The London/Essex border - Enfield Lock

The London/ Enfield/Essex boundary goes south on an eccentric course (presumably the course of the original river) parallel to Government Row and the aqueduct.

The flood relief channel flows south. The Lea Navigation and the River Lea flow south and are met by the Turkey Brook from the west.  An eastward channel goes to the pumping station.

Development area of housing on the site of the Ordnance factory, plus the older area of the lock and Government Row

Post to the north Ramney Marsh
Post to the west Enfield Lock
Post to the south King George V

Sites on the London, Enfield side of the border

Aldridge Road

Arnold Avenue

Enfield Lock. Originally built in 1725, and rebuilt in 1768 and 1922, Offices. This was the centre of the management of the Lee Navigation and The Lee Conservancy offices were built here in 1907 on the western side of the river, below the lock. They remained as an office for British Waterways

Enfield Lock Road

Government Row
Terrace of cottages from 1816. Fringing the factory they are plain 19th workers’ cottages, overlooking a branch of the Lee Houses - Two new terraces either side of the new bridge, which in external appearance are almost identical to the 19th ones
71-76, a small group probably dating from 1857. Still in a rural setting by a weir on the Lee Navigation
30-32 listed
Lock House. On east side of the lock. Red-brick. Built by the Lee Conservancy in 1889. There is an early 20th extension to the side.
Lock cottage. Smaller stock-brick house of c1748.
Rifles. This was the Royal Small Arms Tavern, only pub owned by the Government. Built 1916 and opened by the Duke of Connaught. Now closed

King Henry’s Mews

Lea Navigation.
Enfield Cut which follows the line of the earlier Enfield Millstream. Built by Thomas Yeoman 1770

Navigation Drive
Housing on site of the British Waterways Depot
Maintenance Depot of c.1792 with dry dock, Superintendent's House and other buildings, with a clock turret on the office building of 1907.
Toll office of 1889, with fanciful upper storey to the central projecting bay.
Swan and Pike pool has become a bathing area.
Waterways Business Centre

Ordnance Road
The Greyhound
Osiers and pool

Small River Lea
The river has left the main Lea to the north and eventually flows into the Turkey Brook

Swan and Pike path

Sites on the Essex side of the border

Blanchard Grove
Blanchard was an American who devised a copying lathe for gunstocks – versions of which were brought to Enfield among other American machinery in 1856

Brunswick Road
The Brunswick rifle was a large calibre muzzle-loading percussion rifle made here for the British Army in the early 1800s

Burton Drive
Burton was an American who designed a type of bullet for use in rifles. In 1855 he came to Enfield as Engineer in order to set up the American machinery being installed then.

Carnegie Close
Deputy Superintendent in the early 20th, appointed superintendent and then moved to Woolwich in 1922

Colgate Place
John Colgate was superintendent at the small arms factory in Lewisham and retained that position after the move to Enfield.

Colt Mews
American arms manufacturer who supplied a great deal of equipment to the Enfield works in the mid 19th

Crompton Place
Crompton supplied a generating station and arc lights to the works in the 1880s

Dundas Mews
Dundas was Assistant Inspector of Small Arms in 1814 who agreed the original plans for the site.

Eden Close

Enfield Island Village
On the site of the Small Arms Factory. Built after 1997 by Fairview Homes. Subject of Panorama programme on ground pollution and then Enfield’s Planning Officer joined Fairview

Enfield Lock
Gunpowder mills on the site in 1643.
Machine shop, at range, at risk
Royal Small Arms Factory. On an island between the River Lee Navigation and Cattlegate Flood Relief Channel are the remains of the Royal Small Arms Factory. It was the principal source of rifles for the British army throughout the 19th. The Land was bought by the Ordnance Board in 1812 and the factory opened in 1816. Much of it transferred from Lewisham in 1818. Plans had been prepared by Captain John By in 1812 for a factory with three mills using existing waterpower. John Rennie advised on the construction of a navigable leat with its own millhead and tailrace between the two waterways, to provide both waterpower and transport. By 1822 there were workshops, forges, proof houses, coalhouses and storehouse. Workers' cottages were built along the river - there were sixty by 1841. Walnut trees were planted for the wood for rifle stocks. A school was opened in 1846, an institute and a church in 1857. The site covered 64 acres but the factory remained modest until the 1850s, when the Crimean War meant a need for increased production. In the 1850s a commission of engineers visited American factories at Springfield, Massachusetts, and Harpers Ferry, Virginia. In 1854-6, the Royal Engineers, based on designs by John Anderson, built a machine shop on American mass-production lines. American machinery, run by steam engines and the workforce was increased to over 1,000, and by 1860 an average of 1,744 rifles per week was being produced. The factory became a spectacle for visitors. The work carried out in this model building was not assembly-line production, but organised for maximum efficiency on an unprecedented scale. In 1886 steam power was introduced and workshops were built over the site of the tailrace of the old watermill. There were 16 steam engines with 23 boilers. Production of the, new model rifle by James Lee began in 1889; the Lee Enfield Rifle was designed in 1895. The factory expanded again during the First World War, but the mass-production functions were replaced by machine shops and assembly lines. Half of the site was closed in 1963, the rest in 1987. It is now housing as Enfield Island Village. The 1854-6 factory faced across a great quadrangle, with a frontage of yellow brick with 23 arched windows. There was a tall Italianate central clock turret. The canal ran along the side of the factory, with its head in the quadrangle. The quadrangle buildings are built on the site of the first water-powered factory buildings, which stood next to the canal basin. The existing buildings on the site of the former mill were used as an assembly shop.
Bridge built to give access to the new site in the style of a Victorian canal bridge, from Ordnance Road, over the Lee Navigation, Government Row and the River Lea, to a roundabout centred on the original water-tower which has been kept as a landmark.
Canal ran through the middle of the factory and it and the original millpond in front of the machine shop have been reopened. It was not practicable to reinstate the canal connection to the Lee Navigation.
Factory School. At the entrance. Opened 1844 later a police station.
Gasholders.Machine Shop 1 or 'the big room', 1856 and now listed. Renovated as the commercial centre of the Island with a community hall and health centre. The new internal dividing walls allow the historic original structure, with its north-light roof; octagonal columns and heavy internal guttering, to be seen, columns and guttering are of cast iron with the Governments broad arrow and the Board of Ordnances BO motifs. These columns originally carried the bearings for the line shafting, until it was superseded in the 1950s, and the attachment points are still visible. Italianate clock-tower. The font from the original RSAF church is now displayed in a glass pyramid in a small courtyard created in the centre of the former machine shop
Main entrance bridge remains but for pedestrians only.
Management offices alongside the River Lea. Listed and now flats
MOD stationery store Listed and now flats
Museum, the RSA Interpretation Centre, below the clock-tower. It includes wall panels illustrating the history of RSAF
New Grindery / Polishing Shop / Laboratory which became Admin offices Listed and now flats
North east corner of the machine shop, which was not part of the original 1856 structure, has been demolished and redeveloped as a new HQ for the Christian Action Housing Association with key workers apartments above. Buried below them were the foundations of the original boilers, chimney and beam engines that once powered the machine shop.
Offices and stores. To the west is long two-storey range of offices and stores, which incorporated the drawing office, with brick-and-timber police station to south.
Water tower late 19th.
Pattern Room Listed and now flats
Police Station/House, behind the Lock Keepers cottage at Enfield Lock on the Lee Navigation, remain
Rail layout. Steam powered from 1886. Two swinging river bridges and a tunnel. 1 5/8 miles of rail by 1917. Tunnel below main road between the swing bridges. Swing bridges over cuts going east from Main River.
Stores near the canal wharves, of the 1850s onwards. They were used to house the wooden gun stocks.
Thwaites Turret Clock in the clock-tower dates from 1783 rebuilt in 1808 and 2001. It pre-dates Big Ben and has been at RSAF since 1856.

Fisher Close
Col. Fisher was Superintendent during the First World War

Fogarty Close

Gunner Drive
James Gunner had been a clerk at Lewisham who moved to the new site as storekeeper.

Haldane Close
War office minister, who backed the Union at Enfield on the issue of higher wages

Harston Drive

Hodson Place
J.Hodson a section leader in the 1930s

Joslin Close
Landowner in the area in the 17th

Lloyd Mews
Lloyd and Ostell provided the original equipment when the site was opened

Maclintock Place
Mid 19th superintendent

Manton Road
Manton was the Master Furbisher pre-1840

Martini Drive
Frederick Von Martini inventor of the Martini Henry rifle

Mayall Close

Metford Crescent
William Lee Metford designed improvements to rifle design

Miller Avenue
Inspector of Small Arms 18094

Ostell Crescent
Lloyd and Ostell provided the original equipment when the site was opened

Punchard Crescent

Rigby Road
Superintendent 1880s

Rubin Place
Eduard Rubin designer of developments in the rifle

Shepley Mews

Smeaton Road
Smeaton laid out the Lea Navigation.

Soper Mews
Soper developed a type of rifle

Sten Close
The Sten gun was developed at Enfield by Shepherd and Turpin – i.e. Shepherd Turpin ENfield

Thorneycroft Drive
Type of rifle developed at Enfield early 20th

Turpin Close
Turpin was one of the developers of the Sten Gun

Warlow Close
Edward Warlow was one of the team who decided on mid-19th American equipment

Watkin Mews
Superintendent who developed a trigger action.

Cherry and Pevsner London North
Lewis. London's Lea Valley and the Great War
Pam. History of . Enfield
Pam.. The Royal Small Arms Factory and its Workers
Stevenson. Middlesex
Various biographical web sites to check these names, Largely Wikipedia


Unknown said…
Factory didn't close in 1987, it was late 1988 or early 1989, I left to move to Nottingham in September 1988 after leaving the factory as I was pregnant

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