Winchmore Hill is a district in the London Borough of Enfield in London bounded on the east by Green Lanes (the A105) and on the west by Grovelands Park. Winchmore Hill is 8.9 miles (14.3km) north north-east of Charing Cross.
Once a small village hamlet in the parish of Edmonton. It borders with Palmers Green, Southgate, Edmonton, Enfield Chase and Bush Hill
Park. The district boundaries are: Green Dragon Lane
, Worlds End Lane
(encompassing Highlands Village), some of Winchmore Hill Road
, Queen Elizabeth Drive, Bourne Hill
, Hedge Lane
and Firs Lane
Of particular note in Winchmore Hill is Grovelands Park
which originated as a private estate before being partly being sold to the council in 1913. What remained in private hands, is the now infamous Priory Clinic, which recently hosted General Pinochet awaiting charges from the Spanish government.
At the heart of the area is Winchmore Hill Green, a village green surrounded by shops and restaurants. Amongst the latter the Salisbury Arms, the Queen’s Head and the critically acclaimed King’s Head pubs providing meals, whilst Regatta is an Italian restaurant with the Winchmore Tandoori an award winning Indian restaurant.
WAGN provide services on the electrified railway line which runs from Winchmore Hill, and this line connects further south to the Underground system at Finsbury Park, Highbury and Islington, Old Street and Moorgate, from Hertford North. After 22:00 trains run directly to King’s Cross from Finsbury Park, rather than stations to Moorgate. The nearest Underground station is at Southgate which is on the Piccadilly Line.
The parliamentary constituency is ’Enfield and Southgate’, and in 1997, Michael Portillo (Conservative) lost his seat by a large amount partly due to the proposed plans to build a McDonalds on the site of the old Conservative club Behind residences in Elm Park Road
. It was penned as "The first McDonalds built in a residential area". It was however never built. He lost the seat to Stephen Twigg (Labour), who held his seat for two terms. Steven Twigg was then replaced by Conservative MP David Burrowes in the 2005 general election.
Pre-doomsday, prior to occupation by the Romans, Hertfordshire, Essex and Middlesex were invaded and occupied by the Belgian Catuvellauni tribe. It is believed that this tribe built an ancient hill fort on the mound where Bush Hill
Park Golf club HQ now stands.
The earliest recorded mention of Winchmore Hill is in a deed dated A.D. 1319 in which it is spelt Wynsemerhull. In old english, merhull translates according the Consise Oxford Dictionary of English place names as ’boundary hill’. It might be speculated that the overall title could mean ’wynsige’s boundary hill’. By 1395 the name had been altered to Wynsmerhull and by 1565 the village was known as Wynsmorehyll, becoming Winchmore Hill by the time it was mentioned in state papers in 158
There are many buildings of historical note in Winchmore Hill including the eponymous St Paul’s Church, being built as a Waterloo Church on land donated from the Grovelands estate. The church ceiling was the largest unsupported expanse of plasterwork in Europe until its renovation in the 1960s introduced concealed supports. The original wooden clapperboard St Paul’s School building can be seen a little further down Church Hill
. The remains of the second brick and stone, school building are evident in the walls of the church car park. The current 1960s building is on Ringwood Way
off Station Road
The oldest pub in the district is probably the Green Dragon - now named Jim Thompson’s - on Green Lanes
. It is reputed to have started in 1726 on the junction of Green Lanes
and Green Dragon Lane
. Then, highwaymen were hanged near to where they were caught. Apparently, one highwayman was caught and executed on a gallows erected by the Green Dragon’s front entrance. These gallows were not pulled down for a number of years, which might have prompted the owner to move the pub to its current location at the bottom of Vicars Moor Lane
near the end of the 18th century. The original Green Dragon was pulled down in 1892 and the new one was extensively remodelled in 1935. Victorian County History reveals that by 1752 The Orange Tree, The Green
Dragon and The Kings Head were all established, although not in their present form. Reportedly, the Woodman pub at the end of Broadwalk was built in 1727, although there is evidence to suggest it also dates from 1820. Before the building obtained an pub licence in 1868, it was private residence.
Numerous local buildings that were constructed between 1770 and 1839 remain today. Near the Dog and Duck on Hoppers Road
are some old terraced houses built around 1770. Number 106A Vicars Moor Lane
is a distictive private residence that retains the facade of a chapel. To the east on the same road are a number of residences that were probably built around the late 18th or early 19th century.
In 1865 the Great Northern Railway Company obtained permission to build a new line to run from Wood Green to Hertford through Palmers Green and Enfield. However, in 1869 financial constrainsts forced the company to consider Enfield as the most Northern terminus. Palmers Green and Winchmore Hill were to be the intervening rural stations. The intention was to finish the line to Enfield by 1870 but the terrain was more troublesome than expected and five men met their death while laying the track. The branch opened on All-Fools day 1871, and the first passenger train came through Winchmore Hill creating a new suburb of London town. At first only 16 trains a day left Enfield, mostly for Moorgate.
An electric tramway along Green Lanes
from Palmers Green was developed in 1907 helping to further develop the area. The tramway is now long gone, but the wide road remains and the 329 bus follows the tram route from Enfield to Turnpike Lane.