, 'The Clarendon Muse', which is partly owned by Hertfordshire School of Music;
Petrol station on site of Silverdale a laundry 1940
Saville Perfumery Ltd. Scent works 1940
193 Newboro Works. Button factory also Masterradio, and other firms on the site which is now Chestnut Close. Some original buildings remain.
94 Fleet Laboratories. Pharmaceutical firm. On site since before the Second World War
Cassio Quarter. new housing on the site of Croxley Green Fire and Ambulance Station

River Gade
Little Meadow Bridge
Watercress Bridge
Pooh Bridge
Crowfoot Bridge
Kingfisher Bridge
Little Kingfisher Bridge
Ford Bridge

Shepherds Lane
Cassiobury Park grounds maintenance depot and Shepherd’s Road entrance
Park Keepers Cottages

Sheraton Mews
Dates to 1981
67 Cassiobridge Lodge. Picturesque timbered lodge to Cassiobury Park built in the early 19th. It is entirely clad in small split logs set in patterns of squares and lozenges and applied in short vertical lengths to the bargeboards.

Swiss Avenue
Names for the Swiss Cottage, garden building. Swiss Cottage. This was in the south eastern section of Cassiobury Park, now a nature reserve. It was a wooden garden building which burned down in the 1940s

British Listed Buildings. Web site
Day. London Underground
Hertfordshire Churches,
Lasdun. Engish Gardens
London Transport Country Walks 1 and 3
London Wildlife. Web site
Walford. Village London
Watford Council. Web site
Watford Station. Wikipedia Web site

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

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

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

Thursday, 17 October 2013

River Gade Jacotts

River Gade
The Gade flows southwards

Post to the north Grove Mill
Post to the east Cassiobury
Post to the south Rousebarn

Grand Union Canal
Iron Bridge Lock Winding Hole
Iron Bridge Lock
Cassiobury Park Bridge. The canal lock was built 1796 – 1797 and this pedestrian bridge provides an historic route across it. It is in multicoloured brick, with stone coping. There are metal plaques numbering it  “167”.
Local Nature Reserve. This designation applies to the area between the Gade and the Canal

River Gade
Weir. The weir marks the site of a mill. This was a corn mill and probably on the site of one of four Domesday mills.   In the 19th it was ornamental and used to pump water to Cassiobury House. It was purchased by Watford Council in 1930 and was demolished because of decay in in 1956. The weir remains.

Watford Grammar School New Playing Fields
The field is shared with the Old Boys Association

West Herts Golf Course
The area covered by the course - which extends south and north of this square - was part of the parkland of the Cassiobury Estate and some features, paths, etc, can be found on estate management plans since the 17th.  It was known as High Park.  West Herts Golf Club was founded in 1890 and played at Bushy Hall. In 1897 they moved to Cassiobury and an area of High Park leased to them in 1911. This area was purchased by Watford Council in 1932. . In 1997, the club was granted a new fifty year lease.
Jacotts Hill – forms a high plateau in the golf course.

Whippendell Wood
This is ancient woodland owned by Watford Council  having been bought by them in 1935. It has been a Site of Special Scientific Interest since 1954. The name derives from the Anglo-Saxon for ‘Wippa's valley’.  It was once part of the Cassiobury Estate and includes an avenue of Lime trees dating to 1672 running diagonally.   The tree cover is mainly oak, beech, ash and silver birch and some non native trees some planted as specimens.   There are also bluebells and some rare fungi. There are many birds as well as bats, badgers and deer.  There are also a number of ‘dells’ or dips

Watford Council. Web site
Watford Grammar School. Web site
West Herts Golf Club. Web site.
Whippendell Wood. Wikipedia web site