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 18th item in ‘a history of Watford in 50 objects’ is an object that is no longer in Watford or even the country, but was one of the architectural highlights of the home of the Earl of Essex - the Cassiobury House staircase

Sarah said: "Cassiobury House was a stunning 84-roomed house surrounded by a beautiful estate, but by the beginning of the 20th Century the Capell family were struggling financially and in 1922 it was put up for sale.

"The contents of the house were sold along with fixtures and fittings like the staircase, which was purchased by a benefactor of the Metropolitan Museum in New York. It arrived flat packed with no instructions.

Read more: Watford's history in 50 objects: A programme from a great festive tradition

"The staircase has recently been refurbished and is the focal point of new gallery displays on British history, showing the scale and quality of the contents of Cassiobury.

"We are lucky to have some of this on display in Watford Museum, but it features in the collections and displays of many of the most important museums in the world including museums in New York, Philadelphia and Chicago, the British Museum, Tate Britain, National Portrait Gallery and V&A."

The museum is currently closed under Tier 4 restrictions but you can still pay it a virtual visit at or find the museum on Facebook and Instagram @watfordmuseum