Amwell Grove and Amwell Pool 95

Hertford, England, Hertfordshire, East Hertfordshire

Brief Description

Amwell Grove is a late 18th- to early 19th-century Picturesque landscape occupying about 3 hectares. The site is now in divided use and ownership. The centre for the late 18th-century landscaping was Amwell Grove and the adjacent complex of church, river, riverbanks and island. These areas, though subsequently divided, remain in landscape terms parts of a unified scheme.

History

In 1794-7 Robert Mylne (1733-1811) designed and built Amwell Grove as a retirement residence, overlooking the New River, landscaping much of the surrounding ground.

Detailed Description

The following is from the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. For the most up-to-date Register entry, please visit the The National Heritage List for England (NHLE):

www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/

A late 18th- and early 19th-century picturesque landscape connected with a late 18th-century country house.

LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING

Amwell Grove and Pool lie in the village of Great Amwell, 2 kilometres south-east of Ware and 4 kilometres east of Hertford. The roughly 2.5 hectare site is divided into west and east halves by Cautherly Lane which links the northern, lower, and southern, upper sections of the village.

The eastern half, in which lies the Pool and its surrounding landscaping, is bounded to the south by the parish churchyard of St John the Baptist (largely 11th and 15th century, listed grade II*), from which it is divided by St John's Lane. Within the churchyard, which contains many mature trees, 8 metres east of the chancel, stands the Mylne mausoleum, outside the area here registered (Robert Mylne 1800, listed grade II). This plain, rectangular, brick building has a pedimented stone roof surmounted by a large, square stone pedestal with a fluted urn on top. Several stone memorial plaques to the Mylne family are fixed to the exterior walls. The mausoleum may have been designed to overlook the New River below, although this view is now largely obscured by the churchyard trees and trees growing on the bank below.

The north boundary of the east section of the site is bounded by Amwell Lane which runs along the north bank of the New River and Pool.

The east and west sections are divided by the 20th-century brick bridge carrying Cautherly Lane. The western section of the site, in which stands the Grove and its immediate gardens, is bounded to the north by the New River, to the west by the remains of an open meadow which has been partially taken into the gardens of 20th-century houses, to the south by a public footpath, and to the east by Cautherly Lane. The east boundary adjacent to the Lane is marked along the southern half by a steep bank, above which lies the garden.

The site is set within the village of Great Amwell, with several other associated Mylne structures standing in the village (outside the area here registered), including Flint House (William Mylne 1842-4, listed grade II) and the nearby Cottage (early 19th century, listed grade II), the grounds of both having been landscaped by William Mylne and containing various structures erected by him. A stone pedestal with a ball finial (1769, re-erected mid-19th century, listed grade II) also stands in the garden of Flint House, formerly part of London's Blackfriars Bridge designed by Robert Mylne in 1759.

REFERENCES Used by English Heritage

Country Life, 116 (30 September 1954), p 1080

H Colvin, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 (3rd edition 1995), pp 679-86

Maps

Dury and Andrews, A topographical Map of Hartford-shire, 1766

Amwell Great Pool, 1797 (66856), (Hertfordshire Record Office)

A Bryant, The County of Hertford, 1822

Tithe map for Great Amwell parish, 1839 (Hertfordshire Record Office)

OS 6" to 1 mile: 2nd edition published 1899; 3rd edition 1925

OS 25" to 1 mile: 2nd edition published 1898

Description written: September 1999

Edited: October 2000

Features

Style

  • Picturesque
  • House (featured building)
  • Description: The Grove was built between 1794 and 1797, but was replaced by Flint House (1842-2), which was built some distance away from The Grove.
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  • Lake
  • Description: A stretch of the New River was enlarged to become the small lake Amwell Pool.
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  • Urn
  • Description: There is a memorial to Sir Hugh Myddleton, who built the New River system. This is a large Coade stone urn on an inscribed pedestal on the larger island in the Pool.
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Access & Directions

Directions

East of Hertford
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Great Amwell
History

Detailed History

The following is from the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. For the most up-to-date Register entry, please visit the The National Heritage List for England (NHLE):

www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/

HISTORIC DEVELOPMENT

In 1794-7 Robert Mylne (1733(1811), an architect and civil engineer, and Chief Engineer to the New River Company since 1767, designed and built Amwell Grove as a retirement residence, overlooking the New River, landscaping much of the surrounding ground. Each summer until the Grove was ready for occupation, Mylne rented Rose Cottage below the stretch of the New River which was at that time being enlarged to become the small lake Amwell Pool (Country Life 1954).

To commemorate the achievement of Sir Hugh Myddleton, who built the New River system, 1609-13, as an aqueduct to provide part of the London water supply, Robert Mylne set up monuments close to Amwell Grove, and other garden buildings or monuments to commemorate his own family. This late 18th-century landscaping was centred on the Grove, and encompassed the adjacent complex of church, river, river banks, spring and island. Mylne landscaped the surroundings of the Pool and the river, planting the steep slope between the church and the Pool, and in 1800 erected as a memorial to Myddleton a large Coade stone urn on an inscribed pedestal on the larger island in the Pool. An inscribed stone was set up on the smaller island around 1818, and later another stone was set up to the north of the Pool beside Emma's Well, one of two springs (together with the Chadwell Spring near Ware) from which Sir Hugh Myddleton had originally obtained the water supply.

A map of 1797 shows Mylne's work on enlarging and landscaping the Pool in progress, with the larger island present but the smaller one not yet carved out of the river bank. Amwell Mount, labelled the New House, is depicted on the south bank above the Pool, a small rectangular building with curved end walls, within its own landscaped grounds overlooking the Pool below. The Grove is also shown enclosing a service yard.

In 1811 William Chadwell Mylne (1781(1863), also an architect and engineer, succeeded his father as Engineer to the New River Company. William built for himself Flint House (1842-4), at some distance from the Grove, to take the place of his father's house, the Grove, whose riverside situation he regarded as unhealthy (Colvin 1995). In the garden of Flint House a column from Blackfriars Bridge was erected (the bridge having been designed by Robert Mylne 1759, erected by 1769 and replaced in 1868) and a plaque in the porch of the house records that he laid out and himself planted this garden. W C Mylne held his post with the New River Company for fifty years, retiring only two years before his death, when his son Robert William Mylne (1817-90) took over Flint House.

Period

  • Late 18th Century
Associated People

People associated to Amwell Grove and Amwell Pool

Contact
References

References