Northagh, Northaga, Northauhe (xiii cent.);
Northall (xvi cent.).
Northaw is a charming parish of hill, vale, and
woodland, on the Middlesex border of Hertfordshire.
The general slope of the ground is from west to east,
but a ridge of high ground runs into the parish from
the west, and from this the ground dips slightly to
the north, and about 100 ft. to the south and east.
Several small streams rise on the hills, and Cuffley
Brook forms part of the eastern boundary.
The parish is well wooded, especially in the north,
where is Great Wood, covering many acres. The
south of the parish was once open common, which
formed part of Enfield Chase, but the land is now all
inclosed. There are no main roads within Northaw
parish, but it is connected on the west by shady lanes
with the Old North Road, and a road through Great
Wood leads to Hertford on the north-east.
The nearest station is that at Potters Bar, on the
main line of the Great Northern Railway, about
three miles south-west. A loop of this line is now
being constructed from Enfield to Stevenage, and
will pass through the east of the parish.
The church and village stand on the high ridge to
the west, and from here beautiful views of the valleys
and woods may be obtained. The houses are well
built, mostly around a triangular village green near the
church. About two miles to the east is the hamlet of
Cuffley, which consists of a few cottages, a room used
as a school and church, and Wells Farm. This last
takes its name from the King's Wells, which are near.
In the days of Charles II these wells had a great reputation, and it is said that so many fashionable persons visited them that the king sent down a tent for
their accommodation. Not far from here new wells
are now being dug to contribute water to the
London supply. There are two large houses in the
south, standing in their own parks, The Hook, which
was bought by Mr. George Roddick in 1906, and
Barvin Park, the property and residence of Mr. W. E.
Entering the parish from Potters Bar, the road
turns sharply to the east, and near this bend on the
right is Northaw House, a large white house faced
with stone, built in 1774, the property of Mr. Henry
le Blanc, and the residence of Mr. F. L. Davis. On
the other side of the road is Northaw Place, a late
seventeenth-century building, the property of the
Rev. F. J. Hall, who keeps a preparatory school. In
the north-west is Nyn Park, the manor estate, and
The Woodlands, the residence of Mr. Charles Armitage. The old house of Nyn Park was pulled down
in 1774, and its materials used in building Northaw
House. Northaw covers an area of some 3,295 acres,
of which 1,818 acres are permanent grass, 234 acres
arable land, while 691¾ are woodland. (fn. 1)
The soil is clay mixed with gravel, and the subsoil
London clay and Woolwich and Reading Beds. There
are chalk-pits in the neighbourhood, and also disused
gravel-pits and quarries. The people are agricultural,
crops of wheat, beans, and roots are raised, and a
large supply of milk is sent up to London daily.
King James' Fund (fn. 2) attracts people to the village,
and cottages are difficult to obtain.
In the eleventh century St. Albans
Abbey possessed a wood called North
Haga, (fn. 3) which probably extended over the
greater part of the parish, and is said to have had a
circumference of 7 miles as late as 1556. (fn. 4)
During the eleventh century the title to the possession of this wood was keenly disputed by Robert de
Valognes, who claimed it as heir to his brother Peter,
tenant of it at his death. But though Peter and his
father and grandfather had each in succession owned
the property, they had only a life interest, granted
by the abbots, and Abbot Robert de Gorham had
extracted a confession from Peter that he had no hereditary claim. His brother Robert, however, was unwilling to give up such a valuable possession, so when
he failed to obtain possession from the abbot he appealed to the king. Henry II gave orders to Robert
earl of Leicester to settle the dispute, and the suit
eventually went in favour of St. Albans. (fn. 5)
After Robert's death, however, Robert Fitz Walter
and Gunnora his wife renewed the quarrel, claiming
the wood as the right of Gunnora, who was daughter
and heir of Robert de Valognes. (fn. 6) In 1200 this fresh
suit was amicably settled, and the wood adjudged to
the abbot, who in return surrendered all his land of
Bishopscote to be held by the demandants at a rent
and for homage, and also paid them 80 marks. (fn. 7)
Northaw was 'the desert' frequented by the
twelfth-century hermit Sigar, described as strenuous
in his subjection of the flesh, and a mighty foe of
demons, who walked nightly to St. Albans, and by
the potency of his prayers procured the banishment
from the neighbourhood of the nightingales, which
disturbed his devotions. (fn. 8) The effect of Sigar's prayers
has now ceased, and many nightingales frequent the
Dudley. Or a lion vert with a forked tail.
Russell. Argent a lion gules and a chief sable with three scallops argent therein.
Mention is made of a manor of NORTHAW, which
was let early in the fourteenth century by Abbot Hugh
(1308–26) for six years for £60. (fn. 9) St. Albans monastery
held this manor up to the dissolution (fn. 10) of the abbey
in 1539, when it came to the king, and was granted
by him in February, 1539–40, to William Cavendish
and to Margaret his wife. (fn. 11) About twelve years later
Cavendish resold the manor
to the crown. (fn. 12) The site of
the manor was subsequently
leased to William earl of
Pembroke for forty years, (fn. 13)
and in 1576 the entire estate
was granted to Ambrose Dudley, earl of Warwick, (fn. 14) third
son of John duke of Northumberland, who had been
restored to the honours which
he had forfeited by his support
of his cousin Lady Jane Grey.
Dudley died in 1589, and his wife Anne, daughter of
Francis Lord Russell earl of Bedford, continued to
hold the manor until her death in February, 1603–4,
when it passed in virtue of a previous settlement to
her brother William Lord Russell of Thornhaugh and
his heirs male. (fn. 15) Five years
later this Lord Russell of
Thornhaugh, together with
his son Sir Francis and Katherine his wife, made a conveyance of the manor, evidently
for the purpose of settlement
only. (fn. 16) It is recorded that in
the same year Robert Ratcliffe,
fifth earl of Sussex, recovered
the property from Edward
Alford; William Lord Russell
and Sir Francis Russell being
vouchees. (fn. 17) And as in 1619
Francis Lord Russell was still holder (fn. 18) of Northaw,
Robert Ratcliffe was most likely only acting as trustee.
In 1632 the manor passed by sale from Francis earl
of Bedford and his wife into the hands of William
Leman, (fn. 19) woollen draper of London, and afterwards
to his son William, who was created baronet in
1664–5, and owned the manor up to 1708. (fn. 20) His
son Mansell dying in his father's life-time, the property passed to his grandson Sir William Leman,
third baronet. (fn. 21)
Leman Of Northaw, bart. Azure a fesse between three dolphins argent.
Sir William Leman married Anna Margherita
Brett, but died without heirs in 1744. The estate
passed to his cousin Richard Alie, (fn. 22) who afterwards
added the name of Leman. (fn. 23) He, dying in 1749, left
the manor to his sister Lucy,
who died without heirs and
gave the property by her will
to John Granger on condition
of his taking the name and
arms of Leman. This John
Leman died in 1781, leaving
the manor to William Strode,
who married Leman's widow.
After her death he married
as a second wife Mary
Brouncker. (fn. 24) After the death
of William Strode in 1809, (fn. 25)
the manor was bought in
1810 by Patrick Thompson,
who mortgaged the estate to the Rev. Dr. Trenchard.
The latter took possession on the death of Mr.
Kidston. Sable three salmon set fesswise and rising with a chief or and therein three goats' heads razed sable all in a border argent.
Dr. Trenchard left the property to his son the Rev.
John Trenchard Craven Ashfordby Trenchard, (fn. 26) and
he was succeeded by his son
John Ashfordby Trenchard,
who in 1876 sold the manor
and 450 acres and the advowson to Mr. John Pearson
Kidston. (fn. 27) Mr. Kidston died
in 1894, leaving a widow,
who is now the 'lady of
the manor of Northaw, Nyn,
and Cuffley.' There are no
manorial courts held now. (fn. 25)
The present manor-house is a
good red brick and tiled building near the site of the old
one, the foundations of which
are visible. It stands in a
beautiful park which contains fine trees and a large
piece of water and borders on Great Wood.
The manor of CUFFLEY (Coffele, xiii cent.)
belonged in the fifteenth century to the office of
almoner of St. Albans. (fn. 29) In 1540 it was granted to
William Cavendish with the manor of Northaw, (fn. 30) and
some few years later the manor-house was called
'Aviners.' (fn. 31) Beyond these few records there seems
to be no actual mention of a manor in Cuffley,
but lands there are referred to as being held by
the lord of the manor of Northaw, (fn. 32) from which it
may be concluded that the two manors were merged
In the middle of the sixteenth century the manor
of NYN was held with those of Northaw and Cuffley, (fn. 33) and since there appears to be no other mention
of Nyn, presumably it has been held since the Dissolution with the other two manors.
There is a record of the existence of a mill in the
thirteenth century, (fn. 34) but no trace of it is left now.
William Haines, the engraver (1778–1848) and
painter, studied engraving with Thew at Northaw.
He worked later with Scrivener on the BoydellShakespeare plates.
William Lewin, a Latin scholar, public orator at
Cambridge, and judge of the Prerogative Court at
Canterbury, was son of Edmund Lewin of Cuffley.
He died at the end of the sixteenth century. (fn. 34a)
The church of ST. THOMAS THE
MARTYR has been entirely rebuilt, and
no vestige of the former building remains
except the fifteenth-century octagonal font, which is
set in the churchyard near the south door of the nave.
It has on its bowl floral patterns alternating with
shields bearing a plain St. George's cross. The new
church consists of chancel with north vestry and north
chapel, and south organ chamber, nave of five bays
with aisles and south porch, and a tower over the west
bay of the south aisle.
References to the old church occur in the St. Albans
wills as follows: a bequest to the fabric in 1416,
giving the dedication as St. Thomas the Martyr; (fn. 35)
to mending the chapel, 1434; to the altar of our Lady
and the beam of the great Rood, 1453; to the lights
of the Rood, the Holy Sepulchre, and our Lady,
1477; and a burial 'in the steple of Northehawe' in
1498. (fn. 36)
There are six bells.
The plate consists of a silver-gilt cup and cover
paten of 1636, like that at East Barnet, and given by
Mr. Thomas Hodges, a paten of 1668, with the date
1727 engraved on it, a second paten of 1785, given
in that year by Mrs. Elizabeth Strode, and a flagon
of 1749, given in 1750 by Mrs. Lucie Alie.
There are seven volumes of parish registers, containing entries from 1564 to 1812. These books
were all much damaged in 1881, when the church
was destroyed by fire. The writing on some of the
leaves is scarcely legible. (fn. 37)
Northaw was a chapelry of St.
Peter's in St. Albans (fn. 38) till the
middle of the sixteenth century, (fn. 39)
and all tithes and oblations were held by the sacristan
of the monastery of St. Albans in the fourteenth century, and were leased to the chaplain for the yearly
rent of 110s., with obligation to do necessary repairs
to the houses. (fn. 40) These leases made the chaplain
answerable to the ordinary of the vicar of St. Peter's (fn. 41)
In 1540 a grant was made to William Cavendish
which included the 'rectory and church or chapel of
Northawe and advowson of the vicarage and parish
church or chapel of Northawe,' (fn. 42) from which it would
seem that the chapel was about this time being transformed into a parish church. From this date the
church has followed the descent of the manor to the
In 1708 Sir William Leman added a chapel to the
church. (fn. 43)
No record exists of there ever having been a dissenting chapel in this place, but Nonconformity
existed there in 1685. (fn. 44)
The charity formerly known as
King James the First's Fund. In
1618 about 20 acres known as Totteridge Close, and great and little Gibbfields, and
cottages near the Woolpack Inn, Barnet, were purchased with money given by the king as a consideration for having inclosed Northaw Common to enlarge
Theobald's Park, the rents and profits to be applied
for the common good and advantage of the inhabitants
of Northaw. The greater part of the real estate has from
time to time been sold, and that now left to the charity
consists of premises in the High Street and Victoria
Lane, Barnet, and garden ground in the rear let at £78
a year. The personal estate consists of £9,283 11s. 8d.
India 3 per cent. stock held by the Official Trustees of
Charitable Funds, representing the reinvestment in 1902
of sale moneys producing in annual dividends £278 10s.
making the total gross income of the charity £356.
By an order made on 24 April, 1896, under the
Local Government Act, 1894, it was directed that
one fourth part of the net income should be apportioned as the endowment of an Ecclesiastical Charity
to be called the Church Estate, the vicar and churchwardens to be the trustees, and the remainder to be
called the Town Estate, the trustees to be the governing body constituted under the scheme of the
Charity Commissioners of 15 April, 1865. The onefourth part is applied for purposes connected with the
church, including salary of the organist; from the
three fourth parts about £80 was in 1905 applied to
the Northaw and Cuffley schools, and about £140 in
making good dilapidations to the Barnet property.
In 1620 Richard Coulter by his will left £60 to
be laid out in land, and directed that out of the rents
10s. should be paid to the minister of the parish
church to preach a funeral sermon on the first Sunday
in Lent yearly for ever, the residue to be distributed
on the same day to twelve of the most aged poor
people dwelling within the parish.
A field in Chipping Barnet containing 1 a. 2 r. 2 p.
called the Home Close, was purchased with the
legacy. It is let at £10 a year. The official trustees also hold £144 18s. 3d. consols, in trust for
this charity. The annual sum of 10s. is paid to the
minister, and the balance given in money among
twelve aged poor.
In 1671 Mrs. Rachel Bradgate, who died 12 July,
1687, by her will left £50 to be put out to the best
profit, income to be applied as to 10s. for a sermon
to be preached in the parish church on the day she
should happen to die, the residue to be distributed
amongst the poor on the same day. Land at Cheshunt containing 4 a. 2 r. 11 p., called the Osier Close,
was purchased with the legacy.
In 1686 Babington Staveley, a merchant tailor of
London, by his will gave £50 to be laid out in land,
the rents to be divided among the poor at Christmastime yearly for ever, with a trust over in case of
default for the poor of St. Albans, Wood Street, London. The legacy was laid out in the purchase of land
at Cheshunt known as the 'two-acre piece,' containing
3 a. or. 35 p., adjoining the land purchased with
Mrs. Bradgate's legacy.
Under the Cheshunt Inclosure Act, 3 r. 17 p. were
awarded in respect of the two properties. The two
charities are administered jointly, the lands being let
at £8 15s. a year. The official trustees hold two
sums of £22 5s. 9d. India 3 per cent. stock, each in
trust for the respective charities. The income of the
two charities, after payment of 10s. for the sermon, is
divided among twenty to twenty-five poor persons.
The three above-mentioned charities were likewise
included in the scheme of the Charity Commissioners
of 15 April, 1865, above referred to.
The Countess of Warwick's Charity.
was formerly entitled to nominate two poor widows
to the almshouses at Chenies, county Bucks. By
a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 7 December, 1886 (supplemented by a scheme of 16 February, 1894), a yearly sum of £20 issuing out of the
manor of Northaw, and certain lands in the county of
Hertford belonging to Mrs. John Pearson Kidston,
is divided between two pensioners, who, among
other qualifications, are required to have been bonafide residents in the parish of Northaw for not less
than three years next preceding the time of their
The 'Kidston Institute' was founded by Mrs. Janet
Maitland Bruce Kidston by deeds dated in 1902 and
1903 (confirmed by deed of 15 October, 1904) as a
reading room or club, subject to certain rules and
regulations. The same donor, by deed dated 25
March, 1903, gave a sum of £1,000 to be invested,
and the income to be applied for the benefit and upkeep of the said institute so long as it should exist, or
in the event of failure the principal and interest to be
transferred to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in trust
for the benefice of Northaw. The sum of £1,000
was invested in the purchase of £998 14s. New South
Wales 3½ per cent. inscribed stock (1918) in the corporate name of the Official Trustees of Charitable