|Chase Green and Cenotaph Gardens||Enfield|
Chase Green is former woodland that became part of the hunting park of Enfield Chase in 1136 but to which local people retained common rights. When the Chase was enclosed in 1779 a portion was allotted to Enfield villagers as compensation for loss of rights, although this was enclosed in 1803 except for 5 hectares that were later transferred to Enfield UDC in 1898. As such Chase Green constitutes the first public open space in Enfield. There is a fragment of oak woodland to the west and the gardens at the south end are part of the late C19th/early C20th landscaping of the east part of Enfield Town. At the south end is the Cenotaph Garden with a war memorial.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/02/2011
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Chase Green is on former woodland which became part of Enfield Chase in 1136 but to which local people retained common rights for fuel, timber and pasture. When Enfield Chase was enclosed in 1779 a portion was allotted to Enfield villagers as compensation for the loss of their common rights. This portion was itself then enclosed in 1803 except for 5 hectares which were placed under the management of the church before being transferred to Enfield Urban District Council in 1898. As such Chase Green constitutes the first public open space in Enfield. Settlement at Enfield goes back a long way with the area substantially cultivated by the time of the Domesday Survey. In 1421 the lands at Enfield belonged to the Royal Duchy of Lancaster, which were inherited by Queen Elizabeth I after the death of Henry VIII, along with Worcesters to the north, and Elsyng Hall, later the site of Forty Hall (q.v.) She rebuilt the manor house at Enfield on a site which is now occupied by Pearson's Department Store close to the market place and parish church of St Andrew's (q.v.).
There was almost certainly a plague pit on Chase Green, and burial of victims of the plague in the C16th and C17th took place not only in St Andrew's Churchyard but also elsewhere in the parish. In 1636 the Manor records describe 'a cottage erected by the appointment of His Majestie's Justices of the Peace, for the harbouring of infected people the last great infection' and the Survey of Enfield Chase in 1658 marked the site of the 'Pest House', later occupied by a house known as The Limes. Edward Ford in his 'History of Enfield' suggests that a small pond behind this house 'has probably been caused by the subsidence of the ground, and indicates the site of the "plague pit".'
The connections with royalty, together with the proximity to London, brought the gentry to Enfield from the C17th onwards, and fine houses were built such as Gentleman's Row close to Chase Green. To the north of Chase Green, at nos. 87 and 89 Chase Side, are two houses tenanted by Charles Lamb and his sister Mary in 1827 - 33, opposite which is Gloucester Place, a row of houses dating from 1823 fronted by a strip of green.
Chase Green has a fragment of oak woodland to the west and Chase Green Gardens at the south end of the Green are part of the late C19th/early C20th landscaping of the east part of Enfield Town, together with Chase Green Gardens (q.v.), Town Park (q.v.) and Enfield Library Green (q.v.).
At the south end of Chase Green is the Cenotaph Garden with a war memorial featuring a Grecian-style sarcophagus inscribed 'To Our Glorious Dead'. As part of the New River Loop Restoration Project, which commenced in 1998, works in Chase Green have included resurfacing of paths and new street furniture.
Revd George Hodson (Church History) and Edward Ford (General History), 'A History of Enfield in the County of Middlesex including its Royal and Ancient Manors, the Chase and the Duchy of Lancaster, with Notices of its Worthies, and its Natural History, Etc. Also an account of The Church and the Charities, and a History of the New River' (Enfield Press, printed by J H Meyers, 1873); Andrew Duncan 'Walking Village London' (New Holland) 1997; Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993); Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 4: North (Penguin, 1998); Victoria County History; The Paul Drury Partnership for LB Enfield, 'Enfield Town Conservation Area Character Appraisal', 2006; David Pam, 'The Story of Enfield Chase' (Enfield Preservation Society, 1984