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Enfield, Middlesex

Historical Description

Enfield, a small town and a parish in Middlesex. The town stands on the New river, with terminal and side stations on branch lines of the G.E.R. and G.N.R., 2 miles NNW from Lower Edmonton, and 10 N by E from St Paul's, London. The parish, which is an extensive one, having an area of 12,516 acres of land and 123 of water, is comprised in four divisions, viz.-the Town division, Green Street division, Bull's Cross division, and Chase division, each division forming a separate locality, and the three first having their own churchwardens and overseers. The town is within the jurisdiction of the central criminal court and of the Metropolitan police, and is governed by a local board of health of 12 members. It is supplied with water by the local board from their works at Ponders End. A fair is held on 30 Nov. chiefly for cattle. At the eastern extremity of the parish is situated the government small arms factory, which was erected in 1855-56 at a cost of £150,000. The buildings, including the testing ranges, cover an area of 40 acres, and the works are capable of producing some 2000 magazine rifles weekly in addition to the manufacture of machine guns. The works have a station on the G.E. line, known as Enfield Loch.

Enfield Chase was anciently a wooded tract, well stocked with deer, measuring 8349 acres in area, and 21 miles in circuit, and extending to the river Lea. It was known at Domesday as Enefelde, as was also the manor; it was held along with the manor by Geoffrey de Mandeville, and it passed to the Bohuns and afterwards to the Crown, by the marriage of Henry IV. with the heiress of the Bohuns. It still belongs to the Duchy of Lancaster. It was broken up during the Civil Wars in the time of Charles I., its timber cut down, its deer destroyed, its land parcelled out into small farms, and after the Eestoration it was once more en-forested, was re-enclosed, replanted, and restocked with deer, but in 1779, by Act of Parliament, it was again disforested, and its land laid out for cultivation. A stream called Enfield Wash rises in the Chase, and falls into the river Lea. In the town are remains of a palace known as Enfield House, in which it is said Edward VI. once held his court, which Elizabeth made her abode before she became queen, which she visited at several periods of her reign to enjoy shooting in the chase, and which afterwards was inhabited by Uvedale the botanist. It has now for many years been used as a school. In the grounds there is a splendid cedar tree said to have been planted by Uvedale. Forty Hall, at Forty Hill, a mansion built by Inigo Jones, was a seat of the Wolstenholmes, and passed to the Meyers. Trent Park was given by George III. to Sir Richard Jebb, Bart, the physician, and passed to the Bevans. A mansion at Ponders End was a seat of the Earls of Lincoln. Beech Hill House was occupied by Russell, the East Indian historian. White Webbs House was associated with the gunpowder plot. Durants belonged to the Stringers, and was the residence of the Jeffreys. The South Lodge of Enfield Chase was once inhabited by the Earl of Chatham, as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, the East Lodge was a seat of Lord Loughborough, and the West Lodge was held in the time of Charles II. by Secretary Coventry. Edmund Calamy and the antiquary Gough were residents in the parish. Charles Lamb long resided at Chase Side, Isaac D'Israeli, D.C.L., father of the Earl of Beaconsfield, was a native, and the Earl of Strafford takes from it the title of Viscount. Roman urns, tiles, and coins have been found. The living of the mother parish is a vicarage in the diocese of London; net value, £864. Patron, Trinity College, Cambridge. The church, dedicated to St Andrew, is a building of stone in the Early English, Decorated, and Late Perpendicular styles. It contains some fine old tombs and monuments. There are two chapels of ease dedicated to St Michael and St Mark, at which services are conducted by the clergy of St Andrews. The ecclesiastical parish of St James in Green Street division was formed in 1834. The living is a vicarage; gross value, £357 with residence, in the gift of the Vicar of Enfield. The church, erected in 1831, is a building of brick and stone in the Early English style. Jesus ecclesiastical district was formed in 1845. The living is a vicarage; net value, £166 with residence, in the gift of the Vicar of Enfield. The church, which was built in 1835, is of white brick in the Early English style. The ecclesiastical parish of St John the Baptist was formed in 1867. The living is a perpetual curacy; net value, £74 with residence, in the gift of the Vicar of Enfield. The church, erected in 1857, is a building of brick and stone in the Early English style. The ecclesiastical parish of St Mary Magdalene was formed in 1884. The living is a vicarage; gross value, £300 with residence. The church, erected in 1883, is a fine building of stone in the Early Decorated style. There is at Ponders End a chapel of ease to St James erected in 1878. The living is a private curacy; net value, £212 with residence, in the gift of the Vicar of Enfield. There are also Baptist, Roman Catholic, Congregational, Primitive Methodist, and Wesleyan chapels. There are almshouses for ten poor women, an endowed grammar school with £120 a year, a cottage hospital, a lying-in charity, and some valuable parochial charities. Several of the latter are administered under a scheme approved by the Charity Commissioners in 1888. Cock Forsters is a hamlet on the western border of the parish in the Chase division, 2 miles E from New Barnet station on the G.N.R., and 4 W from Enfield Town. It was formed into an ecclesiastical parish in 1839. The living is a vicarage; net value, £250 with residence, in the gift of trustees. The church, a plain building of stone in the Early English style, was erected in 1839. There are post, money order, and telegraph offices at Enfield, Enfield Highway, Enfield Lock, Enfield Wash, Ponders Endy and Cock Forsters; population, 31,803.

Enfield Parliamentary Division of Middlesex was formed under the Redistribution of Seats Act of 1885, and returns one member to the House of Commons. Population, 84,414, The division includes the following:-South Mimms- Monken Hadley, South Mimms; Edmonton (part of)-Edmonton, Enfield; Finsbury (part of)-Fryern Barnet.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5

Administration

The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyMiddlesex 
Ecclesiastical parishEnfield St. Andrew 
HundredEdmonton 
Poor Law unionEdmonton 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.


Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Enfield from the following:


Land and Property

A full transcript of the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Middlesex is online.


Villages, Hamlets, &c

Botany Bay
Bush Hill Park
Ponders End
Trent or Cock Forsters
DistrictEnfield
CountyGreater London
RegionLondon
CountryEngland
Postal districtEN2
Post TownEnfield