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Winchmore Hill Residents' Association

History of Winchmore Hill

A view looking towards Winchmore Hill from what is now Wades Hill c1900

The earliest recorded mention of Winchmore Hill is a deed dated A.D. 1319 in which it is spelt Wynsemerhull, but by 1395 the name had been altered to Wynsmerhull becoming Winchmore Hill by 1586.

The village centre, where The Green is now, was on high ground and surrounded by oak woods, of which a minor part remains in Grovelands Park. Its isolation was attractive to the Quaker movement, to avoid persecution, and to smugglers of lace and silk.

In 1865 the Great Northern Railway Company obtained permission to construct a new line from the current terminus at Wood Green to Enfield. The terrain proved difficult and it was not opened until 1871.

However, this did not result in the development of the area, as it had in Edmonton, as the large landowners, principally brewing families, resisted the sale of their land. Development therefore did not start until the 1900’s, with the most rapid expansion in the 1920’s – 1930’s.

An electric tramway was laid along Green Lanes and opened in 1907.

Today

At the heart of the area is Winchmore Hill Green surrounded by shops, restaurants and other services. This is now designated a Conservation Area. Close to The Green is the railway station. The main road artery is Green Lanes, linking Enfield to the City of London, along which there are numerous bus routes and further shops.

To the east of Green Lanes much of the area is given over to open space with playing fields, schools and allotment areas. The most attractive space is Grovelands Park, (originally the surrounding landscaped park designed by Humphrey Repton) to Grovelands House (now The Priory) designed by John Nash.

A large part of the southern quadrant of the area are houses, ranging from compact terraces to more generous linked houses, with a distinct Edwardian flavour. A number of these have been converted into flats. The majority of the remainder are typical suburbs of the late 1920’s and early 1930’s, but many of the houses are now being extended, thus reducing the earlier spacious feel of the district.

The majority of the working residents commute to London.

At the 2001 Census, Winchmore Hill had 12,225 residents in 4,976 households.