Bulls Cross, Enfield
A rural settlement situated south-west of the junction of the M25 and the Great Cambridge Road
Bulls Cross is a sparsely populated locality at the northern edge of the London Borough of Enfield – spilling over the border into Hertfordshire on the other side of the M25. Its name may originate from a family living in the area from the 13th century.
Capel Manor occupies the site of an ancient manor established in the late 13th century, and takes its name from the Capel family (later lords of Essex), who lived here in the 15th and 16th centuries. The present manor house was built in the 1750s.
London’s only specialist school of horticulture and countryside studies, Capel Manor College was founded in 1968 in a (very successful) attempt to bring life back into the derelict buildings and restore the gardens, which now have 30 richly planted acres with more than 60 themed gardens and landscapes open to the public, with the accent on the educational and the informative. The Victorian stables (shown in the photograph above) are also open to the public.
Myddelton House was built in the 1810s by Henry Carington Bowles and in 1865 it was the birthplace of Edward Augustus Bowles, who went on to become one of the leading plantsmen of the early 20th century. Among other works, he published books on growing croci and narcissi. The gardens that Bowles created fell into decay and have recently been restored following a two-year lottery-funded project. They are open to the public daily. The house itself is used by the Lee Valley regional park authority.
Completed in 2012, Tottenham Hotspur’s training centre at Bulls Cross is a state-of-the-art complex with facilities for the first team squad and youth academy. Shown in the CGI image on the right, the centre covers 77 acres of land south of Whitewebbs Lane. There’s a two-storey main building, an artificial pitch under cover and 15 grass pitches outdoors.
Because the centre was built on a green-belt site, the club committed itself to numerous ecological enhancements, including planting 150 trees and thousands of new plants, hedges and flowers, as well as creating a wetland habitat zone. More controversially, planning permission has recently been granted for the construction of a visitors’ stand.
West of the training centre a former pumping station is home to the Whitewebbs museum of transport – but it’s only open five or six days a month. Beyond Whitewebbs lies the garden centre kingdom of Crews Hill. To the south, Forty Hall is open most days and its gardens and parkland are open every day.
Postcode areas: Enfield EN1 and EN2; Waltham Cross EN7
Further reading: Valerie Carter, Forty Hill and Bulls Cross (3rd edn), Enfield Preservation Society, 1995