The Duke, who was accompanied by the Deputy Lieutenant of London, Martin Russell, and the Mayor of Barnet, David Longstaff, met representatives from the Heritage of London Trust, and staff and Trustees from Stephens House & Gardens.
The Duke was shown the historic, Grade 2 listed, water tower in the Gardens. Built in the 1880s as part of Henry Stephens’ system to purify the water to the Estate, it is possibly the oldest reinforced concrete water tower in existence. The tower has been on Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ register for some years, and the Heritage of London Trust has given sponsorship towards its restoration. This work is part of Avenue House Estate Trust’s £3m project to restore the Gardens, for which other funding has principally come from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Big Lottery, and Barnet Council. Historic England has indicated that it expects to remove the tower from the ‘at risk’ register when this work is completed
The Duke concluded his visit by planting an Indian Bean tree in the Gardens, replacing a similar tree planted in 1935 to mark the Silver Jubilee of His Majesty King George V.