Cassiobury House

Home to the Earls of Essex

By Suzanne Nicholls

Cassiobury House
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
The Gardens looking towards the tennis courts
Suzanne Nicholls
Looking towards where Cassiobury House once stood
Suzanne Nicholls

Everyone in Watford knows Cassiobury  Park but few people alive today can remember Cassiobury House, home to the Earls of Essex, which was demolished in 1927.

The ghost of a building

I have visited the park countless times over the years and often half wondered where exactly Cassiobury House used to be. I never troubled to find out but recently a chance conversation with a lady researching the history of the park piqued my interest. Rather than just read a book on the subject I decided to see for myself with the use of Ordnance Survey maps. I traced part of an old map of 1878 showing the house and laid it over a modern map of 1961. The position of the mansion was revealed amongst the houses of what is now the Cassiobury estate. It felt slightly strange, like suddenly seeing the ghost of a building.

A house beyond the tennis courts

I often used to walk my dog past the tennis courts in a road called The Gardens on my way to Cassiobury Park, unaware that Cassiobury House once stood just beyond those tennis courts, between what is now Temple Close and Parkside Drive. Now in my mind’s eye I see all that area in a new way.

This page was added on 26/05/2009.

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  • Many thanks as this is exactly what I was searching for. The map an overlay map would be most interesting.

    By Parsons mp (24/03/2014)
  • More information on the history of Cassiobury is available at Watford Museum, including sales particulars for the house and estate.

    By Sarah Priestley (03/12/2010)
  • Very interested in seeing the map that you made to discover the location of the house myself. Any chance you might be able to email this?

    By Dave (06/11/2010)
  • There must have been a sale of items from the house before it was demolished. Some Grinling Gibbons carvings from there were bought by Sir Harold Wernher and are now in the Mansion House at Luton Hoo.

    By Zena Dickinson (01/06/2010)