Enfield Chase

Enfield Chase is a former royal hunting ground in the historic county of Middlesex. Much of the former area of the Chase has been developed, but a large part survives between Cockfosters in the west and Enfield in the east as Trent Country Park.

Enfield Chase
Enfield Chase is located in Greater London
Enfield Chase
Enfield Chase
Location within Greater London
London borough
Ceremonial countyGreater London
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townENFIELD
Postcode districtEN2
London Assembly
List of places
51°39′21″N 0°05′53″W / 51.65589°N 0.09793°W / 51.65589; -0.09793Coordinates: 51°39′21″N 0°05′53″W / 51.65589°N 0.09793°W / 51.65589; -0.09793
A Plan of Enfield Chase in the County of Middlesex Survey'd by Joel Gascoign, by the order and advice of H. Westlake. Esqr. Survr. A scale of 10 furlongs. 1700.
Map from Hugh Westlake's survey of Enfield Chase in 1700[1]
A Survey and Admeasurement of Enfield Chase in the County of Middlesex by J Russell and Richard Richardson, 1776/77.[2][3]


Enfield Chase was recorded as Enefeld Chacee in 1325 and chace of Enefelde in 1373, from the Middle English chace, meaning "a tract of ground for breeding and hunting wild animals".[4]


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 12 miles (19 km) north. Enfield Chase was part of this forest and also belonged to the citizens of London.[citation needed]

By 1154 what had been known as the Park of Enfield or Enfield Wood had been converted into 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. It is believed that Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth I) often hunted on the Chase after she was granted the estate of West Lodge Park by her brother Edward VI in 1547.[4] In a charter of 1166-89 the hamlet of Southgate, sited around what is now Southgate Underground 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 8,349 acres (34 km2). By this Act it was cut up and divided among the following authorities:

To the King 3,218 acres (13 km2)
To the Lodges 313 acres (1.3 km2)
To the Enfranchised 6 acres (24,000 m2)
To the Manor of Old Ford 36 acres (150,000 m2)
To the Manor of Old Park 30 acres (120,000 m2)
To South Mimms Parish 1,026 acres (4 km2)
To Hadley Parish 240 acres (1.0 km2)
To Enfield Parish 1,732 acres (7 km2)
To Edmonton 1,231 acres (5 km2)
To Tithe Owners 519 acres (2.1 km2)

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

Boxer's Lake Open Space in Oakwood is one remnant of the Chase.[5]

See alsoEdit

References and sourcesEdit

  1. ^ Pam, David. (1984) The Story of Enfield Chase. Enfield: Enfield Preservation Society. p. 98. ISBN 0907318037
  2. ^ Dalling, Graham. (1996) Southgate and Edmonton Past: A Study in Divergence. London: Historical Publications. p. 16. ISBN 0948667346.
  3. ^ 1 item extracted from DL 41/1221 (formerly DL 41/96/26). 'A survey and Admeasurement of... National Archives. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  4. ^ a b Mills A.D. (2010) A Dictionary of London Place-Names. 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 85. ISBN 9780199566785
  5. ^ "Boxer's Lake Open Space". London Gardens Online.
  • Delvin, S. (1988) A History of Winchmore Hill. Hyperion Press. ISBN 0-7212-0800-2.
  • Newby, Herbert W. (1949) "Old" Southgate. London: T. Grove.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Enfield Chase at Wikimedia Commons