Saturday, 1 June 2013

River Colne - Wall Hall

River Colne
The Colne flows south westwards

Post to the north Munden Estate
Post to the west Meriden Estate

Broadfield Way
Stables to Wall Hall. This has a weather boarded clock tower and has now been converted to posh housing.

Crab Lane
Well Head. This is 17th or earlier, and was put here for J.P.Morgan in the 20th. It is probably Spanish and is a stone hollow bowl with relief carvings on the outside. There are 6 arches on twisted columns
with scenes of animals


Pelham Lane
Wall Hall Home Farm, with a brick-built, two-storey farmhouse, and former farmyard.
Granary. Built about 1800 with a timber frame and weather boarded.  It stands on 28 steddle stones.

Wall Hall Drive
The whole place was turned into a ‘virtual hamlet’ by Octagon from 2004, and it the area is infilled with posh private housing
This was originally a medieval farm which by the 18th had become a house called Wars Hall, owned by Thomas Neate. In 1799 it was sold to George ThellusonFrom an 18th core the house was greatly enlarged in 1802 for him. The resulting building is brick with cement render and 'picturesque gothic' - all crenulations and turrets. It was renamed as Aldenham Abbey by the next owner, Admiral Pole, who also added some of the follies... The house was later extended in 1830 for W.Stuart and in the early 20th for J.P.Morgan and then purchased by the local authority in 1942. During the Second World War it became the residence of the U.S. Ambassador, Joseph Kennedy. In 1945 it became the first Emergency Training College for Women Teachers and then Wall Hall Teachers Training College. After the amalgamation with Balls Park and the closure of Hockerill College it became Hertfordshire College of Higher Education. Buildings were added by the R.L.Pyne for the County Architect's Department including a library in 1970 by A. J. Janes which linked to the house by the front of a gothic conservatory. Eventually it became the School of Education and Humanities of Hatfield Polytechnic, later University of Hertfordshire. In 2003 the University vacated the site completely.
Grounds. In 1801 the Aldenham enclosure act was passed, and Thelluson closed several roads and built new ones. In 1802 Humphrey Repton made suggestions for improving the landscape. The open north lawn was flanked by mature trees, including cedars of Lebanon. The north edge marked by a line of stones and beyond slope to an artificial cut of the Colne broadened to form a lake where there was later a boathouse.
A university building, now private housing, south-east of the Hall divides the east lawn
Italian Garden built east of the east lawn and enclosed by clipped yew hedges. A brick and timber loggia was at the centre of the south side. At the centre of the garden is a pond,. J P Morgan created the Italian Garden, in the early 20th
The park, 20th university accommodation is bounded by a belt of woodland. Part is used as a golf course. The site of a former sunk boundary fence was visible as a ditch.
Kitchen garden - this area was lies occupied by university buildings but Sections of the 18th brick boundary wall survive plus a lean-to glasshouse against a further stretch of wall.
Orchard which retained some orchard trees but largely used for sports pitches. This was once called Garden Field
Sham Ruin. This dates from 1800 and was built for Thelluson. It is in brick and cement rendered. The traceried window has mouldings taken from the Church of St. John the Baptist
Folly. Built 1800 for Thelluson. It is brick and cement rendered. It is a tall wall with a pointed arch gateway and a large turret
Open Air Theatre. This was built in the 20th in what had been a substantial chalk pit was incorporated in the pleasure grounds. The quarry rim was planted with yew and the edges planted with mature trees, including yews, with the theatre at the bottom. This seems know to be disused.
Icehouse built ahout.1800 in brick which was covered with earth to form a mound. There are the remains of an iron crane at the entrance.

Sources
British Listed Buildings. Web site.
English Heritage. Web site
Meulenkamp and Wheatley. Follies
Middlesex County Council. History of Middlesex,
Parks and Gardens. Web site
Whitelaw. Hidden Hertfordshire

1 comment:

Gail Davis said...

I was a student at the college between 1970 and 1973. I remember the library being built. I have visited Wall Hall since it became a housing estate. I was able to view a posh apartment in the Mansion. The open air theatre was overgrown and seemed inaccessible. I wonder if it has been cleared now! I don't know if the mock ruins and the Dairy are still there. It was strange to see the new houses and roads and the residents' wheely bins! I'm sad that the college has gone, but it must be a beautiful place to live, like living in a big park! Gail Davis