Enfield Chase

Enfield Chase is an area of the London Borough of Enfield, was once covered by woodland and used as a royal deer park. While it is no longer officially a 'place', the Church of England Parish of St Mary Magdalene, Enfield Chase, officially holds that title, which was effectively resurrected in 1883 when the Church was commissioned by Georgiana Twells and built by William Butterfield.


In the reign of Henry II the parish of Edmonton and adjoining parishes were for the most part a forest which was then so extensive that it reached from the City of London to about north. Enfield Chase was part of this forest and also belonged to the citizens of London.

By 1154 what had been known as the Park of Enfield or Enfield Wood had been converted in to a hunting ground, or chase. It appears it was not known as Enfield Chase until the early 14th century. For hundreds of years the chase was owned at first by the Mandeville and then the de Bohun families while local inhabitants of Edmonton and Enfield manors claimed common rights. In a charter of 1166-89 the hamlet of Southgate, sited around what is now the famous Charles Holden Southgate tube station, receives a mention. It takes its name from its location at the South Gate of the old hunting ground, later known as Enfield Chase.

By an act in 1777, the Enfield Chase ceased to exist as an entity. The Chase then covered an area of . By this Act it was cut up and divided among the following authorities:

To the King
To the Lodges
To the Enfranchised
To the Manor of Old Ford 36 acres
To the Manor of Old Park 30 acres
To South Mimms Parish
To Hadley Parish
To Enfield Parish
To Edmonton
To Tithe Owners

It was extensively deforested after the Act, and only a small amount of the original forest remains, although some areas have been replanted.

Nearest Places


  • S. Delvin. A History of Winchmore Hill. Hyperion Press, 1988. ISBN 0-7212-0800-2.
  • Herbert W. Newby. Old Southgate. T. Grove, 1949.

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