Brimsdown, Enfield

The borough’s principal industrial and commercial zone

Brimsdown footpath

Brimsdown lies east of Enfield and west of King George’s reservoir and consti­tutes a large section of the Lee Valley indus­trial corridor. It was originally called Grimsdown (possibly from a resident named Gryme) and nobody is quite sure how the G became a B. Maybe someone just thought the original name sounded a bit … grim.

The station opened in 1884, followed by Brimsdown power station in 1903. The proximity of water, rail and power brought manufac­turing to Brimsdown, including Enfield Rolling Mills, which used to receive copper by barge. Mossops Creek, which branches off the Lee Navigation, was dug in the 1890s by John Mossop and Company, which extracted gravel and ballast here until 1922.

Brimsdown power station was decom­mis­sioned in 1974 and part of its former site is now occupied by the gas-fired Enfield power station.

Following several factory closures Brimsdown won regen­er­ation funding in the mid-1990s. Modern industry includes Johnson Matthey’s refinery on Jeffreys Road, where silver salts for the photo­graphic and pharma­ceutical indus­tries are manufac­tured using recycled metal. In addition, there are several wholesale and retail warehouses.

Timothy Spall in The Enfield Haunting
Timothy Spall in The Enfield Haunting

There is a resid­ential side to Brimsdown – a patch of mixed housing west of the railway line, much of it built by the council.

In 1977–8 supposedly paranormal activ­ities at a house on Green Street attracted national media attention. The events formed the basis for Sky Living’s Bafta-nominated three-part drama series, The Enfield Haunting (2015), starring Timothy Spall as a rookie paranormal researcher (shown in Sky’s image on the right).

In 2008 Brimsdown infant and junior schools were amalgamated to form Brimsdown primary school, which is located on Green Street. According to Oftsed’s 2014 report, the majority of pupils are from minority ethnic backgrounds and most of them speak English as an additional language.

David Beckham played football for Brimsdown Rovers’ youth team for two years. The club has since merged with Enfield FC, which now plays its home games at Brimsdown sports ground.

The comedian Russell Kane said in his online autobiography (which has since disappeared from the web): “I was raised, and at the same time paradoxically lowered, on the lovely councilly streets of Brimsdown.”

Postcode area: Enfield, EN3
Station: Greater Anglia (zone 5)
Further reading: Guy Lyon Playfair, This House is Haunted: The Amazing Inside Story of the Enfield Poltergeist, White Crow, 2011