To help preserve the original Victorian style of the town, Oxhey Village’s Victorian cast iron street signs have been lovingly repaired and restored by Murrill Construction Ltd and Watford Borough Council.

Published: 09 March 2021


The restored plates reflect the history of the town and the works focused on Capell Road, Upper Paddock Road, Villiers Road, Grover Road, Aldenham and Oxhey Avenue. The signs can either be found on the side of buildings or installed onto pavements.


Before the 19th century, street names were typically generic and descriptive, usually named after the goods sold in them. After this it became commonplace for streets to bear the name of renowned figures from British history. The roads with historical context in Oxhey Village include:


  • Capell Road – named after The Earls of Essex and William Capell, the original owner of Cassiobury House. To respect their historic origins, the plate listed as Capel Road was restored to Capell Road to reflect its origins.
  • Villiers Road – commemorates the relationship by marriage of the Earls of Essex and the Earls of Clarendon. The family are the former owners of the land and manor house at the 5*Grove Luxury Hotel. The popular The Villiers Arms pub is also named after the family.
  • Grover Road – the Grover family owned the land on which this road was built in the 1880s and at that date they were wine merchants in the town. Their son Henry Grover – founder of Watford FC, set up the club (previously know as Watford Rovers) when he and a group of fellow teenagers were given permission by the Earl of Essex to kick a football around in Cassiobury Park.


Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor said: “It is extremely important to protect the heritage of our town and I am very pleased these beautifully restored signs not only preserve the original Victorian style of Oxhey Village, but will last for years to come and help people find their way around more easily. It has also been great to find out more about the history of the some of the Oxhey Village road signs that commemorate the town’s key historical figures.”


Hertfordshire County Councillor for Central Watford and Oxhey, Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst said: “The county and borough councillors used their locality budgets to fund the renovation of these street name signs to ensure that the original signs were retained. With the removal of accumulated layers of paint and rust, it now reveals the wonderful sharpness of the original lettering and brings them back to the condition they were during the 19th century.”


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