Open all year
Recently restored gardens in Hemel Hempstead with 4 points of interest
Site of historical interest
The original views Jellicoe created have been revealed throughout the Gardens. Along the water's edge on Waterhouse Street the grassy underbelly of Jellicoe’s serpent has been restored. At the lake, two islands have been removed to reveal Jellicoe's long views, and new platforms added for model boating. Later additions in the flower garden, such as the Discobolus (discus thrower) statue and conifer planting, have been removed to reconnect the flower garden with Bank Court and the school fields to the west.
Between the flower garden and Water Gardens (South) car park there's a new play area to discover. This is an exciting facility, specially designed for the Gardens with play features based on Jellicoe’s serpent theme. Next to the play area, the lime avenue has been restored and linked to the terrace. Here, visitors will soon be able to enjoy a drink from a coffee kiosk, with tables and chairs overlooking the play area and flower displays
The flower garden opposite Bank Court is a space everyone can enjoy, with colourful planting inspired by Susan Jellicoe’s original scheme, new benches following the design chosen by Geoffrey Jellicoe, and a widened terrace with space for events and seating for school groups.
The much-loved Jellicoe Water Gardens have now been restored 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 has been topped up with an investment of more than £1 million by Dacorum Borough Council. For more information, visit the council's restoration plans page.
Throughout the restoration, the council has worked closely with the Friends of Jellicoe Water Gardens, a group of local volunteers who act as custodians. They have been instrumental in securing community involvement in the project. To find out more visit the Friends of Jellicoe Water Gardens page.
Improvements have included:
New bridges - The Water Gardens’ restoration took an exciting step forward in September 2016 when the last of seven new bridges was installed. 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.
Balconies - 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.
Friends' Building - 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.
The gardens are located next to the Water Garden's Car Park. Directions here.
Further information on the car park is available on Dacorum Borough Council's website here
Close to Hemel Hempstead town centre.