The Watford Observer has teamed up with Watford Museum and its curator Sarah Priestley to take a journey back to the town’s past through items or places of historical significance.

The 12th item in ‘a history of Watford in 50 objects' is in recognition that Cassiobury Park, along with Oxhey Park, are both in the running to be voted the best in the UK in the People's Choice Park award.

Sarah said: "John Wootton's view of Cassiobury Park from c1748 underlines how much history it has, dating from when Cassiobury was the seat of the Earl of Essex and is full of interesting detail including family and staff. Cows graze and deer prance, as the river flows through the scene, 50 years before the canal was cut.

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"The origins of Cassio have been traced back to Medieval times when it was monastic lands owned by the Abbey of St Albans. By the 20th Century the fortunes of this once opulent estate had changed and the Capels were forced to sell both the house and land.

"The Watford Urban District polled the people of Watford in 1908 to ask if a purchase of land should be made to establish Cassiobury Park. A majority voted against it but the council made the first purchase for a people’s park in 1909. Without their foresight we would not have any of the park we love today."

Read more: Two Watford parks could be recognised as the best in the UK

Watford Museum is currently closed due to government restrictions, but you can still find out lots about Watford’s history on the museum's website at or follow it on Facebook and Instagram for regular posts @watfordmuseum