The Landscape Guide

Hemel Hempsted New Town

Visitors to London can make an excursions, by train or car, to Hemel Hempsted and Harlow New Towns. The Master Plan and the Water Gardens were designed by Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe. For the Master Plan, the principle was to use the river valleys as linear parks and to conceal the housing, behind tree belts, areas on the hilltops. A similar arrangement was later used by Ian McHarg in his famous Plan for the Valleys. The Water Garden was one of Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe's favour projects. It is a delightful space. A canal with delicate bridges carries visitors from the town car parks to the shopping centre.The canalside walk has balconies projecting over the water. Underlying the design is the form of a serpent with a howdah strapped to its back. This was one of the early projects to be influenced by Paul Klee and by Jellicoe's views on the role of the subconscious in landscape design.

Access by train from Euston Station (approx 25 mins).

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