A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5, Hendon, Kingsbury, Great Stanmore, Little Stanmore, Edmonton Enfield, Monken Hadley, South Mimms, Tottenham. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1976.
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There was a priest at Enfield in 1086. (fn. 1) At about that date Geoffrey de Mandeville gave a portion of the tithes, with pannage in the park and woods, to his newly-founded priory at Hurley (Berks.). His grandson Geoffrey, earl of Essex (d. 1144), gave the monks an annual rent of 100s. in exchange for the tithes of Enfield and Edmonton, which henceforth were to support the churches there. (fn. 2) In 1136, however, the church at Enfield was granted to the earl's foundation at Walden (Essex), (fn. 3) although Hurley retained its rights of pannage in the Chase and the tithe of nuts there until 1258, when they were exchanged with Walden for the church of Streatley (Berks.). (fn. 4) A single church served the parish until 1831. (fn. 5)
The Enfield church was appropriated by Walden before the end of the 13th century (fn. 6) and a vicarage was ordained before 1254. (fn. 7) In 1538, at the Dissolution, the rectory and advowson of Enfield were granted to Sir Thomas Audley, later Lord Audley of Walden, (fn. 8) who surrendered them in 1542 to the king. (fn. 9) In 1548 they were given to Trinity College, Cambridge, (fn. 10) with whom they remained. Vicars were appointed by the abbots of Walden until 1540, when Lord Audley presented; the Crown presented in 1550 and Trinity College in 1556, as on all subsequent occasions except 1579, when the archbishop of Canterbury presented by lapse. (fn. 11)
Godfrey de Beston gave a house adjoining the churchyard, which he had purchased from Richard de Plessis, to Bartholomew, vicar of Enfield, between 1272 and 1289; a garden was later granted by Richard de Plessis. (fn. 12) In 1291 the vicarage was valued at £6 (fn. 13) and in 1535 at £26. (fn. 14) In 1649 the vicarial glebe consisted of the vicarage house with barns and outhouses, two orchards, a close of pasture, and 2 a. in the common fields, and was worth £8 a year; the small tithes, together with dues and oblations, amounted to £50 a year. (fn. 15) When the Chase was inclosed the vicar received 90 a. in lieu of tithes and Trinity College, Cambridge, as patron, was empowered to add another 160 a. out of its own allotment on condition that the vicar should always resign his college fellowship on accepting the living. (fn. 16) The estate, later known as Vicarage farm, was settled upon the benefice in 1778. (fn. 17) Under the inclosure Act of 1801 a further 362 a. was granted to the vicarage in lieu of tithes in the rest of the parish, including 175 a. between the Hadley and East Barnet roads, 47 a. near Crew's Hill, and 118 a. in the common marshes and north of Turkey Street; 3 a. was given in place of the glebe land in Churchbury field. (fn. 18) In 1835 the net annual income of the vicarage was £1,174 (fn. 19) but the income from glebe lands had fallen by 1870. (fn. 20) The vicarage house, a timber-framed building on the western side of Silver Street, appeared very old in 1795. (fn. 21) It was given a stuccoed garden front of two storeys and five bays in 1801, when other alterations were carried out, (fn. 22) and was completely cased in brick in 1845. (fn. 23) After further alterations it was still occupied by the vicar in 1972.
Baldwin Raddington, lord of Durants, was licensed in 1397 to endow a chantry with property, including Raddington bridge, worth £10 a year. One or two priests were to celebrate mass daily in Enfield church for the founder (fn. 24) but apparently they had ceased to do so before the Reformation. Edward Causton, vicar of Enfield, was licensed in 1471 to found a chantry at St. Mary's altar in the parish church for the souls of Robert Blossom (d. 1418) and his wife Agnes. (fn. 25) The chantry was endowed with land worth 10 marks a year at South Benfleet, Hadleigh, and Thundersley (Essex), including the manor of Poynetts in South Benfleet, and in 1548 it supported a priest at Enfield. (fn. 26) The lands were granted in 1548 to Walter Farre and Ralph Standish of London (fn. 27) but later formed part of the endowment of Enfield grammar school and the parochial charities. (fn. 28)
The brotherhood of Our Lady at Enfield was mentioned in 1464, when Walter Ford left 13s. 4d. for an obit. (fn. 29) In 1484 John Ford gave a close and 3 a. to support a brotherhood priest and Maud Hammond later gave a tenement in South Street to maintain the priest and for an obit. The brotherhood was also endowed with 4 a. by Thomas Aylward, a tenement by one Rotherham, and two crofts (fn. 30) and 1 a. by Hugh Ford, all for the performance of obits. The income of the brotherhood c. 1500 was £3 13s.; it owned the church house with a croft, which had been bought by the parishioners, and supported two priests, one of whom was expected to sing. (fn. 31) Its land may have included the tenement at the 'steeple end' of the parish church and the meadow called Prounces which, with 2 a. of wood, were granted in 1549 to John Hulson and Bartholomew Brokesby of London. (fn. 32) Walter Baldwin, at an unknown date, gave 3 a. of meadow for a light before St. Mary's altar. (fn. 33) Some chantry land in Enfield was granted in 1549 to John Bellowe of Grimsby (Lincs.) and Edward Streitbury of London, (fn. 34) and other lands belonging to obits were granted to John Holson and William Pendrede. (fn. 35)
There is no record of pluralism either before or after the Reformation. (fn. 36) Thomas Thompson, vicar 1505 to 1540, and Henry Lockwood, vicar 1540-5, were both masters of Christ's College, Cambridge. Thompson opposed early reformers, who may have been encouraged by Sir Thomas Wroth, lord of Durants and an ardent Protestant; (fn. 37) in 1539 Thomas Cromwell was told that the vicar had called the English Bible 'the book of Arthur Cobler' and its readers heretics, who had been seduced by a 'green learning that will fade away'. (fn. 38) Thomas Sedgwick (fl. 1550-65), who became vicar in 1556, was a Romanist who had been Lady Margaret professor of divinity at Cambridge University, 1554-6, and later became regius professor there; he resigned the living in 1557. (fn. 39) There was an assistant curate in the parish in 1548. In 1631 Henry Loft of Enfield endowed a lectureship at the parish church, where the lecturer, appointed by the vestry, was to preach on Sunday afternoons. (fn. 40) A lecturer was still being appointed in the late 19th century. (fn. 41) William Roberts, vicar from 1616, is said to have been ejected from the benefice in 1642; (fn. 42) a successor, Walter Bridges, was 'an able and painful preacher' in 1649. (fn. 43) Daniel Manning, vicar from 1659, was ejected at the Restoration and died in the parish in 1666. (fn. 44)
In 1685 it was ordered that the communion table be railed in. (fn. 45) There were two services each Sunday in the parish church in the early 18th century, when communion was celebrated monthly and at festivals. (fn. 46) In 1766 prayers were being read in the church on three weekdays by the lecturer, who was also master of the grammar school. (fn. 47) In 1873 communion was being celebrated weekly at 8 a.m.; the other Sunday services were Matins and Evensong, with an extra Sunday evening service at which all seats were free. (fn. 48) An assistant curate was appointed frequently after the end of the 18th century; (fn. 49) in 1823 his stipend, £100 a year, was fixed by private agreement. (fn. 50) In 1849 the vestry opposed changes in the fittings of the church which might affect its Protestant character. (fn. 51) There was a dispute about ritualism in 1859, when J. W. Bosanquet of Claysmore formed a 'Protestant Association' to combat alleged popish practices in the new church of St. John, Clay Hill; accusations were later also levelled against the services in Enfield parish church. (fn. 52) William Maclagan (1826-1910), later archbishop of York, was curate from 1865 to 1869 and is said to have brought about a spiritual revival in the parish. (fn. 53)
The church of ST. ANDREW stands at the northern end of the market-place, at the centre of Enfield Town. (fn. 54) It is a rectangular building with aisled nave and chancel, a western tower, and a south porch. Most of the fabric of the church is 14th- or 15th-century, much restored, and the south aisle dates from 1824. The walls of the older parts are of ragstone, flint rubble, and brick, with Reigate stone dressings; the south aisle is of brick. The east end of the chancel is of the 13th century, the west tower is probably a century earlier, and their relative positions suggest an early medieval church of considerable length. In the 14th century the chancel arch was rebuilt and arcades were constructed along both sides of the nave and chancel, implying aisles and side chapels. The walls of the north aisle and chapel were rebuilt early in the 16th century, probably to give greater width; at about the same time the south aisle and chapel were also rebuilt and a clerestory was added to the nave. A timber-framed south porch, with muniment room above, (fn. 55) may not be of much later date. John Barley, by will dated 1500, left money towards the rebuilding of the north chapel, where he asked to be buried, and also to the building of the new south chapel and to a new high altar. (fn. 56) Carved stones between the clerestory windows seem to represent the badges of Sir Thomas Lovell, of Elsing Hall (d. 1524); in 1522-3 Sir Thomas spent £11 on glass for the clerestory windows and for carvings of badges and coats of arms in the church (fn. 57) and in 1531 his widow, Eleanor, spent £3 on a window there. (fn. 58) A staircase turret to the former rood-loft projects from the north wall. The chapel at the east end of the south aisle may have served Raddington's chantry. (fn. 59) There were seven altars besides the high altar shortly before the Reformation, the most important of which were St. Mary's in the north and St. James's in the south chapel. (fn. 60)
The roof and floor of the chancel were in a poor state in 1685. (fn. 61) The church was 'beautified' in 1705 (fn. 62) and repaired in 1771; a medieval doom painting on wood, over the chancel arch, was removed when the arch was widened in 1779 and later was apparently destroyed. (fn. 63) The fabric was again decayed in 1787; (fn. 64) Mr. Leverton of Great Queen Street was appointed to repair it in 1789. (fn. 65) More repairs were carried out in 1810, under the supervision of Edmund Lapidge, (fn. 66) and in 1819 a new gallery was built in the north aisle. (fn. 67) In 1824 the south aisle was replaced by a larger brick one with three-light Perpendicular windows and a gallery designed by William Lochner. (fn. 68) Despite the vestry's earlier opposition, (fn. 69) the medieval sedilia were restored in 1852, the pews were altered under the supervision of J. P. St. Aubyn in 1853, (fn. 70) and the choir was moved into the chancel. The church was reroofed in 1866-7 and a choir vestry built. (fn. 71) At another restoration in 1908 the galleries were shortened and a chapel dedicated to St. John was established at the eastern end of the south aisle. (fn. 72)
There was a 'pair of organs' in the church in 1552. (fn. 73) By will dated 1751 Mary Nicholl left £900 to the parish to buy an organ and to pay an organist; (fn. 74) the organ was built in 1752, probably by Robert Bridge, and the large and impressive wooden case survives, although the organ itself has been completely rebuilt. The organ was returned to its original position in the west gallery in 1952, after being removed in 1885 to the east end of the south aisle and in 1908 to a corresponding position in the north aisle. (fn. 75) Other fittings include a wooden bread shelf of c. 1630 in the north chapel. The pulpit and eagle lectern were presented to the church in 1866-7. (fn. 76) The east window was largely obscured at the beginning of the 19th century by a large oak altarpiece, which rendered the chancel 'gloomy and dark'; the window was slightly enlarged before 1823 and stained glass was inserted (fn. 77) but in 1834 the vestry ordered the churchwardens to open it up and to replace the reredos with a less massive Gothic screen, (fn. 78) itself replaced by a marble reredos in 1901. The window's existing stained glass and Decorated tracery date from c. 1873. (fn. 79)
Among the brasses is a figured plate to William Smith (d. 1592) and his wife Joan. An altar-tomb bears the finest brass in Middlesex, (fn. 80) to Joyce, Lady Tiptoft (d. 1446), beneath a canopy of c. 1530. Other monuments include kneeling figures commemorating Robert Deycrowe (d. 1586), Robert Middlemore (d. 1610), and Francis Evrington (d. 1614); a cartouche flanked by Mannerist figures of Faith and Charity, commemorating Martha Palmer (d. 1617); a large wall monument in the north chapel to Sir Nicholas Raynton (d. 1646), with stiff, recumbent figures of him and his wife; and a standing wall monument to Thomas Stringer (d. 1706) with a bust under a tent-like canopy, against a slab remounted by a broken pediment.
The plate includes two flagons dated 1786, four cups, four patens, and a pewter alms-dish. (fn. 81) There are eight bells: (i) and (ii) 1808, Mears; (iii), (vi), (vii), (viii) 1724, Richard Phelps; (iv) and (v) recast late 19th century. The sanctus bell, the earliest work of William Wightman, is dated 1680. (fn. 82) The registers are complete from 1550. (fn. 83)
The church of ST. JAMES, Enfield Highway, was built as a chapel of ease in 1831 to the designs of William Lochner on ground south of Green Street given by Woodham Connop. (fn. 84) In 1834 a district was assigned to the church, consisting of that part of the parish of Enfield east of the Hertford road, and thereafter the living, which was in the gift of the vicar of Enfield, was described as a perpetual curacy. (fn. 85) The church is a plain aisled building of stock brick, in Commissioners' Gothic, with a western tower and battlemented exterior. A chancel in the Early English style was added in 1864. (fn. 86) There were galleries round three sides of the nave by the end of the century. The north and south galleries had been removed by 1967, when a fire seriously damaged the east end of the church. At the rebuilding the chancel arch was removed and a plain sanctuary was built in continuation of the nave. (fn. 87)
JESUS CHURCH, Forty Hill, was built in 1835 at the expense of Christian Paul Meyer of Forty Hall, who endowed it with £4,000 and 7 a.; a further 7 a. was given by Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1871. (fn. 88) The church became a perpetual curacy in 1845, with a district formed out of the parish of St. Andrew. (fn. 89) The patronage has always been vested in the vicar of Enfield. (fn. 90) The church, which was designed by Thomas Ashwell in imitation of Holy Trinity, Tottenham, (fn. 91) is a plain aisled grey-brick building with lancet windows and turrets at the west end. A south-east vestry was added in 1889 and the chancel, in the Perpendicular style, was built in 1926 to the designs of A. E. Henderson. (fn. 92)
CHRIST CHURCH, Cockfosters, was built at the expense of Robert Cooper Lee Bevan of Trent Park in 1839. (fn. 93) The benefice, a perpetual curacy, was in the gift of the founder and remained with the Bevan family; in 1970 the advowson, which was held by trustees, was styled a vicarage. (fn. 94) The church, originally a plain building of stock brick, with lancet windows and a tower with a short spire, was designed by Henry Edward Kendall. In 1898 the orientation was reversed when a north aisle, transeptal chapels, chancel, and vestries were added by Sir Arthur Blomfield. A new vestry and boilerhouse were added c. 1970. A church house was opened in 1933. Services at the church have always been Evangelical in character.
Services for the hamlet of Clay Hill were held before 1847 in a building fitted up as a private chapel by Edward Harman of Claysmore. In 1847 the new owner of Claysmore, James Whatman Bosanquet, in co-operation with the vicar of Enfield, established a Sunday afternoon service in the chapel, (fn. 95) which was attended by an average of 65 persons in 1851. (fn. 96) In 1858 the permanent church of ST. JOHN, Clay Hill, was built as a chapel of ease to Enfield parish church and financed by the sale of glebe land to the New River Co.; it was consecrated in 1865. (fn. 97) A district, formed out of the parish of St. Andrew and the district of Jesus Church, Forty Hill, was assigned to the new church in 1867. (fn. 98) The benefice, which has always been in the gift of the vicar of Enfield, was initially styled a perpetual curacy but a vicarage from 1875. (fn. 99) The church, a small Gothic building of polychrome brick inside and out, with a nave, chancel, south porch, and western turret, was designed by J. P. St. Aubyn. (fn. 100) Early manifestations of Tractarianism were opposed by James Whatman Bosanquet, who complained of 'mysterious mutterings' and ceremonies 'revolting to the feelings of every good Protestant', as a result of which the church was closed for a period in 1859 by the bishop of London. (fn. 101) The vicarage house, in materials similar to those of the church, was also designed by St. Aubyn. (fn. 102)
A schoolroom near the junction of Chase Side and Gordon Hill was licensed for services in 1871. (fn. 103) The permanent church of ST. MICHAEL was built in 1873 on land given by George Batters of Brigadier Hall and, as a chapel of ease, was served by clergy from Enfield parish church. (fn. 104) A parish was formed in 1931 and in 1970 the living was described as a vicarage, in the gift of the vicar of Enfield. (fn. 105) The church, which was designed by R. H. Carpenter, (fn. 106) was left unfinished in 1874 because of lack of funds; it is a ragstone building in a 14th-century style, consisting of a three-bay aisled nave, a north transept, and a vaulted apsidal chancel, arranged in the Tractarian manner, with exposed brick walls. The interior is spacious. The temporary west wall was replaced in 1963 by a new stone wall with a narthex.
The church of ST. MATTHEW, at the corner of South Street and Church Road, Ponders End, was built in 1877-8 as a chapel of ease to St. James, Enfield Highway. (fn. 107) Incumbents have always been appointed by the vicar of Enfield (fn. 108) and the living was described as a vicarage in 1907. (fn. 109) The nave and north aisle of the present church survive from the original building, which was designed by H. J. Paull; the chancel was added in 1900 to the designs of J. E. K. and J. P. Cutts. (fn. 110) The church is a plain Gothic building of Kentish ragstone.
The church of ST. MARY MAGDALENE, at the corner of Windmill Hill and Ridgeway, was opened in 1883 and financed by Georgiana Hannah Twells of Chaseside House, as a memorial to her husband Philip Twells, M.P. (d. 1880). (fn. 111) A district, taken from St. Andrew's parish, was assigned in 1884. (fn. 112) The first incumbent, who was styled vicar after 1885, was appointed by Mrs. Twells; (fn. 113) in 1908 and 1947 the advowson was in the hands of P. T. Marshall (fn. 114) and by 1951 it was exercised by the bishop of London. (fn. 115) The church, designed by William Butterfield in a 14th-century style, (fn. 116) is a large building of Kentish ragstone consisting of an aisled nave and a lower chancel, with a western tower and prominent spire. The lofty interior, an unusually plain example of the architect's work, has windows filled with stained glass of different dates and the chancel covered with paintings by Charles Buckeridge, dated 1897, and by N. H. Westlake, dated 1899; a wooden screen separating nave from chancel was built in 1898, while a south chapel was added in 1907-8. The adjacent vicarage, in 1974 no longer used for the purpose, was designed by Butterfield, while the church hall was built to the designs of C. W. Reeves in 1894. (fn. 117)
An iron mission-room was built in Fourth Avenue, Bush Hill Park, by the vicar of Enfield in 1885 and served by clergy from the parish church. (fn. 118) The permanent church of ST. MARK, on the corner of Main Avenue and St. Mark's Road, was consecrated in 1893 as a chapel of ease to Enfield parish church. A parish was formed in 1903 and the vicar appointed by the bishop of London, with whom the patronage has remained. (fn. 119) The church, a spacious aisled building with nave, chancel, and north and south chapels, was designed by J. E. K. and J. P. Cutts in a plain Early English style and built of red brick with stone dressings; it was not completed until 1915 and an intended north-west spire was never built. A church institute was built in 1907. Since 1910 the church has maintained an AngloCatholic form of worship.
There was a mission church dedicated to St. Luke in Acacia Road in 1890. (fn. 120) The permanent church of ST. LUKE, Browning Road, was later built on the site of Brigadier House, partly at the expense of the Revd. V. T. Macy, and was consecrated in 1900; the nave was added in 1908. (fn. 121) A parish was formed in 1900 out of the parish of St. John, Clay Hill, (fn. 122) and in 1970 the patronage of the living, a vicarage, was in the hands of the bishop of London. (fn. 123) The church is a large red brick building in the early Gothic style, designed by James Brooks; (fn. 124) it contains an aisled nave and chancel of the same height, with lower north and south transepts and a pointed turret over the east end of the nave.
In 1898 there was an iron church in Hertford Road, Enfield Highway, (fn. 125) which was still in use as a hall in 1973. An ecclesiastical district, taken from the parishes of Jesus Church, Forty Hill, and St. James, Enfield Highway, was annexed to the church in 1901 (fn. 126) and the permanent church of ST. GEORGE, Enfield Wash, was begun in 1900 and completed in 1906. (fn. 127) In 1908 the living was described as a vicarage, in the gift of the bishop of London, with whom it has remained. (fn. 128) The church is a large, gaunt, red-brick building in the early Gothic style, designed by J. E. K. and J. P. Cutts; it contains an aisled nave and chancel and the base of a south-west tower which was not completed. (fn. 129)
Sunday evening services were held c. 1900-10 in a wooden hut in the grounds of St. Ronan's, Hadley Wood. (fn. 130) In 1911 a small church room in Camlet Way was built of rusticated concrete blocks to the designs of A. E. Kingwell and licensed for services. In 1936 a small chancel was added and the building was consecrated as the church of ST. PAUL, Hadley Wood. The church has always been a chapel of ease to Christ Church, Cockfosters, but has had a resident curate since 1912 and has been managed by its own church committee since 1930.
The church of ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL, Ordnance Road, was built in 1928 to replace a garrison chapel in the Royal Small Arms factory, Enfield Lock, which existed in 1882 (fn. 131) and was closed in 1921. (fn. 132) The new church, a plain brick building, was a chapel of ease to St. James, Enfield Highway. It was damaged by bombs in the Second World War and later demolished; a new church was built to the east, from the designs of Romilly Craze, and consecrated in 1969. The church is a brick building of simple plan with tall three-light windows, a western narthex and baptistery, and a south-western tower; in 1969 it became the mother church of a new parish formed out of the parish of St. James, Enfield Highway.
In the late 1920s services were held in a hall until the church of ST. PETER, Grange Park, was built at the corner of Vera Avenue and Langham Gardens in 1941. A new parish was assigned from that of St. Paul, Winchmore Hill, which previously had served the district, and St. Andrew, Enfield, and the bishop of London became patron. The church, built of grey brick to the designs of C. A. Farey, consists of apsidal chancel, transepts, and aisled nave. Among many fittings from older churches, damaged during the Second World War, is the marble font from St. Catherine's, Hammersmith, previously in St. Catherine Coleman, London (demolished 1926). The bell, 1785, is from St. John's, Drury Lane. (fn. 133)
The mission church of ST. GILES, Bullsmoor Lane, was built in 1954 to serve the northern part of the parish of Jesus Church, Forty Hill. The plain brick building with a wooden bell-turret serves as both church and hall, and in 1971 the church was served by a priest-in-charge. (fn. 134)