|Bury Lodge Gardens||Enfield|
Bury Lodge Gardens is an ornamental public park laid out by Edmonton UDC between 1935-7 on the grounds of Bury Lodge, a house dating from medieval times, which was demolished in 1936. The Recreation Ground, which also took part of the grounds of the adjacent Salisbury House, was opened on 10 April 1937. The original layout, which is largely intact, had a rose garden planted with 4,700 roses with a central lily pond and pergolas, a sheltered retreat for the elderly, an open-air draughts board, and a pool for paddling and sailing model boats. There were also slides, swings and a merry-go-round, and grass plot for games. Along the southern boundary is Salmon's Brook and to the east, behind Salisbury House, is a bowling green.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/03/2009
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Bury Lodge Gardens is on land that once belonged to Bury Lodge and to the adjacent Salisbury House (q.v.). Bury Lodge was older than Salisbury House, but was demolished in 1936 when Edmonton Urban District Council purchased Salisbury House and 2 acres of land and laid out Bury Lodge Recreation Ground as public open space with an area of formal gardens. Along the southern boundary is Salmon's Brook. The northern part of the park is laid out with well-maintained ornamental gardens, with rose beds, wisteria-covered pergolas and a lily pond, behind which is a recreation ground, children's playground with paddling pool, and to the east, behind Salisbury House, a bowling green. A variety of trees including eucalyptus are found in the park.
Bury Lodge may have originally been a late medieval or early Tudor timber-framed house, which appears to have been linked to Salisbury House, probably towards the end of the C16th. A drawing of 1798 shows the two houses apparently linked and they are shown on the OS Map of 1867 as 'Bury Lodge', but when or whether the link was demolished is unclear. On the OS Map of 1939 the link building remains although Bury Lodge itself was demolished. In 1893 Henry Soundy and his family lived at Bury Lodge, a painting of 1894 showing a timbered cottage-style building flanked by trees, with outhouses to the right; the front garden had rectangular lawns and flowers planted by the house. An undated photograph probably c.1920s shows the house front adorned with flowers and an avenue of standard roses either side of the wide path leading to the front door; a high garden wall with an open gate to the right appears to adjoin the house. The back garden appears in a photograph of c.1895 mainly laid to lawn and by the 1920s it appears with shrubs near the house walls.
In February 1933 the house was up for sale and later that year it was purchased by Edmonton UDC for £7150, described as 'a 17th century weather-boarded building' with a 'well-timbered- garden' that had several old outbuildings, the grounds covering 4 acres 2 roods and 20 perches. Half the cost was provided by the LCC, which was actively encouraging local authorities to provide open spaces, and Edmonton UDC's Fire Brigade, Cemetery, Park and Allotments Committee (FBCPAC) was delegated the task of establishing the recreation ground. A sub-committee was formed in December 1933 to look at the layout of the gardens and use of the house, and in June 1934 the site was renamed Bury Lodge Recreation Ground.
An ambitious scheme was recommended in October 1934 for a sunken garden with central lily pond, a tea garden, paddling pond, children's playground, shelters and a public convenience opening onto Bury Street. There were also proposals for reconditioning the Lodge, including using the building as a public tea room and living quarters for the gardeners. The cost for these works was estimated as £5800 by the Engineer. However in December 1934 the Ministry of Health, to whom the plans had been submitted for approval, queried the plans 'in the present economic circumstances' and in the following year expressed the view that the scheme was too expensive for the size of the ground and was unclear about what the Lodge was to be used for. As a result the estimate was revised down and it was agreed to demolish the Lodge. The Ministry finally approved the scheme and a loan of £5264 was granted to lay out the grounds, although there were objections from Edmonton Labour Party League of Youth that it was not being developed as a sports ground, and from the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings that the Lodge was to be demolished. A foreman of works, Mr E G Cutts was appointed to start work in December 1935. The layout was the responsibility of Mr F J Willis, Borough Engineer and Surveyor and Mr G W Bailey, Parks Superintendent with Mr F H Elgar the engineer in charge of the job. There were objections by local residents of Sunnydene Gardens about the siting of the public conveniences, which would create 'an objectionable outlook from their premises and depreciate the properties around'.
In October 1936 £300 was approved for purchase of roses and shrubs and two park keepers were appointed the following year. The gardens were officially opened by the deputy mayor-elect Councillor A J Hollywood on Saturday 10 April 1937, when a swarm of children surged into the playground, many clutching model sailing boats, and the adults listened to the formal speeches. The rose garden occupied c.1.5 acres in the northern part of the park and contained 4,700 roses. An ornamental lily pond was surrounded by four pergola walks; in the north-east of the park a sheltered retreat was provided for the elderly with an open-air draughts board. Children had an oval pool for paddling and sailing model yachts, slides, swings and a merry-go-round, and a grass plot for games surrounded by gravel walks. The eastern garden wall of Bury Lodge was retained and part of the back garden and its trees, including a copper beech, was also kept as a secluded grass plot. Tiles from the roof of the Lodge were re-used for the shelters in the children's playground and for the elderly, and for the public convenience, which was built on the site of the Lodge's stables and cartshed, to the right of the house from the street. The bell from the old house was attached to the roof of the elderly people's shelter, to be rung at park closing time. Several of the seats in the park were set in paving stones originally in the kitchen of the Lodge, and a circular stone, probably a millstone, also found in the house, was incorporated into crazy paving near the main entrance.
Graham Dalling, 'Southgate and Edmonton Past' (London, Historical Publications Ltd, 1996); Ian K Jones, 'Bury Lodge and Salisbury House', Bulletin of the Enfield Archaeological Society, no. 148, March 1998; 'Edmonton's New Open Space', Weekly Herald, 9 April 1937; 'Edmonton's New Open Recreation Ground', Weekly Herald, 16 April 1937; A History of the County of Middlesex Volume 5; Edmonton UDC Minutes; Salisbury House archive materials.
LPGT Volunteer Research by Sarah Jackson, 2009