Ware

Riverside Walk: The towpath provides riverside walks both to the east to Stanstead Abbotts and to the west to Hertford. Wander along the Ware section and look across to:

The Gazebos date from the 18th century gazebos and are a unique feature of Ware. Whilst there may be individual gazebos elsewhere in Britain, nowhere else do they survive as a group as they do on the River Lee in Ware. These riverside “summerhouses” stand in the former gardens of the High Street coaching inns that used to run down to the river. Divert from the towpath at the Saracen’s Head to find:

Scott’s Grotto in Scotts Road makes an enchanting visit with its captivating underground passages and chambers. The Grotto is open every Saturday & Bank Holiday Monday from April to the end of September inclusive between 2.00 p.m. and 4.30 p.m.

Parties by appointment tel: 01920 464131. It is advisable to wear flat shoes and bring a torch. Entrance is free but a donation of £1.00 is suggested from new visitors.

Coming back to High Street through Amwell End, Amwell House stands facing the level crossing, a fine Georgian redbrick house, built by the Quaker poet John Scott (of Scott’s Grotto) and his father.

Bluecoat Yard in East Street is entered by the waggonway next to the fish and chip shop. It takes its name from the Bluecoat School, part of Christ’s Hospital, which was here for 76 years or so. In the niche above the waggonway is the statue of a Bluecoat Boy. On the right of Bluecoat Yard is Place House, a listed timber framed hall, at one time the Manor House of Ware.

Continuing westward along East Street, Leaside Church can be seen off the alleyway to the right and is worth a look for its Norman-looking façade, put on in 1859.

At one time the whole of the south side of the High Street had the name of Water Row and during the period from 1400 – 1700, virtually every building was at some time an inn, many with gardens and gazebos running down to the river.

27-29 High Street (now two banks, Barclays and Lloyds) formerly The George Inn 1570 (Pepys, Defoe and Isaac Walton all stayed here)

49-51 High Street (Hertfordshire Display and Martin Walker Travel) site of 15th century Bear Inn, later The Falcon. In 1830's became the Falcon Foundry making fittings for the Maltings.

61-63 High Street (Aves Opticians) these 14th century buildings were rebuilt in the 17th century and became the Coach and Horses and the Royal Oak Inns.

65-67 High Street (Edwards Furnishing) 15th Century Christopher Inn one of the largest in Ware. From 1775 to 1971 it was part of Harradence’s Department Store.

Ware Library: Built in 1765 on the site of the Crown Inn (reputedly the original home of the Great Bed of Ware) - later the town house of the wealthy maltster Henry Page (1813 – 1894).  It became the County Library in 1961.

St. Mary’s Church: This spacious cruciform building with the battlement bell tower surmounted by a spire occupies a fine open site on the corner of Church Street and High Street. The church, which is still used for regular worship, is regarded as a fine example of 14th and 15th century architecture in the perpendicular style and contains many items of historic interest.

The Memorial Gardens: in front of the church these gardens are a pleasant place to sit and watch the world go by or to visit the sculpture of the Maltmaker and his cat by Jill Tweed. The bronze, life size plus a quarter, statue (specially commissioned to mark the Millennium) was unveiled in the Memorial Gardens on 4th November 1999.

Ware Priory: whilst in this part of Ware take the opportunity to walk through The Priory gardens; seven acres of riverside parkland, including a children’s playground, basketball court, putting green, refreshment kiosk, outdoor heated swimming pool, and The Priory, a Franciscan Friary built in the 14th century/and early 15th century which was given to Ware in the 1920s.

Ware Museum: also housing a Tourist Information Point, was built in 1852 as the porter’s lodge for the Priory. At that time it was inside a high wall with massive oak gates. At present the Museum is open:

Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays 11-5 p.m. summer (4 p.m. in winter)

Sundays from 2-5 p.m. (4 p.m. in winter).   Tel: 01920 487848.  

 


 "Walk about Ware"

published by the Ware Society

available from Ware Museum


Guided Walks around Ware

During the spring and summer months there are guided walks around Ware

For further information contact 01920 460316 or see Website.

Ware to wander

Great Bed Trail