Crews Hill

Crews Hill, Enfield

Garden centres galore, two miles north-west of Enfield

Hidden London: Cattlegate Road, Crews Hill, by Dr Neil Clifton

Crews Hill was part of the wood­land hunt­ing ground of Enfield Chase and very lit­tle human activ­i­ty took place here until after the enclo­sure and divi­sion of the chase in the late 1770s.

The local­i­ty’s present name derives from a fam­i­ly that lived here in the mid-18th cen­tu­ry. By the ear­ly 19th cen­tu­ry Trin­i­ty Col­lege, Cam­bridge, owned most of the land.

The sta­tion opened in 1910 when the Great North­ern Rail­way Com­pa­ny extend­ed the line as far as Cuf­fley in Hert­ford­shire.

Crews Hill golf course was laid out on land bought from Trin­i­ty Col­lege in 1915.

Theobalds Park Farm, which cov­ered 140 acres, pro­duced veg­eta­bles for the Lon­don mar­kets – and new nurs­eries were still being estab­lished in Crews Hill at a time when the wider trend else­where was for their clo­sure and replace­ment by hous­ing.

A small estate of 102 bun­ga­lows was built in the ear­ly 1930s but soon after­wards Crews Hill was includ­ed in a ‘green gir­dle’ plan to restrict devel­op­ment in north Mid­dle­sex, which evolved into green-belt pro­tec­tion after the Sec­ond World War.

The nurs­eries pro­gres­sive­ly switched from pro­duc­tion for London’s whole­sale fruit and veg­etable mar­kets to retail hor­ti­cul­ture. Crews Hill is now utter­ly over­grown with gar­den cen­tres and these are not loose­ly scat­tered but crammed togeth­er along a ‘gold­en mile’ south-east of the sta­tion.

There are spe­cial­ists in hardy plants, bon­sai trees, land­scap­ing and gar­den fenc­ing and fur­ni­ture. Enfield gar­den cen­tre has a mock smock mill.

As well as all the nurs­eries, Crews Hill has an archi­tec­tur­al reclaim mer­chant, on a site cov­er­ing three-and-a-half acres, and an eques­tri­an zone to the north with sta­bles, pad­docks and a stud farm.

Hidden London: The Plough, Crews Hill, by Dr Neil Clifton

On Cat­tle­gate Road – and shown in the pho­to above – the Plough is a well-regard­ed (if rel­a­tive­ly mod­ern) exam­ple of the tra­di­tion­al Eng­lish coun­try pub and has a land­scaped beer gar­den.

Bred by Lord Matthews of Southgate, the racehorse Crews Hill was a winner of eleven events, including the Stewards’ Cup in 1981.

Postcode area: Enfield, EN2
Station: Great Northern (zone 6)


* The pictures of Cattlegate Road and The Plough on this page are cropped and modified from original photographs, copyright Dr Neil Clifton, at Geograph Britain and Ireland, made available under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Licence. Any subsequent reuse is freely permitted under the terms of that licence.