Theobalds Square


Theobalds Square was a residential block constructed by George Prescott between 1765 and 1770, believed to be utilising materials from buildings at Theobalds Palace that had been destroyed in the Civil War. It comprised The Cedars, Old Palace House, Grove House, Jackson House, and Thornton's House. Each had a 'water garden'. A folly arch and two huts were also built as part of this project, although it is unknown if this includes re-purposed materials.


The Cedars

Extract from Cedars Park Forum:

One of our members (Alec) kindly gave permission to publish a photo of his uncle Bill and his aunty Kath who once lived in Cedars Lodge, the house now behind the cafe. Bill was our park keeper in the late 1950s, and unfortunately, was forced to retire after a brain operation left him paralysed down the left side. Also in the photo are their two dogs called Sam and Snow and a cat called Spiky.

The Cedars was built in Yellow London Brick and was the main house on the grounds at the time of the park's donation to the people of Cheshunt. It looked over a T-shaped pond that was designed to reflect the Flint Arch. The central structure of this house was destroyed in a fire in the early hours of 18/9/1913 and only the Conservatory (now the new Cafe and a private home) and Billiard Room (now Meeting Room and Toilets) remain. Click here to read a newspaper article from the day of the fire.


Old Palace House

Old Palace House was a gentlemen's villa completed in 1768. A Mr Frederick W Lane lived in the house, although it is unknown when. It stood derelict in Cedars Park for many years until it burnt down c. 1970. The cause of the fire has never been verified, however people have their own interpretations of what it was, whether an accident of some sort, arson by thugs, a fire set by the supposed ghosts that were living there, or a suspicious fire ignited by the local authority so as to free up space that the abandoned building was taking up in the park. Today, a single brick wall from the house stands in Cedars Park, protected by a metal fence. The house's well also stands in the park, however this has been filled in.

For photographs and recollections of Old Palace House, please see the "Cedars Park" and "Ghost Stories" pages at zenmischief.com.


Grove House

A block of flats in Churchgate, Cheshunt has been named after this building, and the name of the nearby Theobalds Grove train station may also be. Grove House burnt down in February 1912.

Jackson House

In the 19th century, this building became Jackson School. It was demolished in the early 20th century. Named after Reverend J Oswald Jackson.

Thornton's House

This house had been demolished by 1883, however little else is known about it. It is missing from some articles about Theobalds Square, so perhaps it was less significant than the other properties.