Bowes Park

Bowes Park, Haringey/Enfield

A mixture of Victorian and interwar terraced housing, situated between Wood Green and Palmers Green

Bowes Park - a cluttered looking Greek religious icons shop
A Greek religious icons shop in Bowes Park

Bowes was a Norman manor and the name may derive from John de Arcubus – meaning ‘John of the bows’ – who owned land here in 1274. In 1412 Henry IV granted the manor to the dean and chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral. Bowes manor house lay to the north-east, near the present Sidney Avenue, and became noted for its landscaped gardens. The avenue’s name recalls Thomas Sidney, one of several aristocratic residents.

The 370-acre Bowes Farm estate, much of which was woodland, survived until the end of the 18th century. Thereafter, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who had succeeded St Paul’s as the landowners, began to lease plots of land for the building of large houses, and later in the century sold them for the building of much smaller ones.

The Great Northern Railway Company built a branch line from Wood Green to Enfield in 1871 and opened Bowes Park station nine years later in response to the area’s growth. Another phase of housebuilding filled the remaining gaps in the 1930s and 1940s, mainly with bay-fronted semi-detached and terraced houses. Most of Bowes Park’s public amenities were added during this period.

Bowes primary school’s pupils reflect the area’s diverse social and ethnic profile: some are from well-off families, others from overcrowded homes, many where English is the second language. Gujarati and Turkish are the most commonly spoken languages after English. Ofsted has rated the school ‘outstanding’ in its last three reports, commenting in 2013: “Children begin school with levels of skill and knowledge that are well below [those] expected for their age. They make rapid progress in literacy and numeracy because their experiences in school are very well planned and engaging.”

In Enfield’s Bowes ward, 15 per cent of residents are Muslims and 6 per cent are Hindus, according to the 2011 census. Bowes Park has suffered difficulties with anti-social behaviour but a combined council and community initiative, begun in 1996, succeeded in reducing some of the problems and improving the look of the area.

Postal districts: N11, N13 and N22
Population: 14,051 (Enfield’s Bowes ward, 2011 census)
Station: Great Northern (zones 3 and 4)