The Mound (or Ice House)?

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The Grove 1800-1853
The reference that the mound was an Ice-House was made by Walter Druett in his book The Stanmores and Harrow Weald Through The Ages published in 1938. In the book he states :- "There is a third mound in another part of the grounds (which contains a cavern for preservation of ice from the lake), from the top of which Dick Whittington, in stone, looks admiringly towards St. Albans."

Looking into the books written by Mrs Eliza Brightwen I found mentioned a mound also with Dick Whittington on the top. Referenced in Quiet Hours With Nature , first published in 1904, on page 129, in a chapter entitled The Cedar of Lebanon says :-

The two ancient cedars I am proud to posses cannot, like my scotch fir, be seen from the windows of my house, for they stand in the park at some little distance from the garden. A good view, however, of their grand proportions can be obtained from a mound, twenty-four feet high, which is sufficiency near to the trees to enable us to look down upon the great horizontal branches in a way that is not always possible.

The Cedar ViewThe origin of this mound or "Cedar View," as we call it, has been the subject of much speculation. It is certainly ancient, and an antiquarian friend of mine suggested that it was a Saxon barrow, possibly containing interesting remains of a far away time. In the light of this conjecture it was a curious coincidence that, whilst he and I were discussing the subject and examining the old mound, I happened to pick up on the spot a British hammer, that is to say, a flint stone chipped by human means in a special way, and much abraded at one end by having been used for pounding corn in the days before iron implements had been invented. This seemed to confirm the idea that the mound had a history, so, when severe weather set in, and men were wanting work, I resolved to make an opening into it and try and find the hidden remains if any existed. Accordingly tunnels were bored both vertically and horizontally, but alas! as we only found roots of water-plants amongst the clay, we came to the conclusion that the hill was formed of the earth dug out of a deep pond near by, and so our Anglo-saxon theory came to nothing.

Still the Cedar View has its interest, and is very picturesque, as may be seen from the sketch, showing its pleached yew-hedges, its ancient moss-grown lions, and the statue of Dick Whittington, which forms the centre of a gravelled space at the top of it. Trees of great size grow on and around the Cedar View, showing it has existed for at least a century years. A sycamore seven feet in girth, overshadows the little figure of Whittington, who looks plaintively around as if listening for the fateful bells. Two huge hollies stand near by, with tall slender stems drawn up by their position amongst other trees till they have attained the height of forty-five feet, with a girth of four feet nine inches.

This Cedar View is a delightful place on a summer's day. Sheltered from the sun, with a cool refreshing breeze from the wide stretch of open country which lies eastward, we look through and above the cedars across the park, which slopes down to the rush-fringed lakes, catching a glimpse of the Elstree Reservoir, then over wooded country to far blue distances, with the grey pile of St. Alban's Abbey on the horizon.

As can be seen there is no mention of an Ice-House under the mound. It may be that Walter Druett saw the bore holes that may have been left in The Mound from Mrs. Brightwen's explorations, and he assumed that they were openings to an earlier Ice-House.

In Eliza Brightwen's book More about Wild Nature , first published in 1892, on page 136, there is a photograph/artists impression which shows the same view of The Cedar View, as in Quiet Hours With Nature , but the picture has the title of The Yew Mound. There is no text that accompanies the picture.

It is also interesting to note that in the picture captioned The Cedar View, the lion on the left of the picture is shown as female (without a mane) and in the picture captioned The Yew Mound, the lion on the left of the picture is shown as male ( a mirror copy of the lion on the right of the picture).

1865 Ordinance Survey MapIf you look at the ordinance survey map of 1865 of The Grove, taking the description by Eliza Brightwen's chapter on The Cedar View, and knowing the position of the existing mound, you can see quite clearly the mound on the map, with it's gravel path and the platform on top which contained the statue of Dick Whittington. 

The Mound is still in existance today, in a private garden that ajoins The Grove.