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St Mary Magdalene Church Enfield
   
Summary: St Mary Magdalene is a Victorian Gothic ragstone church with a stone spire, designed by William Butterfield and built in 1883 at the behest of Georgiana Twells of Chase Side House to commemorate her husband Philip Twells, who had died in 1880. It has impressive windows and painted chancel. There is a pleasant well-kept garden with lawn in front of the church, flower beds around the church and the perimeter, with York paving paths, trees, shrubs and seats.
St Mary's Church and Windmill, Enfield, postcard c.1905. Enfield Local Studies Centre and Archive
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St Mary's Windmill Hill, undated photograph. Enfield Local Studies Centre and Archive
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Previous / Other name:
Site location: Windmill Hill/The Ridgeway, Enfield Chase
Postcode: EN2 > Google Map
Type of site: Churchyard
Date(s): 1883
Designer(s): Church: William Butterfield
Listed structures: LBII*: St Mary Magdalene Church. LBII: Forecourt walls to St Mary Magdalene Church; Former Vicarage (now Ridge End) and outbuildings; forecourt walls of Ridge End.
Borough: Enfield
Site ownership: St Mary Magdalene Church
Site management: Church
Open to public? Yes
Opening times: unrestricted
Special conditions:
Facilities:
Events: Concerts, theatrical productions by St Mary's Drama Group and Southgate Opera Company
Public transport: Rail: Enfield Chase. Bus: 121, 307, 313, 517
St Mary's Church and Windmill, Enfield, postcard c.1905. Enfield Local Studies Centre and Archive
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St Mary's Windmill Hill, undated photograph. Enfield Local Studies Centre and Archive
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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.saintmarymagdalene.org.uk

Fuller information:

This area was formerly part of the royal hunting park of Enfield Chase and apart from a windmill at the south end of The Ridgeway there were few buildings until the area began to develop in the C19th following arrival of the Great Northern Railway and opening of its station at Enfield Chase in 1871. Substantial houses for professional and business classes began to be built and the need for a new church arose, the population hitherto served by the parish church of St Andrew in Enfield Town (q.v.). St Mary Magdalene was built in 1883 at the behest of Georgiana Hannah Twells of Chase Side House to commemorate her husband, Philip Twells, a former MP and banker in the City of London who had died in 1880. Mrs Twells commissioned the renowned architect William Butterfield to design St Mary Magdalene as a memorial to him and she laid the foundation stone on 17 December 1881. The church was consecrated by the Bishop of London in July 1883. Philip Twells was buried at Lavender Hill Cemetery (q.v.) where Georgiana Twells was later buried alongside him following her death in December 1898. There is also a memorial drinking fountain to Philip Twells in Lincoln's Inn Fields (q.v.).

The church is a fine Victorian Gothic ragstone building with a stone spire, and the internal fittings were also designed by William Butterfield, the church having impressive windows and painted chancel. There is a pleasant well-kept garden with lawn in front of the church, flower beds around the church and the perimeter, with York paving paths, trees, shrubs and seats. The church has been recently renovated and cleaned.

There is a long tradition of drama production at St Mary Magdalene, with St Mary's Drama Group established over 40 years ago, but prior to this one famous thespian associated with the church is William Henry Pratt (1887-1969), better known by his stage name of Boris Karloff. His family had moved to Chase Green Avenue in 1892 and for a time he was at Enfield Grammar School. At the age of 9 he performed in the annual Christmas play performed in St Mary Magdalene Church Hall, taking the part of a Demon King in 'Cinderella', heralding more monsters to come in later years. He emigrated to Canada in 1909 and worked as a labourer before finding work in the theatre and eventually appearing in films from 1919. Southgate Opera Company is also now based at St Mary Magdalene.

Sources consulted:

St Mary Magdalene Church website, history section; Nick Read, 'St Mary Magdalene, Enfield, A Visitor's Guide'
Grid ref: TQ317967
Size in hectares:
   
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: No
Nature Conservation Area: No
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: No
Other LA designation:
   

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