Gordon Hill, Enfield
A street and station situated in a pleasant corner of north-west Enfield
This was part of the virgin territory of Enfield Chase until its enclosure and division in the late 1770s, when much of the land was acquired by Trinity College, Cambridge.
Only one house of note stood here at that time, the sometime home (and perhaps birthplace) of Lord George Gordon, who became notorious as the instigator of an anti-Catholic uprising in London in 1780. He led tens of thousands of Protestant demonstrators in a march on Parliament that turned into five days of destructive riots eventually put down by the army. Hundreds of rioters were killed and Gordon was charged with treason, but acquitted.
Gordon House was the residence of Sir Thomas Hallifax, a banker and former Lord Mayor of London, until his death in 1789. In the late 1850s the North London Society bought the house, demolished it and laid out streets, but a decade later only a few houses had been built on Halifax Road and Gordon Road.
Services began at the unfinished church of St Michael and All Angels in 1874. It was almost 90 years before the church’s west wall and narthex (entrance lobby) were completed. Separate schools for infants, boys and girls were built and later amalgamated on the boys’ school site at the foot of Brigadier Hill.
The North London Society began to extend its estate in the 1880s and built houses on the site of Gordon House in 1894. Gordon Hill station opened in 1910 when the Great Northern Railway line was extended to Cuffley in Hertfordshire but the area maintained a semi-rural aspect until the 1930s.
Several compact apartment blocks have been built in new cul-de-sacs in recent years to capitalise on the locality’s ‘highly sought after’ status. St George’s RC primary school, on Gordon Road, is regarded as one of the best state schools in London and most of its pupils come from very favourable social and economic backgrounds.
Postcode area: Enfield EN2
Station: Great Northern (zone 5)
William Hogarth’s ‘little country box by the Thames’ in Chiswick is now a museum and gallery.
Camley Street Natural Park is a miniature ecological wilderness just north of St Pancras station.
Junction Road has a gastropub that was restored in 2010 with help from English Heritage.
You can’t go inside Debenham House but even from the street it’s a remarkable sight.