Jellicoe Water Gardens restoration
We are restoring Hemel Hempstead’s much-loved Jellicoe Water Gardens to their former glory.
Work started in July 2015 following preparation work earlier in the spring. The project is being funded by a £2.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund, which we are topping up with an investment of more than £1 million. For more information, visit our restoration plans page.
Throughout the restoration, we are working closely with the Friends of Jellicoe Water Gardens, a group of local volunteers who act as custodians. Behind the scenes, the Friends are busy getting the local community involved. To find out more visit our Friends of Jellicoe Water Gardens page.
The Water Gardens’ restoration took an exciting step forward in September 2016 when we finished installing the last of seven new bridges. Each cast out of a single mould, the elegant arched bridges are replicas of the original ones designed by landscape architect Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe.
Flower garden and play area
The new bridges connect to the terrace in front of the flower garden, which has been widened to create more space for events and activities. We've also now installed elegant arches, which add structure to the Gardens and further interest to the colourful planting scheme, as well as support for new yew trees. Excitingly, work is now well under way on the new play area between the lime avenue and Water Gardens South car park. The verges have also now been turfed.
Each of the four balconies along Lovers’ Walk has been paved and new railings installed to replicate the originals. The new paving extends across the Lovers’ Walk footpath, recreating Jellicoe’s original design. To complete the balconies, the railings are being painted a shade of white, similar to that used in the 1960s. Three new benches will also be installed on each balcony. The timber and cast iron benches are the same design as chosen by Jellicoe.
Near to Combe Street, the new building for the Friends of the Water Gardens is taking shape. This will provide facilities for on-site maintenance staff, the Friends and other volunteers, and has been designed in a modernist style to reflect the New Town heritage of the Gardens. The building will feature sliding screens with a striking decorated motif.