Living in Enfield:area guide to homes, schools and transport links
This town beside the green belt with good schools, easy links to the City and its own mythical beast.
Families come to Enfield because of the appeal of small town life and the acres of green space which surround it with two beautiful country parks — Trent Park and Forty Hall — and Epping Forest close by.
The citizens of Enfield in north London are proud of their history. The Dugdale Centre in Enfield town centre houses one of the best and busiest local museums in the capital.
At the moment it is celebrating the history of Broomfield House, a fine 16th-century mansion in Palmers Green that suffered two fires in 1984 and 1994 and which to date has been unable to raise the funds to restore it.
Until November 4 the museum is also honouring First World War workers at the Royal Small Arms Factory on the River Lee, which at its peak employed more than 9,500 workers and made over two million Lee-Enfield rifles during the conflict before finally closing in 1988, making way for the Enfield Island Village housing development.
The town also trades on its connection to one of the weirdest creatures in heraldry, the Enfield. This has the head of a fox, the chest of a hound, the talons of an eagle, the body of a lion and the hindquarters and tail of a wolf.
It is on the borough’s coat of arms and all council correspondence; in the logo of two local schools — Enfield County and Chace Community — local amenity society, the Enfield Society, and many sports clubs such as Enfield Ignatians Rugby Football Club, Enfield Town Football Club; even the local croquet club shows it holding a croquet mallet.
It first appeared on the Irish coat of arms of the Kelly and O’Kelly families and is supposed to have protected the bodies of fallen chieftains until they could be buried.
Enfield is 10 miles north of central London with the M25 and Cheshunt to the north, Loughton and Epping Forest to the east, Barnet to the west and Winchmore Hill to the south.
Estate agent Michael Richardson from Barnfields, who has sold homes in Enfield for 25 years, says half his sales are to Enfield folk, the rest to incomers from the likes of Crouch End, Muswell Hill and Finchley seeking a home on the edge of the green belt with an easy commute to the City and good schools.
The property scene
Enfield town centre has Gentleman’s Row, a charming enclave of Georgian houses overlooking the New River; Barnfields is selling Clarendon Cottage, a rare late 16th-century four- or five-bedroom house, for £1.35 million. Nearby River View has period cottages and Victorian houses also overlooking the New River.
Elsewhere Enfield has a mix of Victorian houses, 1920s and 1930s semi-detached and terrace houses and modern flats. The Willow Estate north of the town centre is particularly popular with roads of semi-detached houses such as Tenniswood Road and Aldersbrook Avenue.
The most expensive house on sale is Longbourn, an eight- bedroom listed white stucco house with a two bedroom detached coach house opposite Forty Hall in Forty Hill, a Jacobean manor house and country park open to the public. Longbourn is for sale for £3 million; contact Strutt & Parker 01727 840285 and Churchills 01992 500151.
Wellington House in Wellington Road, opposite Enfield Cricket Ground in Bush Hill Park, is a development of seven one-, two- and three-bedroom flats nearly ready to move in to; two-bedroom flats start at £514,950 and three-bedroom flats at £669,950. Contact Lanes 020 8370 3999.
Last week Countryside launched Elements in nearby Ponders End. This is part of the regeneration of the Alma Estate. The 10-year programme will eventually see the demolition of 746 homes and the building of more than 1,000 new homes plus shops, a gym and community facilities.
Countryside is selling one-, two- and three- bedroom flats in Elements; one-bedroom flats start at £299,995; two-bedroom flats at £365,000 and three- bedroom flats at £450,000. The flats will be ready to move in to in March 2019. Contact 020 3797 2822.
In the same week Berkeley Group launched the first phase of Trent Park, a development of more than 250 one, two- and three-bedroom flats and two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom houses, some newly built, others converted from the historic house and heritage buildings on the 56-acre site.
The house was home in the Second World War to 59 captured German generals and 40 senior German officers whose conversations were bugged. Four-bedroom houses start at £1,284,250 and five-bedroom houses at £1,605,000. Contact 020 3918 9402.
Local council Enfield has completed or is building seven small sites across the borough to provide 94 new homes, of which 47 will be for affordable rent and 14 for shared equity; the developments are in Parsonage Lane, Forty Hill, Lavender Hill, St George’s Road, Holtwhites Hill, Tudor Crescent and Jasper Close. Contact 020 8379 1000.
Twice as many homes are available to buy as to rent. However, one- and two-bedroom flats in modern blocks near Enfield Town station are popular with City commuters. One-bedroom flats there range from £975 a month to £1,250 a month and two-bedroom flats from £1,275 a month to £1,600 a month.
Michael Richardson says that over the years he has bought and sold many homes for families who are moving up and down the property ladder, so Enfield does have a loyal following. On the other hand it is often a stopping-off place before a final move to the Essex or Hertfordshire countryside.
Most of Enfield town centre including Enfield Chase station is in EN2; EN1 straddles the A10 and includes the eastern part of the town centre including Enfield Town station and the Civic Centre.
Gentleman’s Row and River View in the town centre overlooking the New River and the green and leafy roads off The Ridgeway such as Bycullah Road which have a variety of house types.
The best blocks of flats are in Crescent Road and Village Road where over the years large houses have been demolished and replaced by luxury blocks of flats.
Up and coming
Michael Richardson says that nowhere is undiscovered in Enfield itself; people who are looking for better value veer towards Enfield Lock and Ponders End, where the Alma Estate is being regenerated.
Enfield is close to the A10, Great Cambridge Road, and junction 25 on the M25. Overground trains from Enfield Town take around 34 minutes to Liverpool Street, though some commuters change for the Underground at Seven Sisters.
Trains from Enfield Chase take a similar time to get to Moorgate, although again some commuters change for the Underground at Finsbury Park or Highbury & Islington.
The nearest Tube station is Oakwood on the Cockfosters branch of the Piccadilly line where there is a car park. All stations are in Zone 5 and an annual travelcard to Zone 1 is £2,328.
Enfield (Labour-controlled); Band D council tax in 2018/2019: £1,555.40.