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A Large Mansion in Watford, demolished in 1927

A collection of prints of the House and Park

see also
20th Century Postcard Views

Cashiobury in Hertfordshire
Engraving by Johannes Kip after Leonard Koyff
From James Beeverell's Les dlices de la Grande Bretagne, c1707

Detail of above

CASSIOBURY, stands in a park on the N.W. side of the town. It incorporates part of the building begun by Sir Charles Morrison c. 1545, and completed by his son Charles, who succeeded him, in 1556. The first Earl of Essex employed Hugh May to rebuild the house, with the exception of the W. wing, in the 17th century. May's building was pulled down c. 1800, and the present house was built by James Wyatt, who re-used much of the old material and possibly some of the old walls. The house is built round a courtyard, and is entered from the N.W. This front and the inner walls of the courtyard appear to be the oldest parts, though none of the walls can be definitely dated. Some of the outbuildings on the W. of the house, and the wall connecting them, may be of the same date as the front. Interior: the Cloister, on the S.W. side of the courtyard, has five traceried windows containing glass with heraldic shields, and some 17th-century fragments of strapwork designs, panels o Biblical subjects, etc.: in a window at the N.W. end is some 16th-century glass representing the Virgin and Child and St. Anne. The main staircase at the S.E. end o this cloister is said to be the work of Grinling Gibbons. It has elaborate square newels, with carved heads, a massive carved and moulded handrail, and a richly carved balustrade. In the Small Dining Room is a small piece of Jacobean panelling. Most of the principal rooms contain woodwork, which may be of late 17th-century date, including panelling, with large carved festoons of fruit and foliage, cornices carved with acanthus leaves, etc. In the floor of the porch are two brasses of c. 1510, one of a man and the other o a woman. [From the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Hertfordshire, 1910]

Cashiobury Park in Hertfordshire, the Seat of the Earl of Essex.
From A new display of the beauties of England or a description of the most elegant or magnificent public edifices, royal palaces, noblemen's and gentlemen's seats, and other curiosities, ... in different parts of the kingdom. Adorned with a variety of copper-plate cuts ... 1773-4

A few of the marvellous engravings from Britton's Cassiobury

Cashiobury, the Seat of the Earl of Essex
From J Hassell's Picturesque rides and walks, with excursions by water, thirty miles round the British metropolis; illustrated in a series of engravings, coloured after nature, with an historical and topographical description of the country with the compass of that circle. 1817-18.


Jones' views of the seats, mansions, castles, &c  1829


Russell's Cottage, Cashiobury
From Britton's Cashiobury - printed in Gentlemen's Magazine, March 1838


Watford Horticultural & Floricultural Show, Cassiobury Park
Illustrated London News, 1855

A chromo-lithographed coloured print by Fawcett, from book - The County Seats of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland

At the time of the 1881 census the family were absent and the resident domestic staff were Charles Beer (butler), Maria Newman (laundry maid), Eliza Calvert (housemaid), Mary Hutchings (laundry maid), Mary Ann Wren (stillroom maid), Elizabeth (housemaid). Other staff, with their families, were living on the estate. For instance Joseph Hunt (under butler) was in Swiss Cottage.

The Library, Cassiobury House (from Hertfordshire County Homes)

A Glimpse of Cassiobury House (from Hertfordshire County Homes)

Further Information

See Cassiobury & Cassiobury Park in Old Postcards for early 20th century views.

Book: Britton's Cassiobury - a truly monumental work with fine engravings

Book: A Fair & Large Park: Cassiobury Park: 1546-1927 - for a detailed account of its history.

Book: A Victorian Teenager's Diary: The Diary of Lady Adela Capel of Cassiobury

Watford Museum has a room containing  portraits and painting relating to Cassiobury.

For information on the ancient clock that used to be at Cassiobury see WADIHS Journal 1973

If you know of other books, websites, etc, relating to this place, please tell me.

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August 2010   Picture from Jones' Views