|St Paul's Church, Winchmore Hill||Enfield|
St Paul's Church was built in 1827/28 on a site donated by Walker Gray, the owner of Southgate Grove, later named Grovelands, whose remaining grounds are now a public park. It was originally a chapel of ease to All Saints Edmonton, and became a separate parish of Winchmore Hill from 1851. The small Garden of Rest alongside the church was set up in memory of George William Lewis by his family and the Hayward Memorial Garden was provided by the family of Roland Hayward who died in 1987.
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Winchmore Hill remained isolated until the arrival of the railway in 1871, although it did not become suburban until the early C20th. It was once covered in woodland that was grown for coppicing from at least Tudor times, the largest coppice, Lord's Grove, including what became known as Winchmore Hill Woods. The small hamlet that developed in the woods was largely populated by people who worked as woodcutters, charcoal burners or bark peelers, the latter supplying tanners in Edmonton and Enfield. In the C16th and C17th the hamlet gained a certain notoriety for witchcraft, the most famous witch being Elizabeth Sawyer who was hanged at Tyburn. It was also known for those among the villagers who stole wood and deer from the nearby Enfield Chase. There were Quakers in Winchmore Hill from the 1650s, soon after the formation of the movement, and meetings are known to have taken place here from 1662 with the first Winchmore Hill Friends Meeting House (q.v.) built in 1688. They were much persecuted from the 1660s until the Act of Toleration of 1689. The poet Thomas Hood resided here for some years in the 1820s, living at Rose Cottage.
The Church of England church of St Paul was built in 1827/28 and was originally a chapel of ease to All Saints Edmonton (q.v.), Winchmore Hill becoming a separate parish in 1851. A site donated for the new church was donated by Walker Gray of Southgate Grove, later named Grovelands (q.v.), on adjoining land to his property. It was one of the many new churches known as the 'Waterloo Churches', built after 1815 when the Battle of Waterloo saw an end to the war with Napoleon and London expanded. St Paul's Church was designed by John Davies, a Perpendicular style building in yellow stock brick, which was consecrated on 2 June 1828 by the Bishop of London William Howley, later to become Archbishop of Canterbury. The church partly burnt down in 1844 but was repaired; it has notable early Victorian stained glass showing twelve scenes form St Paul's life, and a chancel dating from 1888.
A garden area in front of the church is grassed with flower beds and some mature trees. A small Garden of Rest is alongside one side of the church; this was set up in memory of George William Lewis by his family for the burial of cremated ashes. The Hayward Memorial Garden was provided by the family of Roland Hayward who died in 1987. Set into part of the boundary wall to the road is a non-functioning pair of stone piers between which sits a stone block referring to a memorial to a member of the Paulin family. Opposite the church and in front of the houses the other side of Church Hill is a strip of green in the middle of the road with mature planting - includes cedar tree. Nearby, a little further down Church Hill, are three early C19th weather-boarded cottages, Woodside Cottages, the central one of which was the village school house.
Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 4: North (Penguin, 1998); Edward Walford, 'Village London, the Story of Greater London, Part 2 - North and East', first published 1883/4 (1985 ed., The Alderman Press). Edward Kelly, 'Exploring the History of Our Church' on www.spwh.org; The Paul Drury Partnership for LB Enfield, 'Winchmore Hill Green and Vicars Moor Lane Conservation Areas Character Appraisal', 2009; David Pam, 'Winchmore Hill, A Woodland Hamlet' (Edmonton Hundred Historical Society No.62, 2004); Helen Cresswell, 'Winchmore Hill. Memories of a Lost Village' (1912, 2nd edition, republished by Southgate Civic Trust, 1982)