The Garden Guide

Theobalds Park now Cedars Park

An important Elizabethan renaissance garden was made by William Cecil, Lord Burghley after 1575 with help from John Gerard. The Tudor Palace, where Charles I spent much time as a boy, was completely destroyed after his execution. Many fragments of garden wall from different dates survive. An archaeological report, funded by the Heritage Lottery was undertaken by Oxford Archaeology and published in 2008.
The sixteenth century garden comprised a Privy Garden and a Great Garden with fountains and knots (approx 1 hectare square). A fragment of an eighteenth century grotto survives and as part of the conservation work undertaken after 2011 a new maze was created. It was formed with gravel paths, mown grass and a hedge (materials which would not have been used for the original maze). The name "Theobalds Park" was taken on and used by a De Vere hotel.

Fragment of an eighteenth century grotto, with a 2011 re-created maze beyond

The 2011 maze in what was Theobalds Park

The red line, by Oxford Archaeology, shows the boundary of Theobalds Scheduled Ancient Monument

Martin Andrews' plan shows the probable Tudor layout of Theobalds Palace Garden

The Borough of Broxboourne's plan (by Nicholas Pearson, landscape architect) shows the new maze. It is, quite rightly, outside the area of the Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Cedars Park, Theobald's Lane, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, England, EN7 5HW

Visit the Theobalds Park now Cedars Park website

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