Cassiobury

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This article is about the suburb of Watford. For the public park, see Cassiobury Park. For the stately home that formerly stood in this area, see Cassiobury House.
Cassiobury
Wide, leafy suburban road with 1930s detached houses
Cassiobury Drive
Cassiobury is located in Hertfordshire
Cassiobury
Cassiobury
Cassiobury shown within Hertfordshire
Population 14,031 
OS grid reference TQ106969
District
Shire county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town WATFORD
Postcode district WD17 WD18
Dialling code 01923
Police Hertfordshire
Fire Hertfordshire
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament
List of places
UK
England
HertfordshireCoordinates: 51°39′36″N 0°24′04″W / 51.66°N 0.401°W / 51.66; -0.401

The Cassiobury Estate is a suburban residential area of Watford in Hertfordshire, England. It is bounded to the south by Cassiobury Park, the main public park in the town, to the west by playing fields next to the River Gade, and to the northeast by Hempstead Road. It is mostly characterised by 1930s Mock Tudor houses.

To the northwest of Cassiobury, outside the Borough of Watford in the Three Rivers District, is The Grove, the former estate and house of the Earls of Clarendon. This has been converted into a luxury hotel and with extensive grounds.

The area is currently served by a London Underground station, Watford tube station, the terminus of the Metropolitan line's Watford branch. This station is due to close in 2016 when the line is diverted to terminate at Watford Junction as part of the Croxley Rail Link project; after this, the Cassiobury will be served by the new Cassiobridge tube station instead, approximately 870 metres (0.54 mi) south of the current station.[1]

History[edit]

The suburban streets of Cassiobury were laid out in the early 1930s on land that was formerly part of the estate of Cassiobury House, the ancestral seat of the Earls of Essex. The house, which originally dated from the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, contained lavishly decorated interiors and a substantial art collection and was surrounded by landscaped park land. Parts of the Cassiobury estate were sold for development land in 1908, and following the death of the 7th Earl of Essex in 1916, the family put the rest of estate up for sale in order to pay for death duties. Unable to find a buyer for the house, they had Cassiobury House demolished in 1927 and the estate was partly sold to Watford Borough Council to be used as a public park, with the remaining land sold to developers such as William King & Co and Charles Brightman for housing development.

With the extension of the Metropolitan Railway to Watford in 1926, residential development around the new Watford tube station grew rapidly as the homes of Metro-land were constructed over the site of the former Essex mansion, and Humphry Repton's landscaped vistas gave way to suburban lawns.[2] The area of land once occupied by Cassiobury House is now where Temple Close sits, close to the Cassiobury Tennis Club.[3]

Although the Essex mansion house no longer exists, traces of the area's noble past remain; the Cassiobury House stable block (built c.1805-15) still stands on Richmond Drive; now called Cassiobury Court, the buildings have been Grade II listed[4] and are now used as a drug rehabilitation centre.[5] Several residential street names recall former Earls of Essex; Conningesby Drive, Devereux Drive, De Vere Walk and Capelvere Walk all bear names of former Lords of Cassiobury House.

The Cassiobury Estate past & present
water colour of Cassiobury House
Old Cassiobury House
Cassiobury Park is now much smaller, suburban streets now cover the area where Cassiobury House once stood.
Modern map of Watford showing the site of Cassiobury House, now covered by suburban homes

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Croxley Rail Link". Transport for London. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  2. ^ Spring, edited by Deborah (2012). Hertfordshire garden history. Hatfield: Hertfordshire Publications. ISBN 9781907396861. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  3. ^ Rabbitts, Paul; Priestley, Sarah (2014). Cassiobury: The Ancient Seat of the Earls (Google eBook). Amberley Publishing Limited. ISBN 9781445638805. Retrieved 31 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "Cassiobury Court, Watford". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 2 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "Cassiobury Court". NHS. Retrieved 2 November 2014.