Water Features at Theobalds

The duck pond at Cedars has been a feature of the grounds since Theobalds Palace was here, however the Palace also had several other water features - in fact, it was famous for its elaborate garden waterworks and pools.

Most of Theobalds' gardens had some sort of water feature. We know just from the name that there was one in the Fountain Court. The most central section of the Great Garden contained a white marble fountain, with hidden pipes that would spray unwary passers-by.

There was also a miniature ship with cannons, flags and sails. A single wide canal, with fish in abundance, surrounded most of these gardens. A visitor once described an ornamental pond with two wooden water-mills as 'delightful and most beautifully made'.

During the 18th century, several large houses were built on the site of Theobalds Palace, each with its own water garden. The Cedars looked out over a T-shaped pond, designed to reflect the Flint Arch. The pond was filled in when the gardens became Cedars Park, but is now a sunken swamp which collects water after heavy rain. A small well from Old Palace House remains near the car park.

There was also a boating pond in the northwestern corner of today's Park area, but this was filled in sometime between 1898 and the early 1960s.

Today, the Cedars Park pond features a modest water feature in the centre, made from a plastic container. Birds can often be seen enjoying a massage by the falling water.