We’d walked down the Grand Union canal towards Croxley and Rickmansworth a couple of times and fancied checking out the route north towards Kings Langley instead.
On a cold and bright winter morning we set off from Cassiobury Park, passing onto the left bank at the first lock.
The scenery here is more open (less tree cover) than the section between Watford marina and Cassiobury Park, with the Fullerians rugby pitch and WGS playing fields to the east and West Herts golf course to the west. The M25’s an ever-present hum in the background, but it’s generally a quiet and peaceful stretch.
15 minutes or so later you come to the bridge on Grove Mill Lane. This area of the ancient Cassio and Grove estates (on which the present Grove Hotel – rebuilt c.1720 – sits) has housed a water-powered corn mill since the late-13th century, though the existing structures are Victorian.
As well as the 3.5 storey mill (built in old London yellow stock bricks) other associated buildings survive, including various cottages and the beautiful Old Mill House.
A wheel and pump that used to pump water to the manor house from the canal can be found in the grounds of the golf course, lying in a bush near the mill.
The mill building itself was converted into residential accommodation in the 1970s, and the area around Grove Mill Lane is now a designated Conservation Area. There’s an excellent PDF with loads more about its history and character on the council website here.
We continued our walk crossing Hempstead Road and heading up into Nascot Wood, before passing Cheslyn Gardens and returning via Langley Road and Church Road into town. There’s some really interesting buildings here too – but that’s for another post!