Waterend House and Area (built in 1610) (35.html)

Location (Lat. Long.): 51°48'37" N 0°15'18" W
Historic England List Entry # 1103637

[The Webmaster, David KC COLE, writes:] My grandfather, Charles (Charley) Percy COLE (1884-1966), was born and raised at Waterend House in England. (More information and pictures are presented later in this article.) His father, James William COLE (1851-1923), rented WaterEnd farm from the Brocket Estate. At that time, the Brocket Estate was owned by the 7th Earl of Cowper (1834-1905), the great-grandson of William Willoughby Cole (1736-1803). The relationship (if any exists) between James COLE and the wealthy William Willoughby COLE is unknown. Charley always claimed that his ancestors included a Lord Mayor of London. In his book, Coles of Devon (Source 7, publ. 1867) James Edwin-Cole includes William Willoughby Cole and identifies numerous Lord Mayors of London in his family tree.

The ancient church, St Helens in Wheathampstead, 1.5 miles West of WaterEnd House, includes the graves of various persons named Cole, eg Leslie COLE (1903-1982), who are related to the webmaster, David Cole. This church was named after St Helen, the mother of Constantine, the Great. Some historians claimed (in error) that St Helen was princess Helena (Sources 8 and 9), the daughter of Old King Cole, himself. Source 9 is a children's story based on a biography of this fabled Princess Helena. This story, a fable, was written by David KC Cole, the webmaster of this site.

Rare Rear View of Waterend House - Drawing c1830

Shown below is one of the earliest images of Waterend House. This is a photo of a drawing made by J.D. Buckler, Circa 1830. It was found in Source 19, the Hertfordshire Genealogy site, operated by Chris Reynolds. To search the Hertfordshire Genealogy site, use the magnifying glass that is located about 25% of the way down the right-hand side of its Home Page.

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thumb: Rear View of Waterend House (1830)
Rear View of Waterend House (1830)

Waterend House (Google Maps Street View as of 2014)

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thumb: Waterend House (built in 1610)
Waterend House (built in 1610)

Waterend House (2005)

The following photo was taken by Rob Hinkley on 2 April 2005.

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thumb: Waterend House (2005)
Waterend House (built in 1610)

Waterend House (Cussans)

For more information, refer to Cussans or Water End, Sandridge. the latter has many other photos of Water End House. It also mentions the census of 1881 which lists James COLE, the father of Charles COLE who is mentioned later in this article.

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thumb: Waterend House (Cussans)
Waterend House (Cussans)

Waterend House: It is situated in Sandridge, Hertford, England (at postal code AL4 8EP) on Waterend Lane, just north of the bridge (formerly a ford) where the ancient roman road crosses the river Lee.

Many more pictures of WaterEnd House and the surrounding area can be found at (Source 21 ) Water End House, Sandridge Pictures.

The Google Map location named "Waterend House Wheathampstead" shows the following text.

It is situated just north of the place where the ancient roman road crosses the river Lee. An ancient homestead in the parish is Waterend. In the time of King John, Thebridge, now known as Waterend, was held by Viel de Thebridge, a free tenant of the abbot of St. Albans. It is believed that the builder of the existing house was Sir John Jennings, who built it in 1610. It is the oldest existing house in the parish. It is a good example of an early seventeenth century red brick house on an E-shaped plan. There are two storeys and an attic with large moulded brick string courses between the storeys. The roof is tiled. The west front has three projecting windows with stone mullions and transoms carried up to the attic, and above them are three steep, straight gables, with moulded coping. At the back are three large chimney stacks, with groups of octagonal shafts, which nave moulded bases and caps. The inside of this private house is now much altered, but in the kitchen there is a wide arched fireplace, and there is an original winding oak staircase of plain character. [More info at http://www.ePhotoCaption.com/a/35/35.html ]

In 2005, DCole discovered a web page at Brockets that described the owners of WaterEnd House. A copy of this writing is stored under the name of "historic_sandridge_9.htm" on a computer owned by DCole. The relevant text is:

An ancient homestead in the parish is Waterend. In the time of King John, Thebridge, now known as Waterend, was held by Viel de Thebridge, a free tenant of the abbot of St. Albans. The oldest extant document concerning Sandridge relates to Waterend, where in 1248 a conveyance of land was made. John Fitzsimon died in possession of a homestead and dovecote at Waterend in 1304. He rented the property from the nuns of Sopwell in St. Albans, from whence the supposed authoress of the famed "Boke of St. Albans" was reputed to hail. Fitzsimon paid partly in money and partly by aid to the abbot of St. Albans. The manor then remained in the possession of the Fitzsimon family for a hundred years. When in 1437 Elizabeth Fitzsimon married Thomas Brocket, the Brockets were to hold the manor until 1590. This family was prominent in the neighbourhood, as the memorials in Wheathampstead church testify. As happened to nearly all the land in the parish, the manor passed to the Jennings family. It is believed that the builder of the existing house was Sir John Jennings, who built it in 1610. It is the oldest existing house in the parish. It is a good example of an early seventeenth century red brick house on an E-shaped plan. There are two storeys and an attic with large moulded brick string courses between the storeys. The roof is tiled. The west front has three projecting windows with stone mullions and transoms carried up to the attic, and above them are three steep, straight gables, with moulded coping. At the back are three large chimney stacks, with groups of octagonal shafts, which nave moulded bases and caps. The inside is now much altered, but in the kitchen there is a wide arched fireplace, and there is an original winding oak staircase of plain character.

Earl of Cowper and Brocket Estate

The many Earls of Cowper (pronounced "Cooper") owned Brocket Estate. Anne Florence De Grey was the daughter of Henrietta Frances Cole and Thomas Phillip Weddel Robinson de Grey. Anne Florence de Grey married George Augustus, the 6th Earl of Cowper. This relationship can be seen in the family tree shown below and in Source 5:

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thumb: Tree: George Cowper and his Grandfather Willoughby Cole
Tree: George Cowper and his Grandfather Willoughby Cole

In the family tree shown above, from Source 5, one sees that William Willoughby Cole (1736-1803) was the grandfather and Henrietta Frances Cole (1784-1828) was the mother, of Ann Florence de Grey who married George Augustus Frederick Cowper (1806-1856), the 6th Earl of Cowper (see Source 6). The Earls of Cowper, Augustus Cowper and then his son, Frances Thomas Cowper (1834-1905), owned both Panhanger Estate and the Brocket Estate. They also inherited the Wrest Park estate from the de Grey family.

In Source 20, The Parish Story (of Ayot St Peter), we read how Brocket Hall was owned by the Cowper family during the 18th and 19th centuries:

The land in the parish owned by Lords Melbourne and Cowper formed part of the Brocket Estate. The estate was bought by Matthew Lamb in 1746. It was Matthew Lamb, who became a baronet, who pulled down the old Tudor Brocket Hall in about 1751 and built the current house (and the pair of gatehouses now called 13 and 15 Ayot Green) to the design of James Paine (1716-89). On Sir Matthew’s death in 1768 the estate devolved to his son Sir Peniston Lamb Bt., who was later created 1st Viscount Melbourne. The 1st Viscount’s son William, the 2nd Viscount, had the estate from his father’s death in 1828. It passed to William’s brother Frederick James, the 3rd and last Viscount, in 1848. Then on his death it passed to his sister Emily Mary Lamb. She married, first, the 5th Earl Cowper (who died in 1837) and, secondly, Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston (who died in 1865). On the death of Lady Palmerston in 1869 the estate passed to her grandson the 7th Earl Cowper (his father having predeceased him). Lord Cowper preferred Panshanger, and Brocket Hall was accordingly let, often to distinguished tenants. Lord Cowper died on 19 July 1905 without a male heir, and the estate passed to his sister, Lady Amabel, who was married to Admiral of the Fleet Sir Walter Talbot Kerr (later Lord Kerr). The Kerrs moved to Melbourne Hall in Derbyshire in 1922-23 when the estate was sold to Sir Charles Alexander Nall-Cain, DL, JP, who became the 1st Baron Brocket in 1933. He died on 21 November 1934 and was succeeded as 2nd Baron by his son Arthur Ronald Charles Manus Nall-Cain, who died on 24 March 1967 and was succeeded by his grandson Charles (b. 1952), the present and 3rd Baron Brocket. Charles’ father Ronald had died at his home in Gloucestershire in 1961 and thus had predeceased the 2nd Baron. Coincidentally, Ronald’s general practitioner was Dr. Graham Dowler, the father of Ruth Shirley. Ronald had a brother David (b. 1930) and a sister Elizabeth (b. 1938). Charles has two brothers, Richard (b. 1953) and David (b. 1955). Charles’ uncle David had a son James (b. 1961) and two daughters, Caroline (b. 1959) and Annabel (b. 1963). James and his wife Sarah-Jane live at Waterend House. Lady Brocket, the 2nd Baron’s widow, died in 1975.

(Charley) son of (James William) son of (Daniel) son of (James Cole)

In 1884, my grandfather, Charles (Charley) Percy Cole, was born in Water End House. His father, James William Cole (1851-1923), rented WaterEnd House and WaterEnd farm indirectly from the 7th Earl of Cowper, who owned the Brocket Estate. I believe that it is not a coincidence that another member of the extended Cole family, Henrietta Frances Cole (1784-1848) was the grandmother of the 7th Earl of Cowper, Francis Thomas de Grey Cowper (1834-1905) who owned Brocket Estate in the late 1800s. However, the exact relationship between these Coles is unknown, if indeed it exists.

The father of James William Cole, named Daniel Cole (1814-1898) was a businessman in London in his middle age. During that time he lived at Chace Farm in South Mimms and also in Barnett, Msex. He undoubtedly, knew some of his many cousins in the British gentry and peerage who frequented London. In this way, he could have arranged for his son James William to rent Water End farm from the 7th Earl of Cowper, whose grandmother was also named Cole, Lady Henrietta Frances Cole, to be specific. But as explained after the map below, Daniel Cole knew Lady Henrietta Frances Cole and undoubtedly, her son-in-law, George Augustus, the 6th Earl of Cowper, back in Daniel's place of birth in the town of Haynes, Bedfordshire.

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thumb: Lady Henrietta Frances Cole (1784-1848)
Lady Henrietta Frances Cole (1784-1848)

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thumb: Map: Haynes And Silsoe))
Map: Haynes And Silsoe)

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thumb: The Gardeners Chronicle..1902
The Gardeners Chronicle..1902

Daniel Cole was born in Haynes. His parents, James Cole and Maria Line, inhabited Hammer Hill farm. Lady Henrietta Frances Cole and her husband, Thomas P W de Grey, owned Wrest Park in Silsoe (see Source 17). They all lived within 3 miles of St Mary's church in Haynes Church End which was probably their church. Mary Cole (1811-1880), a daughter of James Cole and Maria Line is certainly buried at St Mary's. I have seen her tombstone in the churchyard.

Silsoe, Haynes Church End and Hammer Hill Farm all appear on the map shown above. The label for Silsoe is at the center of the very bottom of the map. Hammer Hill Farm is not labelled but is represented by the yellow star at the top, just above the word "Haynes". The scale of the map can be estimated knowing that the distance from Silsoe to Haynes Church End is only 3 miles. These small villages are difficult to find on most other maps, but Clophill, just above Silsoe, is large enough to be found on most maps.

Wrest Hall [Silsoe,Beds.]: Earl Cowper

The following article (Source 16), from the first 1 1/2 columns of page 387, of The Gardeners Chronicle, published in 1902, demonstrates that the 7th Earl Cowper was alive and employed a gardener (gr.) at Wrest Park in 1902. (In 1902 James William Cole and my grandfather, Charley, were living at Waterend House.) Mention of Earl Cowper has been highlighted in bold type in the article below:

November 22, 1902.
. . . .
Grapes being particularly good in quality and satisfactory in point of numbers.
The chief class in those open to gardeners and amateurs is that in which the Victoria Memorial is offered for twenty vases of Chrysanthemums in twenty varieties, three blooms of each, the prizes being respectively Plate value £20, given by the Edinburgh civic authorities, and £ 0; £.0, £15, £10, and £5. For these handsome prizes there were seven competitors, and the tussle for 1st place was betwixt Mr. R. Kenyon, gr. to A. F. Hills, Esq , Monkhams, Woodford Green, Essex ; and Mr. T. Lunt, gr. to Captain Stirling, Keir House, Dunblane. The English blooms at first sight looked much the heavier, but they were generally less fresh than those from Keir, less well staged, and certainly might have been dressed a little more to advantage [!] The Scotch blooms, on the other hand, were beautifully staged, and every good point of the blooms emphasized, while many of these were of great depth and substance. The result was a victory to Mr. Lunt by the narrow margin of seven points. His varieties comprised in the back row : Lady Ridgway, Cal vat ’99, Mrs. E. Ilummell, Princess B. de Braucova, white, of wonderful depth, the Silver Medal for best Japanese in this section being awarded to one of these ; J. R. Upton. E. Shrimpton, and Loveliness, all extra fine; second row: C. Jarvis, Miss E. Fulton. Mrs. E. Mileham, M. Louis Rémy, Mrs. Barkley, and M. Gustave Henri; front row: Mrs. W. Preece, H. Weeks, Edith Tabor, Lady Crawshaw, Mrs. S. Foyett, Mr. H. Weeks, and Madame de Rosseau. Of Mr. Kenyon’s exhibit, mention may be made of M. Clienon de Leché, Duchess of Sutherland, Mons. Louis Rémy, Bessie Godfrey, Lord Ludlow, and Australie, as particularly good; 3rd prize, Mr. Nicoll, gr. to J. W. Bell, Esq., Rossie House, Forgandenny; 4th, Mr. Beisant, gr. to Mrs. Armstrong, Castle Huntly, Longforgan. In class 2 for the Scottish Challenge Cup and £10, offered for twelve vases of Japanese Chrysanthemums, in twelve varieties, three blooms of each, open to Scottish Gardeners and amateurs only. There were ten competitors, but the blooms were all distinctly inferior to those in the class just noted. 1st, Mr. Cummins, gr. to Lady Stewart, Grautully Castle, Aberfeldy; 2nd, Mr. McLean, gr to D. Thomson, Esq. Greenfield House, Alloa; 3rd, Mr. Nicholson, Strathallan Castle, Machane.

For twelve Japanese Chrysanthemums, distinct, Mr. Kenyon was 1st, with W. R. Church and Mrs. W. Mease in extra good condition ; Mr. Lunt 2nd. The best four vases of Japanese Chrysanthemums in four varieties, six blooms of each, were shown by Mr. Nicoll; and Mr. Norman, gr. to the Earl of Mar, Alloa House, was 2nd.

For four vases of Japanese Chrysanthemum blooms, six blooms in each, the prizes went in the order named to Messrs. Lunt, Kidd, McLean, and Norman. For four vases of Japanese Chrysanthemum blooms, in four varieties, three blooms in each, Mr. Lumley, Broomliall, Dunfermline; Mr. R. Whannel, Drumhouse, Greenend ; and Mr. K. Mackenzie, Cambua Cottage, Stirling, were 1st, 2nd, and 3rd respectively. For two vases of twelve Chrysanthemum blooms, six blooms in each, Mr. Baird, Arnsbeg, Cambus, was 1st, and Mr. Whannel 2nd.

The incurved varieties were very few in number, Mr. Martin alone staging in the class for twelve blooms distinct.

For the best new Chrysanthemum not in commerce, Messrs. Wells & Co., Earlswood, Surrey, were 1st with W. Duckham, a large incurved Japanese, silvery pink in hue, or as some ODe called it, "shrimp pink.” Mr. Godfrey. Exmouth, securing 2nd for Pantia Ralli. The Medal for the best incurved bloom was won by Messrs. Wells & Co.

Group of Chrysanthemums.

In the plant classes the chief prize was for a group of Chrysanthemums, foliage, and other flowering plants, arranged for effect on the floor, within a space of 20 feet by 10 feet.

Mr. Wood, Canna Lane, with a bold mass, circular in form, secured the 1st prize; Mr. Hunt, Lansdowne House, Murray Field, being 2nd. The exhibitor last- named secured 1st prize in the chief Japanese plant class, but the plants, as already noted, were very late. Among other plants the six Draccenas from Mr. Lunt, eight decorative plants from Mr. Adam Knight, and the Begonias Gloire de Lorraine from Mr. Young were good examples of cultivation.


As already noted, fruit was specially good. For a collection, eight sorts, Mr. Kidd was 1st [;] with good Grapes, Apples, and Pears ; Mr. McIntyre, gr. to Sir C. Tennant, Bart., The Glen, Innerleithen, 2nd [Ed. Note: ; and finally] the Peaches, Monarch Plums. Apples, and Pears very good, Mr. MacKinlay, gr. to Earl Cowper, Wrest Hall, Bedfordshire, 3rd.

For four bunches of Grapes, Mr. Leslie, PitculleD, with fine Muscat of Alexandria and Gros Colman, was 1st; Mr. Kidd 2nd; and Mr. Wann, gr. to Lord Balfour of Burleigh, 3rd. For two bunches Mr. Kirk was 1st with beautifully finished Gros Maroc and Muscat of Alexandria, as also for two perfect bunches of Muscat of Alexandria.

Other varieties were well shown.
Apples formed a capital display, the chief prizes going to Mr. Martin, Corndean Hall ; Mr. MacKinlay, Wrest Park ; and Mr. Moir, Rosehaugh, who also was most successful in the classes for Pears.


were particularly fine. The collections of ten and six sorts respectively, with which Mr. Waldie, Dollar-beg-Dollar, secured the 1st prize for these, being extra good.

Floral Designs.

Prizes of £20, £15, and £10 were offered for exhibits of floral desigos, but only one competitor, Messrs. Todd & Co, Shandwick Placc, entered. It, however, formed the marked feature of the show, for taste in arrangement and the harmonious blending of colours was worthy of all praise.

Of the miscellaneous exhibits only the chief can be mentioned, and that of Mr. W. J. Godfrey, of Exmouth, was certainly the most remarkable, consisting as it did of masses of the finest Chrysanthemums, to these being attached some zonal Pelargoniums and Carnations. The group as a whole was awarded the only Gold Medal. First-class Certificates were awarded to F.S. Vallis, clear yellow, with reflexed, drooping petals ; and to Bessie Godfrey, fine yellow, with incurving petals ; and to Pantia Ralli, a special award. Mr. Wells, Earlswood, Surrey, had a small but attractive lot of blooms, an Award being given to these two. First-class Certificates were awarded to Mrs. T. W. Pockett (soft yellow), and Mrs. A. MacKinlay (pure white).
The reporter can only hint at the sixty baskets of Potatos from Messrs. DOBBIE & Co.; tbe vegetables and new Potatos from Mr. Scarlet, Invere k ; Grapes and Tomatos from Messrs. Thomson, Clovenfords; the Carnations from Leicester; the fine group of ornamental shrubs from Mr. Downie, Beecli-hill; and the exhibits of Messrs. Laird & Co., Dickson & Co.. Dickson & Sons, and Messrs. I. House & Sons, Bristol. The exhibition was opened by Earl of Haddington, K T., on the first day, a very large audience being in attendance, and the attendance on that day was one of the largest the Society has ever had. The judges and others dined as usual at the Royal British Hotel.

Florence Court

The wealthy William Willoughby Cole (1736-1803), mentioned previously, is the grandson of the famous John of Florence-court COLE (1680-1726). John built the grandiose castle in Ireland, shown below, to commemmorate his wife, Florence Wrey. More information about John of Florence-court can be found at Source 13. The magnificent house on the right is called Wrest House (Source 18), the manor of Wrest Park. It was designed by Thomas Phillip WR de Grey (1781-1859) and built in 1834-1839. He and his wife, Henrietta Frances Cole, lived in Wrest Park in their latter years. Henrietta Frances Cole was the wealthy daughter of William Willoughby Cole. Imagery associated with Google Maps provides an amazing 360 degree Photo-Sphere of the front yard of Wrest Park (and from other points of view). Within Google Maps, search for "Wrest Park, Luton, United Kingdom". This mansion replaced an older but equally impressive house that existed prior to 1708.

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thumb Florence Court
Florence Court
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thumb Wrest House
"WrestHouse3" by Nigel Cox. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Waterend House Barn

This is a photo of Waterend Barn before it was relocated. This photo was taken from the south bank of the River Lea.

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thumb: Waterend House Barn
Waterend House Barn

In 2005, DCole discovered a web page at Waterend Barn that described the relocation of the WaterEnd Barn to St Albans where it became a pub. A copy of this writing is stored under the name of "waterend_Barn.htm" on a computer owned by DCole. Recent owner was Robert COLES, who is probably not related to James William COLE.

In 2005, DCole discovered a web page at George Mountstephen that described, in detail, the parish story of Ayot St. Peter. The information was produced under the guidance of Peter Shirley as co-ordinator and editor in chief. A portion of this is listed below. It describes the tenant of Brocket Hall at the time that James William COLE was a tenant farmer of WaterEnd House. A copy of this writing is stored under the name of "Parish_History_of_Ayot_St_Peter.htm" on a computer owned by DCole. ....

George, Lord Mountstephen (1829-1921) was tenant of Brocket Hall from 1892 until his death. He was President of the Bank of Montreal and first President of the Canadian Pacific Railway. He established the Ayot St. Peter and Lemsford Nursing Home, known as the Mountstephen Trust. The nursing home was closed and sold in 1952. The proceeds of sale were allocated as to two thirds to Lemsford and one third to Ayot St. Peter. On 26 March 1996 Ayot St. Peter PCC received the sum of £6,689.41 following the winding-up of this charity.

Under his will dated 18 September 1934 the 1st Lord Brocket (who died just under nine weeks later on 21 November) left £250 to the rector to be applied for the benefit of the poor of the parish of Ayot St. Peter. Like the two Charities of John Henry Peacock, Lord Brocket’s Charity for the Poor still exists. It has registered number 258076 and at the beginning of 2000 it had assets totalling approximately £225. It is proposed, during 2000, to wind up these three small charities (following the proper procedures laid down by the Charity Commission) and to remit their assets to Ayot St. Peter PCC. .....

Map of Brocket Hall area

This is a map of the Brocket Hall area. More is said about the Brocket Hall and Brocket Estate later in this article. In the top left corner of the map, the road between James's Wood and Marford Rd is Water End Lane. This very straight lane running NorthEast from city of St. Albans is purported to be an ancient Roman road. Travelling SouthWest, after Water End Lane crosses Marford Road, its name becomes Coleman Green Lane. The name Coleman Green probably has no connection to the family of James William Cole who inhabited Waterend House around the year 1900. Waterend House is just North of the point where Water End Lane crosses the river Lee. Travelling NorthEast after crossing the river Lee, Waterend House is on the East side of the lane. Wheathampstead is about 1.5 miles West along Marford Rd (now B653). At the time when Charles COLE was living in Waterend House (circa 1901) as a child, Brocket Hall was a manor, not a Golf Club as it is now in 2014. In 1907 Charles Cole emmigrated to Canada where he settled in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Welwyn lies to the North East a few miles North along the A1(M). Nearby, South-West of Waterend House, on the South bank of the river Lee, another famous house is located. It is called White Cottage.

To use GoogleMaps to view the Brocket Hall area: Click Here. The exact coordinates of Brocket Hall are: 51°48'09.9"N 0°14'25.5"W.
Click here: Waterend House to view Waterend House using GoogleMaps Street View. Many photos of the immediate area are also available here, including a photo of White Cottage.
There are many walking paths in the area. One well-known path is the Lee Valley Walk along the River Lee from Leagrave to the Thames river. An entrance to this path going NorthWest is about 15 meters south of the entrance to Waterend House. This portion of the walk, heading south, is described as follows:

"The path descends into the Lea Valley, passing under the railway lines before crossing the B653 [Marford Road]. The route now follows the track of a disused railway, the former Luton, Dunstable and Welwyn Junction line. After Harpenden the path leaves the railway track and heads uphill into Wheathampstead, then it goes through the village, past the church, and crosses over to the other bank of the river. The path now follows the river towards Water End Lane and the grounds of Brocket Hall where it crosses the middle of a golf course on its way towards Lemsford. The path goes under the A1 road to Stanborough Park."

The river Lee continues Eastward through Welwyn Garden City to the city of Hertford where the river Lee canal system begins. Barges and river boats can follow the Lee Navigation system which leads to the Thames river.

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thumb: Map of Brocket Hall area
Map of Brocket Hall area

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thumb: Bridge across the Lee
Bridge across the Lee

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thumb: Hertford Basin
Hertford Basin

This photo of the bridge across the Lee was taken from the Waterend House side looking SouthWest. The White Cottage can be seen in the top left corner of this photo.

Brocket Estate

James COLE rented Waterend House and Waterend Farm from the owner or tenant of Brocket Estates.

Between 1893 and 1921 the manor house at Brocket Hall was rented and one of its residents was Lord Mount Stephen who was part of the consortium which built the Canadian Pacific Railroad. Brocket’s tradition for excellent entertainment, and ample opportunities for shooting attracted him. The photo of Brocket Hall Manor below shows how grand the estate is. Brocket Hall was located where the river Lee is the widest.

If the trees were removed from the photo, WaterEnd House would be on the horizon near the right hand side of the photo.

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thumb: Brocket-Hall

Waterend House (1904)

This is a photo of Waterend House at the time when Charles COLE was living there as a child. An enlarged view of this postcard shows a man with his back to the front door. Perhaps he is my great-grandfather, James William COLE.

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thumb: Waterend House (1904)
Waterend House (1904)

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thumb: Charles (Charley) COLE
Charles (Charley) COLE (1884-1966)

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thumb: James William COLE (1851-1923)
James William COLE (1851-1923)

Charles (Charley) Percy COLE (Born 13 May 1884 in Sandridge, Hertford, Eng Died 1966 in Moose Jaw, SK, Canada)
Charlie's first home, Water End House, is located about 1.5 miles east of Wheathamstead, where a small bridge permits the ancient Roman road (now called Waterend Lane) to cross the river Lea. In earlier days before the bridge was built, travellers along the Roman road would ford across the river at this location. The height of the river Lee was raised here when the lake was created in front of the Brocket Manor. The lake was created by building the equivalent of a small dam.

Additional information is available at the author's web site ColeDavid.com. Other photos and more of the history of Water End Farm can be found at Source 10.

Water End House has been maintained in very good condition until at least the 1990's when the author last visited it. The census of 1881 lists his father, James COLE, but does not list Charles, indicating (of course) that he was born after 1881. The census of 1885 shows that the infant Charlie, his parents and the rest of their family were living in WaterEnd House in Sandridge. One day, by accident, Charles was severely burned inside WaterEnd House near one of the fireplaces. One side of his face was noticeably scarred and one ear was burned almost completely off. He could still hear well with the disfigured ear. However, in time, he became quite deaf in the other ear.

In the census of 1885, Charles COLE is shown to be living at Water End Farm near Sandridge, Hertford, England. Herbert BRIMLEY, a childhood friend of Charlie's is also mentioned in this census [1885]. Herbert's father, William BRIMLEY (1842-1899) was employed by Charlie's father, James COLE at Water End farm. A neighbor, Willm BRIMBY, age 32, is listed in the 1881 census, but this is probably a different person although the pronunciation of the two surnames is very similar.

Charles was born at Water End House in Sandridge, Hertford, England near Wheathampstead. Charles left Wheathampstead, England (a few miles north of St. Albans) around 1907 to emigrate to Canada where he settled in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Florence KINGSLAND, a childhood friend of his, also from England, also emigrated to Canada around the same time. Eventually, they were married and purchased a home in Moose Jaw at 1027 Ominica St. E. where both their children, Gladys and Victor, were born. When Vic was a child, his parents invited an orphan, Art WOOLGAR to live with them. For the six years that Art lived with them, Vic learned much from Art, who Vic considered to be like an older brother.

The Lea Valley Walk

A portion of the Lea Valley Walk goes past The Bull pub which is shown below. The following maps illustrate the portion of the Lea Valley Walk through Wheathampstead up to Water End House.
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thumb:The Bull Pub in Wheathampstead
The Bull Pub in Wheathampstead

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thumb:St Helen's in Wheathampstead
St Helen's in Wheathampstead

A portion of the Lea Valley Walk passes through Wheathampstead and then goes past Waterend House. Use the preceding map to follow the first portion of the walk through Wheathampstead. Leigh Hatts (Source 1) describes the walk through Wheathampstead and on to Water End Farm as follows:

. . . . . the far side the path is alongside back gardens (left) before becoming metalled and following a double bend to a residential road called High Meads. Turn left and right downhill [along Bury Green], past Ash Grove (left) towards the Old School with its bell tower. At the bottom [of Bury Green] bear left past the post box [onto Church St.] and [immediately] go left through a gate into the [St Helen's] churchyard at Wheathampstead.

Wheathampstead means `homestead where wheat is grown`. Edward the Confessor granted the manor to Westminster Abbey, whose monks received wheat from here. The present mill, on the original site in the High Street, is 16th-century but with a Victorian brick frontage. St Helen's church was completed in 1340 and its unusual spire (likened to an upturned ice cream cornet and admired by John Betjeman) added in 1865. In the north transept there is a memorial to Apsley Cherry-Garrard, who found Captain Scott's body in the Antarctic in 1912. Cherry-Garrard lived at Lamer Park manor house where, influenced by his neighbour, George Bernard Shaw, he wrote an account of the British Antarctic expedition called `The Worst Journey In the World`. The Jacobean pulpit comes from Lamer Park's chapel.
The Bull Inn [closed as of 2015, the photo above is by Frank Warner] is a Tudor building which has been an inn since 1617. Early guests include General Monck, who stayed during the Civil War and Izaak Walton, who fished all along the Lea.

[The walk from St Helen's Church to Water End Farm will be approximately 3 km.] After passing the church (left), follow the path to the churchyard's far [North-East] corner. Pass through the narrow gateway and turn right to the road. Go left along the High Street [B651] and at The Bull turn right down East Lane. Where East Lane turns away to the right, keep ahead on Meads Lane to reach a grassed area.

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thumb: Lea Valley Walk near Water End
Lea Valley Walk near Water End

Go over the bridge spanning the Lea and follow a path to a junction. Turn right downstream with the river to the right. Keep through all gateways to reach a lane. After the second gate there are steps to the left for a shortcut. Turn left to go under a bridge, and at once go right up steps and bear right along a fenced way. Beyond a kissing gate turn left across a field. Pass a field corner and just before the end go through a kissing gate on the right. Continue in the same direction alongside a fence (right).

The way follows the wide sweep of grass by the meandering river (right). After a kissing gate the river is lost over to the right as the path runs below a bank (left). Soon the way becomes grassed, and later runs into a wood where the river makes a brief appearance. Keep forward at a junction and meet a lane at Waterend. Opposite is Water End farm.

The house at Water End Farm was built in 1610 for the grandfather of Sarah Jennings, who as Countess of Marlborough became a powerful member of Queen Anne's court. Sarah was born at the house in 1660, and here she and the young Princess Anne may have played together as children. Of Sarah's many houses only Water end and Blenheim Palace remain unchanged. The lane is on the line of a Roman road from Braughing, which was a Roman town and the junction for traffic passing between East Anglia and Verulamium (St Alban's).
Turn right down the lane to a ford [across the River Lea]. Just before the water go left along a path. As the river disappears the way leads along the bottom of two fields with a fir wood on the hill to the left. There is a brief glimpse of the river (right) before the now narrow path meets a junction on the edge of the Brocket Estate. . . . . .

Churches of My COLE Ancestors

Ancient St Helens church at Wheathampstead

The photo below is a painting of "Hounds and Horses by The Bull Hotel, High Street, Wheathampstead 1902". It is signed E.F. Holt dated 1902. Notice the spire of St Helen's Church in the top right corner.

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thumb: St Helens church
Hounds and Horses by The Bull Hotel, High Street, Wheathampstead 1902

Many COLE ancestors are buried at St Helens Church in Wheathampstead, which is located about 1.5 miles West of Waterend House. The photo below of St Helens church was taken in 1930. David KC COLE, the author of this article, visited Waterend House for the first time in 1964. It was Leslie COLE (the cousin of Victor COLE, David's father) who was kind enough to show David both WaterEnd House and St. Helens church for the first time. More information can be found about St Helens church here. It is said that the original church was built before the Norman conquest (which was around 1050).

The more ancient COLE ancestors came from Bedfordshire, many from the town of Haynes (formerly known as Hawnes). Daniel COLE (1814-1898), the father of James William Cole (1851-1923), was born in Hawnes, Beds. Daniel Cole married Emma COLES on 28 NOV 1848. Her maiden name was indeed COLES and she had a common COLE ancestor with husband Daniel. Daniel died on 12 May 1898. Hawnes, Beds. is approximately 30 kilometers North of Wheathampstead, Herts. Haynes (also spelled Hawnes, Bedfordshire) is located 10km south of the city of Bedford. The parents of Daniel Cole were parishoners of St. Mary's Church at Haynes Church End, which is about 1 mile West of Haynes village. At the time, they occupied Hammer Hill farm, which is located a mile or so North of Haynes.

Les COLE (and his daughter Ann) say that some older COLES are buried in St Helen's churchyard, but I have not seen their gravestones there. Presumably the older COLEs buried there are Daniel COLE and his wife Emma COLE. Leslie COLE and his wife Stella O COLE nee SEABROOK are both buried at St. Helens. There was a reference at Wheathampstead families that states:

At St Helen's Church
Leslie W Cole/ 15.5.1903 - 18.2.1982/ and/ Stella O Cole/ 6.1.1902 - 6.3.1983/ "Reunited"

James William COLE, the grandfather of Leslie COLE and Victor COLE, was buried at the United Reformed Church in Wheathampstead (photo below). The following reference: Wheathampstead families about James William COLE includes his tombstone inscription:

At the United Reformed Church
ILMO James William Cole/ who died July 5th 1923/ aged 72 years/ "Resting"/ also/ Edith Sarah/ eldest daughter of the above/ who died April 6th 1930/ aged 50 years/ "Thy will be done"/ also Sarah Ann loving wife/ and mother of the above/ who fell asleep July 5th 1939/ aged 84 years.

My oldest known COLE ancestor came from Willington, Bedfordshire, England. He was John Cole. More information about him and his descendants can be found here John COLE in this online Family Tree.

The photo of St. Helen's church (below) was taken in 1930, just 20 years after Charles COLE immigrated to Canada. St. Mary's church, near Haynes, Beds. in the second photo is where the COLE ancestors worshipped.

United Reformed Church

The address of the United Reformed Church at Wheathampstead is:
Brewhouse Hill
AL4 8DQ Wheathampstead

Church Pictures

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thumb: St Helens church in Wheathampstead
St Helens church in Wheathampstead
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thumb: St Marys church in Haynes
St Marys church in Haynes
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thumb: St Marys churchyard in Haynes
St Marys churchyard in Haynes
by Hugh J Griffiths 2015
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thumb: United Reformed Church in Wheathampstead
United Reformed Church in Wheathampstead

Views of St Helens church at Wheathampstead

More information about St Helen's Church is available at this site: St Helen's Parish Church where more photos below can be found.

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thumb: St Helens church (1931)
St Helens church (1931)

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thumb: St Helens church (modern view)
St Helens church (modern view)

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thumb: St Helens church (various headstones)
St Helens church (various headstones)

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thumb: Marion & Vic COLE visiting grave of Les & Stella COLE
Marion & Vic COLE visiting grave of Les & Stella COLE

Ancient History of the Wheathampstead Area

Wheathampstead is a village and civil parish in the City and District of St Albans, in Hertfordshire, England. Settlements in this area were made about 50 BC by Belgae invaders. They moved up the rivers Thames and Lea from what is now Belgium. Evidence for them was found in Devil's Dyke, at the eastern side of Wheathampstead. The Devil's Dyke earthworks are part of the remains of an ancient settlement of the Catuvellauni tribe and thought to have been the tribe's original capital. The capital was moved to Verlamion (which after the Roman conquest the Romans would rename Verulamium, which in turn would become modern St Albans) in about 20 BC. The Devil's Dyke is reputedly where Julius Caesar defeated Cassivellaunus in 54 BC, although this claim is disputed. Some historians suggest that the Dyke was part of the same defensive rampart as nearby Beech Bottom Dyke, which, if correct, would make the area one of the largest and most important British Iron Age settlements. Later, the village is recorded in the Domesday book under name Watamestede. Foundation stone laid 16th May 1876. (Wikipedia text added by Geoffrey Gillon) from Source 11 by Geoffrey Gillon in his notes about the United Reform Church where James William Cole (Source 12) and his wife are buried.

Julius Caesar's Conquest at Devils Dyke in 54 B.C.

The Romans invaded Britain around 50 A.D. and stayed for hundreds of years. But Source 14 describes an earlier decisive battle by Julius Caesar himself, which took place in Wheathampstead at a location named Devil's Dyke [, the Moat and The Slad].

The deep ditch, named Devil's Dyke, along Dyke Lane, is located between St. Helen's church and Waterend House, about 1/2 a mile East of St. Helen's church. Read the following account from Source 14, based on Caesar's recorded notes:

. . . [The British king] Cassivellaunus had used what remained of his authority with those tribes still loyal to him, those who’s kings were called Cingetorix, Carvillius, Taximagulus and Segonax to rally their warriors, and assemble them ready for an all out attack on the fortified landing site and beached fleet of ships, which were Caesar’s sole line of communication with Gaul. Likely as a result of an uncoordinated attack by the rival British kings, they were soon defeated with heavy losses, to such a degree that news of the disaster was immediately sent north to Cassivellaunus. He however, had trouble enough of his own to contend with. Caesar had discovered the whereabouts of his main camp [i.e. the main camp of Cassivellaunus], which had been fortified with ditches and earthen walls. Approaches to the camp were made difficult by the proximity of dense woodlands and bog-land. It must have seemed a formidable place to assault. It was not however Caesar’s way, to procrastinate, and he launched an attack from two directions, which was decisive. The British fled to an enclave within the camp where "A great many cattle was found there, and many of the enemy were taken and slain in their flight." The location of this last stand it has been claimed, was at the earthwork known today as Devil’s Dyke, at Wheathampstead, in Hertfordshire, just north of the later Roman settlement called Verulanium, today called, St. Albans. Evidence of Belgic occupation of the site circa 50 B.C., was discovered by Sir Mortimer Wheeler, when he excavated there in the 1930’s. The ditch has been estimated as being130 feet wide at the top, and 40 feet deep, and though much eroded, much of it’s impressiveness can still be envisaged there today. It may be surmised that this earthwork was linked to another very close by, called the Stad, being as they are, even today almost linked by a wet ditch called The Moat. If these three features were combined in 54 B.C. they would have made an enormous rectangular enclosure defended on at least three sides. The northern side, is seemingly open, although it might be possible that any defensive features on this side have been lost. A display board in a local museum says "For at least 100 years before the Roman Conquest in AD 43 this part of Hertfordshire was the heartland of a powerful and aggressive tribe known as Catuvellauni, Celtic for 'expert warrior'..... The earliest capital of the Catuvellauni is likely to have been at Wheathampstead. ..... Here are massive earthworks known as Devil's Dyke. ......... This was attacked by Julius Caesar in 54 BC. " Cassivellaunus, learning of the betrayal of several tribes, the massive defeat on the Kent coast, which added to the devastation of his own lands, and the huge loss of life of his people and his warriors, had no other option but to sue for peace. Though the intermediary, Commius, an Atrebatian, arrangements were made for the hand over of hostages, and the payment of tribute to Rome. Agreement was also extracted for Cassivellaunus not to take revenge, or make war upon either Mandubratius, or the Trinovantes as a whole. News had arrived that revolt had broken out in Gaul, and Caesar was desperate to return there to restore Roman authority. Consequently, subsequent to the reception of the hostages and tribute, the legions made their way back to the waiting fleet, who’s losses had been replaced, and repairs all but completed ready for the embarkation of the army and it’s acquired masses of prisoners. The season too made it imperative that the crossing be made with dispatch, as the equinoctial storms were soon expected, and Caesar needed his legions intact for Gaul. So it was that the Roman army left British shores, not to return for almost a hundred years, a hiatus which was to see many changes, both in Rome, and in Britain. . . .

Devil's Dyke walk in Wheathampstead (Source 15)

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thumb: Devil's Dyke Walk in Wheathampstead
Devil's Dyke Walk in Wheathampstead

© AA Media Limited 2015.
© Crown Copyright Licence number 100021153
5 miles - 2 hrs

1 Turn right past the Bull, go over the River Lea bridge and then turn right into Mount Road. At a bridleway sign follow the track, waymarked 'Lea Valley Walk'. You will emerge in open countryside to wind alongside the river.

2 Go through a gate with the bypass embankment ahead of you, and turn right. Go between some fences and through another gate, then bear right on to a metalled track, re-crossing the Lea. Now on Sheepcote Lane, go uphill, over the main road into Dyke Lane.

3 By Tudor Road go left on to a footpath along the remarkably deep ditch of Devil's Dyke. Emerging at a lane, turn left and follow it, then go right at a footpath sign opposite Beech Hyde Farm. Now on a grass track amid arable fields, pass modern housing to the right, to reach a road.

4 Cross the road to a footpath signposted 'Nomansland', and turn left on to a tarmac track - the road runs parallel, to your left. Walk downhill to the Wicked Lady pub and turn right on to the access drive to Wheathampstead Cricket Club. Pass behind the pavilion to a footpath. Turn left past some cricket nets, the path winding through trees. Across a clearing, ignore a path to the right and continue through the trees to another clearing. Head towards a bench in an oak copse, then to another bench where the path bears right to the road.

5 At Nomansland car park you turn right into Down Green Lane, which leads off the common. At a crossroads carry straight on, past the Elephant and Castle pub.

6 Shortly, opposite Weavers Cottage, go left at a footpath sign and up a few steps. The path passes a golf course, then crosses some cultivated land to reach a road, Pipers Lane. Turn right.

7 At a T-junction go straight across and over a stile, heading diagonally left across pasture to a stile and right on to a track. Turn immediately right on to a muddy track which shortly turns left downhill between horse fences, then right over a stile. After about a mile (1.6km) housing appears on the left, the path becomes tarmac and jinks to a road.

8 Go left into High Meads and then right to descend into Wheathampstead. At Bury Green go left to the church. From the churchyard go left into the High Street and the end of the walk.

Ancient Maps

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thumb: Map of Hertfordshire c1600
Map of Hertfordshire c1600

Wheatemstead is above the word "HUNDRED" of DACORUM HUNDRED
Brockethall is midway between words "DACORUM HUNDRED" and "HARTFORD HUNDRED"
(The faint lines are probably public footpaths of that time.)

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thumb: WaterEnd house is on this 1808 map of the Wheathampstead / Welwyn area
WaterEnd house is on this 1808 map of the Wheathampstead / Welwyn area

( facing the building touching the "d" of Chalkdel )
Note the use of the "long-S" in the word Wheathempstead.
Printing of the "long-S" was rare after 1800.

External References:

Source 1: Lea Valley Walk by Leigh Hatts
Source 2: St Helen Churchyard at FindAGrave by Geoffrey Gillon
Source 3: St Mary The Virgin at Haynes Church End as of 2015
Source 4: St Mary Churchyard (at Haynes Church End) at FindAGrave by wertypop as of 2015
Source 5: 7th Earl of Cowper and his Grandfather, William Willoughby Cole FamilySearch ID: LHJW-FJG
Source 6: 6th Earl of Cowper WikiPedia
Source 7: Book: www The Genealogy of the Family of Cole... by James Edwin-Cole Date: 1867
Source 8: Gen: Princess Helena Cole
Source 9: Book: Princess Helena
Source 10:www Water End, Sandridge at Hertfordshire-Genealogy.ca.uk by Chris Reynolds
Source 11: United Reform Church at FindAGrave by Geoffrey Gillon
Source 12: James William COLE at FindAGrave by David Cole
Source 13: Book: Coles Of Devon Article by David Cole
Source 14:www The Roman Invasions-Documents by Corinne Mills and Richard Hayton in 2014
Source 15:www The Devil's Dyke Walk in Wheathampstead by AA Media Limited 2015
Source 16:www The Gardeners Chronicle Jul-Dec 1902 via mocavo.com 2015
Source 17:www Thomas de Grey . . inherited Wrest Park Estate Wikipedia: Thomas de Grey - 2015
Source 18:www Wrest Park Estate Wikipedia: Wrest Park - 2015
Source 19:www Genealogy in Hertfordshire by Chris Reynolds - 2015
Source 20: Gen: St Peters - The Parish Story
Source 21: Gen: Water End House , Sandridge Pictures

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Updated: 2015 L Dec 31
Written: 2012
/WebMaster: Ye Old King Cole