Large Houses in Aldenham

Aldenham House


Aldenham House
Photo by Downer, Watford, circa 1904

Aldenham House, formerly called "Wigbournes," the seat of Lord Aldenham, is a spacious mansion of red brick, erected about the end of the 17th century, and standing in a park of about 200 acres; to the right of the house is a lofty clock tower with vane. [Kelly's Directory, 1912]

There is a detailed description of the house in Pevsner's  Hertfordshire.


Aldenham House is now the home of the Haberdashers' Aske School.

The Bridge, Aldenham House, Herts
Photo by Shurey Publications & posted 1910

Tykeswater runs from Aldenham Reservoir, which is said to have been built by French POWs in the Napoleonic Wars. It runs towards Radlett through the grounds of Aldenham House, where the Lord Aldenham of the time created Tykeswater Lakes with a very fine, and ornate, bridge on his drive to the Lodge at Alum Lane. All of the gardens were rated as high as Kew Gardens until the rare shrubs and trees were sold by auction on the death of Vicary Gibbs (Lord Aldenham) in 1932. The BBC took over the estate in 1941 and the gardens were allowed to go wild - but there is still evidence of the original design (see Don Wratten's book for this story). For us the lakes and the bridge are a beautiful relic of the past. [Aldenham Parish Council Guide, 2000] 

Amateur Gardeners at Aldenham. The far-famed gardens and grounds attached to Aldenham House, the residence Lord Aldenham and of the Member of Parliament for the Mid Herts Division, the Hon. Vicary Gibbs, was visited on Saturday by the members of the New Barnet Amateur Gardeners’ Society. ... ... ...  Aldenham House itself, Mr. Gibbs informed the writer, dates from the time of James II. It has, of course. been enlarged from time to time It has a Queen Anno front. The original Aldenham House, which stood the grounds of what are now called the water gardens, and where the ancient moats are preserved and effectually used in the laying out of the Grounds, was pulled down in the time of Henry VIII. About ten years ago, Mr. Gibbs set himself to the task of laying out the most recent additions the grounds. The highway was diverted —an improvement of even greater advantage to the public (cutting off a steep hill) than to the park. The rough horse paddock came under professional treatment, and a wonderful transformation has been made, all according to the plans, and under the personal supervision, of the Hon. Vicarv Gibbs himself, ably assisted and seconded by Mr. Beckett. Indeed. for 25 years, Mr. Gibbs has made this his personal hobby, and wherever he has gone he has been the look out for some rare tree shrub, or some novel design in laying out grounds. Aldenham House, moreover, situated amidst the most pleasant surroundings, and from the front terrace you see peeping through the trees on one hand the spire the Brewers' Public school, and in the opposite direction the spire of Elstree Church. ... ... ...

Herts Advertiser 10 June, 1899



North-West Gates

Aldenham House

No publisher

No 10

January 2009   Page updated
July 2017   PC of gates and news article about the grounds
August 2017   Page Checked - New and bigger post card images