|St Andrew's Churchyard||Enfield|
St Andrew's Church dates from at least the C12th and Enfield was one of the largest medieval parishes in Middlesex. The church dates largely from the C14th and C15th and contains fine monuments, such as the Tiptoft and Raynton memorials. The large well-planted churchyard was enlarged in 1778 and 1846. It has some interesting C18th monuments among the tombs. A complex of paved walks runs between the church, the walled garden of the Vicarage and the ancient Grammar School, which was at one time run by the celebrated naturalist Dr Robert Uvedale (1642-1722).
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St Andrew's is the parish church of Enfield, one of the largest medieval parishes in Middlesex, which effectively remained a village outside London until the mid C19th arrival of the railways and the opening of two stations, Enfield Town in 1849 and Enfield Chase in 1871. Until 1831 St Andrew's was the only church in the parish. There may have been a church on this site from the C4th and the Domesday Survey records a priest holding c.30 acres of land at Enfield. Geoffrey de Mandeville was Lord of the Manor of Enfield following the Norman Conquest, and in 1136 he bestowed the living at Enfield upon his new Monastery at Walden in Essex, along with those of 14 other churches, including Edmonton and South Mimms. As a result all their tithes, revenues and other privileges were transferred to the Prior and monks, which in Enfield included the right to grind corn, hence land belonging to the Rectory called Mill Marsh and Mill Field. The church was probably rebuilt on a larger scale at that time, and in 1190 Abbot Reginald of Walden appointed Robertus as the first Vicar of the Enfield parish, who would have been assigned a certain portion of the tithes, a Vicarage House and some land.
In 1538, following the Dissolution of the Monasteries, Henry VIII initially granted the Rectory of Enfield to Thomas Audley, who was made Lord Audley of Walden, but in 1545 Enfield was again in the ownership of the King. In 1548 he granted it along with many other religious lands to the Masters, Fellows and Scholars of his newly founded Trinity College in Cambridge. The considerable land of the Enfield Rectory owned by Trinity College was described in the Parliamentary Commissioners report of 1650 as being worth £30 a year, the tithe of corn and grass worth £230 a year; the 'Parsonage House' then had 'one great barne with outhouses and fish ponds, two small orchards, and four closes of pasture thereto adjoining, containing eight acres or thereabouts. Also 24 acres of arable land in the Common Field, and 5 acres and 1 rood of meadow in the Common Marshes being lammas ground'. The Vicar of Enfield also held the 'Vicarage House, with the barns, outhouses and two orchards, with one close of pasture adjoining and two acres of arable land in the Common Field'. Following the Enfield Chase Enclosure Acts 279 acres were allocated to Trinity College in 1777 and another 950 acres in 1801 in lieu of tithes. Additional land was allocated to the Vicar: 80 acres in 1777 with a further 160 acres out of the Trinity College allotment on the condition that any Fellow accepting the living should vacate his fellowship, and just over 382 acres in 1801, in lieu of the vicar's tithes in the parish. The Vicarage and its walled garden remains adjacent to the churchyard. The Rectory, further north on the corner of Parsonage Lane and Baker Street, was pulled down and the grounds developed as Monastery Gardens in the 1920s.
The present church dates largely from the C14th and C15th although it has a stone and flint tower dating from the C12th, a C13th window, C14th ivory coloured pillars and nave dating from C16th. However, extensive alterations have been carried out over the years, particularly in the 1820s when the south porch and south aisle were rebuilt, with further work carried out in 1855, 1866/67 and again in 1989. The church houses some interesting monuments, including the Tiptoft memorial to Lady Jocosa, or Joyce, Tiptoft (d.1446), wife of Sir John Tiptoft who was Lord of the Manor and held offices of state under Henry IV. Nearby is the monument to Sir Nicholas Raynton (d.1646) who built Forty Hall (q.v.). In 1914 Thomas Hardy married his second wife Florence Emily Dugdale, an Enfield schoolteacher, at St Andrew's Church
The church is surrounded by its large churchyard, which comprises a number of different, mostly railed areas, and paved walks that run between the church, the walled garden of the Vicarage and the ancient Grammar School. The churchyard was enlarged in 1778 when part of an adjoining field was purchased by Mr Clayton and consecrated by Bishop Lowth on 13 August, and it was again enlarged in 1846 with the purchase of additional land to the north. In 1858 the old portion of the churchyard was closed for burials except in family vaults and brick graves. Further burial land was required by 1871, as a result of which a Burial Board was set up and 9 acres of parish land were designated for a new cemetery, which was consecrated in July 1872 as Lavender Hill Cemetery (q.v.). The churchyard is densely planted with yew, Scots pine and other ornamental conifers and prominent horse chestnut.
There was an ancient yew in the churchyard, now lost, to the north of the church by the south chancel window, which in the C18th was clipped in the shape of an inverted cone. The practice of clipping churchyard yews into sometimes fantastical shapes appears to have followed from the growing fashion and popularity of topiary in the late C17th. A particularly good example in London is at St Mary's Church, East Bedfont (q.v.). However in the early C19th romantic notions of unfettered nature gained currency, as advocated by poets such as William Wordsworth in his poem 'Yew-Trees' of 1815, and J C Loudon praises the natural magnificence of ancient yew trees in his 'Arboretum et Fruiticetum Britannicum' of 1838. A print of 1813 of St Andrew's Churchyard shows the yew reverted to its natural state.
The churchyard has some good monuments from the C18th, including one by Nicholas Stone, and another to John White, Surveyor to the New River Company, and near the door to the Vicarage garden are noteworthy tombs of Lord and Lady Napier of Murchiston and of Revd Dr Cresswell. Victims of the plague were buried in the churchyard in the C16th and C17th although in the year of the Great Plague of 1665, only 55 burials were recorded. A small Gothic crenellated building to the north at the edge of the churchyard in Church Lane was erected by the Vestry in the early C19th to house the parish fire engine, but from 1882 it was used as a mortuary for over 50 years. It became a Chapel of Rest for a local undertaker, then offices but is now an extra meeting room for St Andrew's Church.
Also adjacent to the churchyard is the ancient Enfield Grammar School, founded in 1548. The Master from c.1660 was Dr Robert Uvedale (1642-1722), a celebrated naturalist who developed the modern sweet pea and grew a Cedar of Lebanon in the grounds of the nearby Manor House, which he leased and opened as a private boarding school in the late 1660s. The Manor House used to stand on the south side of the market place but was demolished in 1927/28, the school having survived until 1896. The Vicarage, which fronts onto Silver Street, probably dates from the C13th and survives in its original position, with a walled garden of around 1.75 acres. It appears that a parcel of land near the churchyard was purchased from Richard de Plessito (d.1289) by Godfrey de Beston and given to the Vicar of Enfield, subject to a rent of 12 pence. De Plessito subsequently added 18 perches of garden between the churchyard and what is now Silver Street. The timber house was encased in brick in 1845 and still has two C16th wings. The 362 foot long wall between the garden and the churchyard was erected by the parishioners in 1800.
In 1822 a fence was erected between the churchyard and the Market Place, at a cost of £90. As early as 1304 Enfield had been granted licence for a weekly market by Edward I, since which time market proceeds were dedicated to poor relief. The present marketplace next to St Andrew's dates from 1532, prior to which it was held on a small green nearby now a paved triangular roundabout with a recently restored drinking fountain featuring 2 cherubs dating from 1884. Enfield's old market cross can still be seen, but now re-erected in Myddelton House Gardens (q.v.). The C19th octagonal timber-columned structure found in the market place today was re-built in 1904 to commemorate Edward VII's coronation.
Christine Matthews, 'St Andrew's Church, Enfield, Guide Book', 2009; 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); Arthur Mee 'The King's England: London North of the Thames except the City and Westminster' (Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, 1972); local history leaflets; Edward Walford, 'Village London, the Story of Greater London, Part 2 -North and East', first published 1883/4 (1985 ed., The Alderman Press); Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, 'Topiary on a Gargantuan Scale: the Clipped 'Yew-trees' at four ancient London churchyards' in The London Gardener, vol. 11, 2005/6, pp70-86; The Paul Drury Partnership for LB Enfield, 'Enfield Town Conservation Area Character Appraisal', 2006