Enfield is London's northernmost borough and was created in 1965 when the old Boroughs of Enfield, Southgate and Edmonton were amalgamated. Enfield is bordered by the boroughs of Barnet, Haringey and Waltham Forest.

Population change

1966267,660 people
1998265,100 people

In the early 19th century the Enfield area was rural and agricultural. Enfield itself was a small Middlesex market town. As London's railway network grew in the 19th and 20th centuries, the land became urbanised and Enfield became a commuting suburb.

Despite its residential character, only one third of the borough's land was built over, the rest remaining either Green Belt or open spaces. There are 15 designated conservation areas in the borough, including Trent Park and Grange Park. Enfield's industry was traditionally located around Enfield Lock on the river Lea. Despite the closure of many local firms during the 1970s, there were still 220 factories in the borough at the end of the 20th century.

Enfield's industrial history in the 20th century has been dominated by arms manufacture. The government built a Royal Small Arms factory at Enfield Lock in 1815, and it became the main manufacturing site for the British Army's infantry weapons, particularly the 'Lee Enfield' rifle.

The early years of the 20th century saw a massive expansion in the factory's capabilities. An improved version of the Lee Enfield was introduced in 1907 and production increased enormously during the First World War. During the Second World War, additions to the Royal Ordnance works included a large munitions factory at Ponders End. Arms manufacturing came to an end in Enfield in 1989. The land was sold off and a large housing estate built on the site.

Places in Enfield

Local government wards:

Bush Hill Park, Edmonton Green, Haselbury, Jubilee, Lower Edmonton, Palmers Green, Upper Edmonton, Chase, Enfield Highway, Enfield Lock, Ponders End, Southbury, Town, Turley Street, Bowes, Cockfosters, Grange, Highlands, Southgate, Southgate Green and Winchmore Hill.

Bookmark with:

  • What are these?