|Broomfield Park *||Enfield|
* on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens
Broomfield Lodge was reputedly built as a hunting lodge for James I but has been altered and expanded repeatedly over the years. Surviving remnants of the earlier layout of the estate include an early C18th stable block, and a chain of 3 formal ponds running north-south to the west of the house. In 1901 most of the land was sold for development and in 1902 the house and 54 acres of grounds were purchased by Southgate UDC. Broomfield Park opened to the public in 1903. The house was converted in 1925 into a local museum and it has since been used for a variety of purposes over the years. The formal garden, ponds and house are enclosed by C16th and C18th brick walls, the western wall dividing the formal gardens from the more informal landscape of grass and trees. The entrance gates on Alderman's Hill were opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, the year of her coronation.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/02/2011
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The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
Broomfield Park - Photo: Sarah Jackson
Click photo to enlarge.
Site on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens, for Register Entry see https://www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list
Broomfield Lodge was reputedly built as a hunting lodge for James I in the C16th but it has been altered and expanded repeatedly over the years. A house is shown on the earliest parish map of the mid C16th in the ownership of Geoffrey Walkaden. In Elizabethan times it was the property of Alderman Sir John Spencer and by 1624 there are records of a substantial house 'with 14 hearths' belonging to a City merchant, Joseph Jackson. Jackson improved and enlarged both house and estate in the early C18th, probably including the formal gardens to the west that are shown on John Rocque's map of 1754. Surviving remnants of the earlier layout include an early C18th stable block to the south-east of the house, and a chain of 3 rectangular formal ponds running north-south to the west of the house; on the west side of the southern-most pond is a half-timbered bandstand erected in 1926. The fourth, northern-most oval pond was created in the early C20th and has a shelter at its northern end and to the east a garden area and children's playground. The formal garden, ponds and house are enclosed by red brick walls that date from the C16th and C18th, the northern part of which has been demolished. The eastern wall has an early C18th summer house with wooden Ionic columns built into it. The western wall divides the formal gardens from the more informal landscape of grass and trees, accessed through a gateway either side of which are openings in the brickwork, now infilled with modern railings but which may be early features serving as clairvoyees. In the C18th a double avenue of elms led to the west front of the house, which has since been replanted with limes.
In 1773 Mary Jackson had the property and on her death in 1811 she left it to Louise Powys and her husband Henry Phillip Powys of Hardwick House of the Oxfordshire parish of Whitchurch. The Powys family owned Broomfield until 1902, living there until 1858 after which it was let to a series of tenants, including the barrister Sir Ralph Little. In 1901 most of the land was sold for development and in 1902 the house and 54 acres of its grounds were purchased by Southgate Urban District Council and opened to the public in 1903. T H Mawson advised on the layout of the grounds as a public park, his designs appearing in 'Civic Art', but few of his recommendations were actually implemented.
The house, the oldest surviving part of which is c.200 years old, was converted in 1925 into a local museum and in 1928-32 the Council added fake timberwork. It has since been used for a variety of purposes, including a school, a health centre, a café/family restaurant and an arts space, but it was badly damaged by a number of fires in 1984, again in 1993 and then 1994, which damaged a staircase and a series of early C18th murals by Gerald Lanscroon. The public amenities that were provided when the grounds were adapted for a public park included tennis courts and two bowling greens beyond the walled garden to the north. In 1926 a half-timbered bandstand was erected on the west of the southern-most pond. Other amenities included a conservatory, an aviary, a Garden for the Blind and a Garden of Remembrance to the south of Powys Lane, which was designed by the Borough Architect and Surveyor, Robert Phillips and opened in 1929, having an arcaded temple with a memorial cairn in front and flanked by pergolas. Arthur Mee described the park as 'one of the most charming and varied in all the London area'. The entrance gates on Alderman's Hill were opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, the year of her coronation, commemorating 50 years of the acquisition of the park.
Arthur Mee 'The King's England: London North of the Thames except the City and Westminster' (Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, 1972); Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 4: North (Penguin, 1998); Victoria County History; Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993); EH Register entry; Enfield Council leaflet; Bernard Byrom, 'Old Southgate and Palmers Green' (Stenlake Publishing, 2008); Steven Brindle 'Broomfield, An Illustrated History of the House and Garden' (Southgate District Civic Trust, 1994)