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Durants Park Enfield
   
Summary: Durants Park is named after Durrants, a sub-manor of the Enfield Estate dating from the C13th. From the early C15th Durants was owned by the influential Wroth family and James I reputedly visited frequently. In the C18th Sir Thomas and Lady Stringer lived here, whose son William married a daughter of the infamous Judge Jeffreys. Fortifications on an outbuilding were said to have been erected for his protection. In 1910 this and the remains of the moated manor house, Durants Arbour, were demolished. In 1903 Enfield UDC had bought c.14 hectares of estate land for a public park. The park initially had a bandstand and drinking fountain, but by the 1930s facilities for tennis, bowling and putting, and an athletics track were provided.
'Old Gateway to Durant's Manor-House', reproduced from Edward Ford, 'A History of Enfield in the County of Middlesex', 1873
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Previous / Other name:
Site location: Hertford Road/The Ridge, Enfield Highway
Postcode: EN3 7ED > Google Map
Type of site: Public Park
Date(s): 1903
Designer(s):
Listed structures:
Borough: Enfield
Site ownership: LB Enfield
Site management: Place Shaping and Enterprise, Parks Business Unit
Open to public? Yes
Opening times: 8am Mon-Sat / 8.30am Sundays to dusk (refer to Council website for seasonal details)
Special conditions:
Facilities: Children's playground, lake, paddling pool, basketball court, bowling green, football pitches, tennis courts, toilet
Events:
Public transport: Rail: Southbury then bus. Bus: 121, 279, 307, 310, 310A, 363
'Old Gateway to Durant's Manor-House', reproduced from Edward Ford, 'A History of Enfield in the County of Middlesex', 1873
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The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/04/2011
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.enfield.gov.uk

Fuller information:

Durants Park is named after Durrants, one of the eight sub-manors of the Enfield Estate, which date from the C13th when William the Conqueror granted Enfield to Geoffrey de Mandeville. It was allegedly named after the family of an Adam Durant recorded here from 1244. In the early C15th the Durants estate was owned by the Wroth family who held land in Middlesex for a number of centuries, Sir Thomas Wroth and his son Sir Robert Wroth both holding important positions in Elizabethan times. James I was reputedly a frequent visitor. It was later owned by Sir Thomas Stringer, whose wife Lady Stringer lived here until 1727 and is buried at St Andrew's Church (q.v.). Their son, William, married a daughter of the infamous Judge Jeffreys who was known to have visited Durants and fortifications could be seen on an outbuilding, reputedly erected for his protection. In 1910 this and the remains of the moated manor house, Durants Arbour, were demolished. The site of the moated manor house was south of the public park to the east of Ponders End High Street but it had been destroyed by fire in the late C18th although the Tudor gateway remained until 1910; it remained marked on OS maps into the 1920s. The moat has been filled in and built over.

In 1903 Enfield Urban District Council had bought nearly 14 hectares of the estate lands for a public park. Until the late C19th the area was largely fields south of the hamlet around the church of St James (q.v.) at Green Street but by 1897 a number of nurseries existed in the area. OS Maps of 1913 and 1920 show that the park had a bandstand and a drinking fountain, both reached by a pathway from the west entrance, where some planting is indicated. Immediately to the south and east of the park extensive nurseries are marked, with numerous other nurseries and allotments in the wider area. By this time the adjacent Hertford Road Cemetery (q.v.) was established to the east of St James's Churchyard. By 1935, the park had toilets near the more formally laid out entrance, to the east of which was a bowling green; additional paths led to tennis courts, a putting green, and to the east of the bandstand an athletics track had been laid out. London planes line the Hertford Road boundary and the main entrance has railings and brick gate piers. By the late 1960s the bandstand had gone but a club house, large pond and landscaping have been created on the former site of tennis courts, and the putting green and tennis courts have been re-located.

In the (late) 1990s a £15,000 grant enabled the children's paddling pool to be created with rocks and landscaping around the perimeter and a series of colourful cut-out zoo animals affixed to the iron railings. The west part of Durants Park remained laid out with an area of floral displays by the entrance, with shrubs and a willow by the small lake. Further east the park is now given over to playing fields and play areas. The easterly section is reached across the playing fields with a footpath running along the railings, which form the boundary with Hertford Road Cemetery, and appears to be used as a pedestrian through-route between east and west.

Sources consulted:

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); Arthur Mee 'The King's England: London North of the Thames except the City and Westminster' (Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, 1972); Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993); Victoria County History
Grid ref: TQ351969
Size in hectares: 19.75
   
On EH National Register : No
EH grade:
Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
Registered common or village green
on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No
Protected under London Squares
Preservation Act 1931:
No
 
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.
On Local List:
In Conservation Area: No
Conservation Area name:
Tree Preservation Order: Not known
Nature Conservation Area: No
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: Yes
Special Policy Area: No
Other LA designation: Included in Local Register of Historic Parks and Gardens
   

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