Enfield: Other estates

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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'Enfield: Other estates', in A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5, Hendon, Kingsbury, Great Stanmore, Little Stanmore, Edmonton Enfield, Monken Hadley, South Mimms, Tottenham, (London, 1976) pp. 229-232. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/middx/vol5/pp229-232 [accessed 4 March 2024]


In 1271 Thorney abbey (Cambs.) acquired from Walter atte Hatch an estate called the chamberlain's fee, (fn. 1) which possibly took its name from Richard the chamberlain, whose widow held land in Enfield in 1268. (fn. 2) In 1275 the abbey bought land from St. Bartholomew's priory, Smithfield. (fn. 3) A house was built by Abbot William of Yaxley and enlarged by his successor William Clopton, who rebuilt its ruined chapel. (fn. 4) Rights of pasture in Enfield Chase were confirmed to Thorney by Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford and Essex, in 1348. (fn. 5) The abbots' house was leased out at the Dissolution, together with a grove to its south and Rough, Chapel, and Mores Hatch groves. (fn. 6) The house was granted in 1540 to Thomas Wroth (fn. 7) and in 1635 some of the former abbey's lands, called Cranes, were held by John Wroth of Durants, while 44 a. near Mores Hatch gate were held by William Pennefather. (fn. 8) Crane's farm remained part of the Durants estate and in 1795 was held by Newell Connop. (fn. 9)

St. Bartholomew's priory, having sold its arable in Enfield to Thorney in 1275, was left with small scattered pieces of pasture, some of which in 1306 lay in Wild marsh. (fn. 10) In 1547 a meadow and garden belonging to the priory were granted to the Corporation of London (fn. 11) and in 1705 a house and garden in the parish were held by the governors of St. Bartholomew's hospital. (fn. 12)

In 1274 the hospital of St. Mary without Bishopsgate held land in the parish of Adam Durant. (fn. 13) In 1338 John Banbury of Hackney gave 33 a. in Hackney and Enfield to the hospital, (fn. 14) which in 1538 held 10 a. in Enfield. (fn. 15)

William the treasurer (bursarius) and others gave land to the priory of Haliwell, Shoreditch, in 1282. (fn. 16) Sir Robert Wroth leased 9 a. in Mill marsh from the priory in 1532 (fn. 17) and John Wroth was granted the land in 1544. (fn. 18)

The priory of St. John of Jerusalem held property in the parish c. 1324. (fn. 19) In 1536 it consisted of 7 a. in Littlefordsey, (fn. 20) which were granted in 1544 to John Wroth of Durants. (fn. 21)

The Old Park, called the inner park or Frith in 1324, (fn. 22) descended with the Chase but was in a neglected state in 1635 (fn. 23) and was granted c. 1650 to Parliamentarian soldiers in lieu of pay. (fn. 24) In 1650 it covered 553 a., of which 74 a. were in Edmonton, and contained a brick lodge and an inclosure called the hop garden. (fn. 25) The estate was still described as a park in 1661, when it was granted by the duchy to George Monck, duke of Albemarle, (fn. 26) but it had been converted to farm-land by 1686. (fn. 27) After the death of Christopher Monck, duke of Albemarle (d. 1688), it was granted in 1689 to William Bentinck, earl of Portland (d. 1709), (fn. 28) but in 1709 it was held by Christopher Monck's widow Elizabeth, dowager duchess of Montagu (d. 1734), (fn. 29) and in 1736, when it had been reduced to 230 a., by Grace, Countess Granville, a kinswoman of the Moncks, who sold it to Samuel Clayton. (fn. 30) The estate was augmented in 1779 by 30 a. allotted for loss of common rights in the Chase. (fn. 31) In 1823 Old Park was held by Samuel Clayton, nephew of John Clayton, (fn. 32) and in 1825 it was bought by Mrs. Winchester Lewis, who had sold a large part by 1834 when she retained Old Park House and 59 a., most of it in Edmonton. (fn. 33) In 1873 the estate belonged to Edward Ford, son-in-law of Mrs. Lewis and co-author of a history of Enfield, (fn. 34) from whom it passed to his son John Walker Ford, who sold it before 1910. (fn. 35) In 1921 (fn. 36) the house and 125 a. were held by Bush Hill Park golf club.

Old Park House, in 1973 the club-house of Bush Hill Park golf club, was said in 1873 to be comparatively modern and to include only a small part of the lodge mentioned in 1650. (fn. 37) The oldest part of the house is a red-brick block of the late 18th century. On the east side are additions in a Tudor style of c. 1850 and on the north further additions of the late 19th century, probably replacing the last fragments of the 17th-century house. The grounds contain the remains of a Grecian temple, which stood there in 1910, (fn. 38) and an earthwork. (fn. 39)

Chase Park estate originated in 34 a. on the eastern side of Old Park near Enfield Town, which were bought from Samuel Clayton by Thomas Cotton in 1811. The land was sold in 1822 to a Mr. Browning, who conveyed it in 1832 to his son-in-law William Carr, the purchaser of a further 56 a. of Old Park from Mrs. Lewis in 1832. His estate was sold in 1859 to Francis Adams, (fn. 40) whose devisees offered it for sale in 1879. (fn. 41) Some of the land was later absorbed in Town park, created in 1902, and much of the rest became part of Bush Hill golf course. Chase Park, a plain stuccoed house built by Browning, (fn. 42) stood empty in 1908 (fn. 43) and was demolished soon afterwards.

A new tenement at Whitewebbs was acquired by Agnes and Stephen Wilford in 1543. (fn. 44) Robert Huicke the physician, (fn. 45) who held land in Enfield by 1555, (fn. 46) in 1570 was granted a conduit in the Chase to supply water to his mansion called Whitewebbs. (fn. 47) The house was associated with the Gunpowder Plot (fn. 48) and was held in 1635, with 10 a. called Colleges, by Dr. Samuel Ward, the divine. (fn. 49) It was claimed by a Dr. Bockenham in 1653 and afterwards acquired by Michel Garnault. When Daniel Garnault died in 1809 the estate, some 31 a., passed to his sister Ann, who married Henry Bowles of Myddelton House, Bull's Cross, the owner in 1823. The house, which had stood near Myddelton House, was demolished c. 1790. (fn. 50)

An estate of 134 a. called Whitewebbs farm belonged to Eliab Breton of Forty Hall, after whose death it was bought by Dr. Abraham Wilkinson, who received 68 a. in the former Chase under the Act of 1801. (fn. 51) In 1873 it belonged to Wilkinson's grandson, Henry Wilkinson (d. 1887), (fn. 52) owner of a notable collection of paintings and objets d'art. (fn. 53) The estate was later purchased by Enfield U.D.C. as a public park, which in 1955 totalled 232 a. (fn. 54) The core of the existing house called White Webbs was built by Abraham Wilkinson in 1791; it was lengthened and greatly enlarged in the mid 19th century and was again altered in the 1870s to the designs of Charles Stuart Robertson, who gave it its French Renaissance exterior. (fn. 55) The house, in 1973 an old people's home, is a large two-storeyed building with a low tower over the entrance and one-storeyed wings.

The first estates formed out of Enfield Chase were those leased out with the three lodges. Two of the dwellings, Bull's Lodge and Augustine's Lodge, were recorded in 1593. (fn. 56) There were three lodges in 1635, occupied by the under-keepers of the north, south, and east bailiwicks of the Chase, (fn. 57) and in 1650 the inclosed land around them totalled 181 a. (fn. 58) In 1686 88 a. were attached to West Lodge, 66 a. to South Lodge, and 38 a. to East Lodge. (fn. 59) The West Lodge estate remained the largest: it was augmented in 1742 by 98 a. on the east and south sides, leased separately by James Brydges, duke of Chandos, (fn. 60) and in 1889 it amounted to 189 a. (fn. 61) The South Lodge estate was enlarged in the 18th century and contained 115 a. in 1841, when 34 a. formed a park around the house, (fn. 62) while the East Lodge estate contained 114 a. in 1845. (fn. 63) All three estates continued to be leased out by the duchy after the inclosure of the rest of the Chase in 1779. South Lodge was sold to John Laing & Son, building contractors, in 1935 and the other two to the county council in 1937 as part of the Green Belt. (fn. 64)

In 1650 the lodges were named after the underkeepers who lived there. Potter's Lodge, in the middle of the Chase and evidently the largest and newest, was a three-storeyed brick building, worth thrice as much as either of the other two; Norris's and Dighton's lodges were one-storeyed buildings of timber and 'Flemish walls', with attic rooms. (fn. 65) During the Interregnum the lodges were occupied by army officers (fn. 66) and after the Restoration they were leased to high officers of the Chase or to outsiders as country retreats. West Lodge was occupied from c. 1680 by Henry Coventry, Lord Coventry (1619-86), a former secretary of state and chief ranger of the Chase. (fn. 67) John Evelyn in 1676 thought it very pretty and commodious, with fine gardens and artificial ponds. (fn. 68) It was later leased by James Brydges, duke of Chandos (d. 1744), another chief ranger and lessee of Enfield manor, who employed Edward Shepherd to refront the house between 1730 and 1732 and later sub-let it. (fn. 69) At the end of the 18th century West Lodge was a plain three-storeyed brick building with a seven-bay front and rusticated quoins, apparently unaltered since 1732. (fn. 70) The house was leased to a farmer in 1808, when the gardens were overgrown, (fn. 71) and in 1832 it was demolished by a new lessee, Archibald Paris. (fn. 72) It was replaced by a plain stuccoed building, used as a hotel in 1973.

The lease of South Lodge was bought by William Pitt, later earl of Chatham, in 1747. In 1748 the house was rebuilt and the surrounding fields were made into a park with ornamental lakes, a temple to Pan, a pyramid, and a bridge. Pitt sold the lease in 1755, claiming that he had never stayed at South Lodge for more than a week. (fn. 73) After a period of neglect the estate was restored at the end of the 18th century by Thomas Skinner, alderman of London. (fn. 74) The house was then a three-storeyed stuccoed building, with a canted bay window at the centre of the garden front. (fn. 75) It was demolished after the sale of the surrounding land in 1935.

East Lodge, said to have been a hunting seat of Charles I, (fn. 76) was rebuilt in 1668 by the lessee Charles, Lord Gerard, later earl of Macclesfield (d. 1694). (fn. 77) The lodge or its successor was afterwards leased by Alexander Wedderburn, Lord Chancellor and later earl of Rosslyn (d. 1805), and known as the Red Lodge, to distinguish it from the near-by White Lodge, a two-storeyed stuccoed house, built in the late 18th century and leased with the Red Lodge. (fn. 78) In 1808 the Red Lodge was in very poor repair after long disuse (fn. 79) and before 1823 it was demolished. (fn. 80) The White Lodge was demolished by G. J. Graham before 1873 and was replaced by the modern East Lodge. (fn. 81)

When the Chase was divided, 3,219 a., together with the lands around the three lodges, remained with the duchy of Lancaster. (fn. 82) The duchy was empowered to sell up to 250 a. (fn. 83) and in 1777 152 a. north of Cockfosters were bought by Francis Russell, secretary of the duchy court, who built a house called Beech Hill Park south of Camlet Way. (fn. 84) In 1781 the estate was enlarged by 106 a. on its west and south sides (fn. 85) but in 1790 it was sold to William Franks of Mount Pleasant, Cockfosters, whose executors sold it in 1800 to Archibald Paris. (fn. 86) The land was sold c. 1858 to Charles Jack (d. 1896), whose sons offered it for sale in 1901. (fn. 87) It was purchased in 1920 by the Economic Insurance Co., which leased the greater part of it to Hadley Wood golf club. (fn. 88) Beech Hill Park, in 1973 the club-house of Hadley Wood golf club, was built before 1786; (fn. 89) it is a plain stuccoed building of two storeys, with a main front of seven bays, the central three of which are flanked by giant Doric pilasters. Wings were added in the 19th century. The landscaped grounds were described in 1796 as truly picturesque. (fn. 90)

Archibald Paris of Beech Hill held many lands of the duchy of Lancaster. In 1799 he took over the leases of Suits Hill and Greenwood, west of Beech Hill, and of Monkey mead, to the north, and in 1829 he leased 1,338 a. of duchy land. The leases were assigned in 1833 and 1838 to Sir Edward Barnes, a former governor of Ceylon, who lived at Greenwood, west of Beech Hill Park. (fn. 91) Greenwood House, with 107 a., was sold by the duchy in 1925 and the house was demolished in 1967. (fn. 92) Monkey Mead farm was leased in 1857 by Charles Jack, who later began to build on the Hadley Wood estate. (fn. 93) The estate's trustees ceased to hold the lease in 1941 and the freeholds were later sold off piecemeal by the duchy. (fn. 94)

The Trent Place estate originated in 250 a. north of West Lodge, which were leased in 1779 (fn. 95) to Sir Richard Jebb, Bt. (1729-87), the physician. (fn. 96) Jebb built a villa called Trent Place after the Italian town where he had cured the duke of Gloucester of a serious illness. (fn. 97) In 1787 the estate contained 385 a., of which 300 a. were park land. (fn. 98) After passing through several hands (fn. 99) the lease was assigned in 1833 to David Bevan of Mount Pleasant, Cockfosters, who assigned it in 1837 to his son Robert Cooper Lee Bevan (d. 1890). (fn. 100) In 1857 the Trent Place estate contained 475 a., while Bevan leased another 93 a. called Clay Pit Hill farm to the north-west and 114 a. at Cockfosters to the south. (fn. 101) His son Francis Augustus Bevan bought 57 a. south of the main estate from the duchy of Lancaster in 1892. (fn. 102) From 1909 most of the property was leased by Sir Edward Sassoon, Bt., (fn. 103) whose son Philip (1888-1939), later Under-Secretary for Air and First Commissioner of Works, purchased it from the duchy in 1922, (fn. 104) when it totalled 570 a. Sir Philip Sassoon devised the land to a cousin, Mrs. David Gubbay, who sold it soon after the Second World War as part of the Green Belt. (fn. 105)

The first Trent Place was a 'compact villa' of brick, with a portico and a curved central portion. (fn. 106) Sir William Chambers carried out unspecified alterations for Sir Richard Jebb (fn. 107) and Francis Repton was said to have beautified the house and its grounds, which contained a lake, for John Cumming, the occupier in 1816. (fn. 108) The house was enlarged by Robert Bevan before 1873 (fn. 109) and again by his son in 1894. (fn. 110) In 1926 Sir Philip Sassoon began extensive changes, seemingly to his own designs, refacing the outside with red brick and stone dressings from the demolished Devonshire House in Piccadilly, removing a 19th-century north tower, building terraces, and redecorating the interiors. The result was a dignified mansion in the early-18th-century manner, with the roof hidden behind a balustraded cornice. The orangery, completed shortly before 1931, was designed by Col. Reginald Cooper. (fn. 111) In the 1930s Trent Place was noted for its exotic furnishings and for Sassoon's lavish entertainments, patronized by royalty. (fn. 112) The house later became a teachers' training college and the grounds a park. (fn. 113)

North Lodge was built on duchy land after the inclosure of the Chase and in 1791 was occupied by Thomas James. (fn. 114) In 1857 the estate contained 328 a. and was leased to Charles King, who was also tenant of the adjoining New Cottage farm. (fn. 115) North Lodge was included in the sale of land for the Green Belt in 1937. (fn. 116) The house is two-storeyed, of brick, with a front of five bays and a pedimented centrepiece. It has been used by the county council as a remand home since 1941 and has been renamed Kilvinton Hall. (fn. 117)

The remaining duchy land in Enfield was split up and leased out at the inclosure of the Chase. In 1867 the largest farms were New Cottage (209 a.), Holly Hill (373 a.), Sloper's Pond (100 a.), Plumridge (301 a.), North Lodge (382 a.), and Monkey Mead (222 a.). (fn. 118) In 1937 2,002 a., including most of the farms, were sold by the duchy to Middlesex C.C. as part of the Green Belt. (fn. 119)

The eastern part of the Chase, 1,733 a., was allotted to the parish of Enfield under the Act of 1777 and was divided and inclosed in 1803, when the largest portion went to Trinity College. (fn. 120) Other allotments included 98 a. south of Cattle gate to William Mellish, who was also awarded 314 a. from lands lying east of the former Chase, between Ponders End and Enfield Town. (fn. 121)


  • 1. Camb. Univ. Libr., Add. MS. 3021, ff. 363v.-4, 368.
  • 2. D.L. 25/18.
  • 3. Camb. Univ. Libr., Add. MS. 3021, f. 359.
  • 4. Ibid. ff. 449, 460v.
  • 5. Cal. Pat. 1348-50, 31.
  • 6. S.C. 12/36/22.
  • 7. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xv, p. 348.
  • 8. D.L. 42/125.
  • 9. D.L. 42/126; Lysons, Environs, ii. 304.
  • 10. Webb, Recs. of St. Barts. i. 341.
  • 11. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xxi(2), p. 415.
  • 12. C 78/1502 no. 5.
  • 13. C.P. 25(1)/148/26/30.
  • 14. Cal. Pat. 1338-40, 14.
  • 15. S.C. 6/Hen. VIII/2396 m. 94.
  • 16. C.P. 25(1)/148/29/115.
  • 17. S.C. 6/Hen. VIII/2396 m. 117.
  • 18. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xix(2), p. 187.
  • 19. Cal. Inq. ad quod damnum (Rec. Com.), 280.
  • 20. S.C. 6/Hen. VIII/2402 m. 32.
  • 21. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xix(2), p. 187.
  • 22. See above, p. 213.
  • 23. D.L. 42/125; see p. 213.
  • 24. E 320/L 45; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1655, 391.
  • 25. E 317/Mdx./18; T.L.M.A.S. x. 431-3.
  • 26. C 66/2961 no. 35.
  • 27. D.L. 42/126.
  • 28. D.N.B.; Lysons, Environs, ii. 291; D.L. 42/24.
  • 29. C 7/282/75; Complete Peerage, ix. 107.
  • 30. Ford, Enfield, 30-1; Complete Peerage, ii. 20; vi. 89.
  • 31. 17 Geo. III, c. 17, s.7.
  • 32. Robinson, Enfield, i. 122.
  • 33. Ford, Enfield, 31; map dated 1834 penes Enfield libr.
  • 34. Ford, Enfield, 31.
  • 35. HomeCnties. Mag. xii. 260.
  • 36. Kelly's Dir. Enfield (1921).
  • 37. Ford, Enfield, 31.
  • 38. HomeCnties. Mag. xii. 260-1.
  • 39. V.C.H. Mdx. i. 50-1.
  • 40. Ford, Enfield, 32.
  • 41. Sales parts. penes Enfield libr.
  • 42. Ford, Enfield, 32.
  • 43. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1908).
  • 44. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xviii(1), p. 262.
  • 45. D.N.B.
  • 46. C.P. 25(2)/74/629 no. 33.
  • 47. Bodl. MS. Gough Mdx. 8, f. 35.
  • 48. See p. 249.
  • 49. D.L. 42/125; D.N.B.
  • 50. Robinson, Enfield, i. 243-7.
  • 51. Ibid. i. 247-8. Sales parts. for Whitewebbs farm, 1787, are in M.R.O., Acc. 801/45.
  • 52. Ford, Enfield, 83.
  • 53. Thorne, Environs, i. 178.
  • 54. Boro. of Enfield, Official Guide [1955].
  • 55. Ford, Enfield, 84; N. Hirshman, TS. hist. of Enfield hos. penes Enfield libr.
  • 56. Norden, Spec. Brit. 15-16.
  • 57. D.L. 42/125.
  • 58. E 317/Mdx./20; T.L.M.A.S. x. 434.
  • 59. M.P.C. 107 (D.L. 31/134).
  • 60. Lease bk. 1765, ff. 124-127v, penes Duchy of Lanc. office.
  • 61. Sales parts. penes Barnet Mus.
  • 62. M.P.C. 175 (D.L. 31/216).
  • 63. M.P.C. 136 (D.L. 31/162).
  • 64. Ex inf. Duchy of Lancaster office.
  • 65. E 317/Mdx./20; T.L.M.A.S. x. 434.
  • 66. M.P.C. 50A (D.L. 31/50A).
  • 67. Hist. MSS. Com. 36, Ormonde, v. 331, 393; Cal. Treas. Bks. 1679-80, 503; D.N.B.
  • 68. Diary of John Evelyn, ed. E. S. de Beer, iv. 92.
  • 69. Baker, Chandos, 387-9.
  • 70. Guildhall Libr., illus. edn. of Lysons, Environs, ii.
  • 71. Survey of duchy estates, vol. 1, penes Duchy of Lanc. office.
  • 72. Ford, Enfield, 49.
  • 73. B. Williams, Life of Pitt, i. 262.
  • 74. Ambulator (4th edn.), 209.
  • 75. Guildhall Libr., illus. edn. of Lysons, Environs, ii.
  • 76. Lysons, Environs, ii. 289.
  • 77. Cal. Treas. Bks. 1667-8, 496; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1668-9, 585.
  • 78. Robinson, Enfield, i. 226-7; Guildhall Libr., illus. edn. of Lysons, Environs, ii.
  • 79. Survey of duchy estates, vol. 1, penes Duchy of Lanc. office.
  • 80. Robinson, Enfield, i. 227.
  • 81. Ford, Enfield, 50.
  • 82. 17 Geo. III, c. 17.
  • 83. Ibid. ss. 37-8.
  • 84. Lysons, Environs, iv. 624; Enfield lease bk. penes Duchy of Lanc. office.
  • 85. Ex inf. Duchy of Lanc. office.
  • 86. N. Hirshman, TS. Hist. of Enfield hos. penes Enfield libr.
  • 87. Ibid.; Whitaker, Enfield, 266; sales parts. penes Enfield libr.
  • 88. Hirshman, Hist. of Enfield hos.
  • 89. European Mag. May 1796.
  • 90. Ibid.
  • 91. Clark, Hadley Wood, 33-4.
  • 92. Ibid. 45.
  • 93. Plans of Enfield estates (1857) penes Duchy of Lanc. office; see above, p. 221.
  • 94. Clark, Hadley Wood, 46.
  • 95. Plan of estates in Enfield (1782) penes Duchy of Lanc. office.
  • 96. D.N.B.
  • 97. Ambulator (4th edn.), 233.
  • 98. Sales parts. penes Enfield libr.
  • 99. Lysons, Environs, ii. 291.
  • 100. Index to enrolment bks. penes Duchy of Lanc. office; Mdx. Quarterly, N.S. x. 12.
  • 101. Plans of Enfield estates (1857) penes Duchy of Lanc. office.
  • 102. Ex inf. Duchy of Lanc. office.
  • 103. Mdx. Quarterly, N.S. x. 12.
  • 104. Ex inf. Duchy of Lanc. office; D.N.B.
  • 105. Mdx. Quarterly, N.S. x. 12.
  • 106. Sales parts. (1787) penes Enfield libr.
  • 107. Colvin, Dict. of Architects, 135.
  • 108. Brewer, Beauties of Eng. and Wales, x(5), 734; Country Life, lxix. 40.
  • 109. Ford, Enfield, plate facing p. 53.
  • 110. Home Cnties. Mag. xii. 264.
  • 111. Country Life, lxix. 43-6.
  • 112. Chips: Diaries of Sir Hen. Channon, ed. R. Rhodes James (Penguin edn.), 39, 250.
  • 113. See below, pp. 244, 257.
  • 114. Univ. Brit. Dir. [?1795], 85.
  • 115. Plan of Enfield estates penes Duchy of Lanc. office.
  • 116. See below.
  • 117. Index to enrolments (post 1921) penes Duchy of Lanc. office.
  • 118. Plans of Enfield estates (1857) penes Duchy of Lanc. office.
  • 119. Ex inf. Duchy of Lanc. office.
  • 120. See p. 229.
  • 121. M.R.O., Enfield Incl. Act.