Pymmes Brook - Broomfield Park

Pymmes Brook
Pymmes Brook flows eastwards
TQ 30455 92918

Residential area around the North Circular and its junction with Green Lanes. It includes the Great Northern Railway at Palmers Green Station and the early 17th New River.  The square is based round a large and interesting park. There are however industrial sites, along with a town hall and many religious buildings.

Post to the west Arnos Grove
Post to the south Bowes Park
Post to the east Palmers Green

Alderman's Hill
Probably named after Alderman William Curtis who lived at Cullands Grove.
HSBC Bank. A tall ornate building of 1904
9 The Wishing Well pub
Morrison’s supermarket – built on the site of the station sidings and coal yard.
Palmer’s Green Station.  Opened in 1876 it lies Between Winchmore Hill and Bowes Park on the Great Northern Railway and sited on the main road to Enfield. There was once a sagging London North East Railway style blue board which displayed the station’s original name - 'Palmers Green & Southgate' – it changed in 1971. The station has been changed and the cast iron footbridge came down in the 1970s as did the detached waiting shelter on the down side, However the station kept a traditional feel with reproduction saw-tooth valancing on the platform canopies and a brick booking office across the tracks.
Goods and coal yard were south of the station and remodeled in 1897 and enlarged again later. Sidings on the east side of the station were eventually given a platform as a coal depot. Closed in 1962 when all coal was handled through Enfield.
Signal box.  This was installed in 1928 and was second hand having possibly been relocated from Hertford.  Abolished in 1982
Old Park House stood until the Second World War on the site of flats which have named after it.  Its estate had been sold for development earlier
Gravel pit – this was east of Broomfield House and is now the area of the park used for sports facilities and a playground. In the 18th it was called the Warren Field, and there were cottages there.
128 Appleby Court but originally called Old Park.  Built for himself by J. B. Franklin in 1892. With a tall striped and checkered chimneys and Norman Shaw type touches. Converted to flats in 1995.
Coronation Gates to Broomfield Park. These were put in place in 1953 and include the Royal Coat of Arms along with ornamental wrought iron. There is also a plaque about sports

Bowes Road
This was once called Bestyle Lane
174 Kingdom Hall – standing in a parade of art deco shops. This was the Ritz cinema, opened in 1933 having been built and designed by Major W.J. King. It was sold to Associated British Cinemas before it was finished but opened as the Ritz. The auditorium ran parallel to Bowes Road behind parade of shops. Inside the auditorium it has a central dome and abstract decorative designs on the walls alongside the screen. It had a Compton 3Manual/10Rank organ as well as a cafe and a large car park. It was re-named ABC in 1969 and in 1970 was fitted out as a ‘Luxury Lounge’ and the balcony was closed. It closed in 1974 and was then bought by the Jehovah’s Witnesses
156 Parkview. Club and restaurant in part of the parade of art deco shops
140-142 Art Deco shops in parade with corner feature on Powys Lane
Footbridge – replaced in 2010
Rail bridge. This was  widened in 1965 to allow for a wider North Circular under. It is said this has still not been done.
51 Bowes house and Riverside Apartments behind in Russell Road. These were the buildings of Hoffman La Roche Laboratories bio chemical works.  The Swiss firm was founded in 1896 – which is the date shown on the front of the building.
Trinity at Bowes. Methodist, Church built 1971-3 by Edward D. Mills & Partners. It was built on the site of Bowes Park chapel. The chapel had been built in 1907 and was demolished in 1972. There were adjoining Sunday schools built in 1909.  The new church was the result of an amalgamation of the Bowes Park chapel and Trinity chapel, Wood Green in 1969. It is a square aluminium clad building with a short slate covered tower. It is said to be a good example of modern church architecture reflecting the impact of the liturgical movement on Methodist worship.  It is built on reinforced concrete foundation to withstand the heavy traffic of the North Circular Road. Inside arrangements include a projection room; a ten-foot high cross is made from wood from the previous church, and stained glass window giving a three-dimensional effect.  .
The New River.   The New River passed under Bowes Road with a weed-catching structure in place before it does so. On the south side of Bowes Road the pavement and footpath rise above the tarmacked roadway and its highest point is where it crosses the New River. There was once a brick bridge here and it appears that this arrangement dates from the early 1960s when the North Circular Road was upgraded.  The weed-catcher prevents rubbish from collecting under the road.

Broomfield Lane
Fire station – the old fires station stood behind the town hall but has since been demolished.
Library 1938-40 by J. T. W. Peat, Borough Architect.
Broomfield Park
It is said to be named after John Broomfield, a London merchant who owned the area in the mid 16th. However by 1599 it was owned by Alderman Sir John Spencer. It passed to the Jackson family in the 17th and to the Powys family in 1816. In 1903 54 acres were bought by Southgate Urban District Council and opened to the public as first park in the Area.
Broomfield House.  There has been a house here for at least 400 years probably originally a farmhouse which was gradually enlarged.  It was built round a courtyard and was timber framed with many gables. . The inside of the house was altered in the 18th with a grand staircase was murals painted by Gerard Lanscroon in 1726. These murals are of great importance and have been removed and safely stored until the house can be restored. In the early 19th  the north end of the house was demolished and rebuilt in brick, the courtyard removed and pillars were put in front of the entrance with the first floor was carried out over them. Southgate Council in 1928 stripped off roughcast without realising there was genuine 16th timber framing behind it as they installed mock Tudor woodwork. It was once used as a local museum with exhibits about Southgate including cricket memories.  It was later used as a clinic. In 1984 the roof and top floor of the house were damaged by fire, caused by an electrical fault. And Subsequent fires caused further damage. Funding for restoration has not been forthcoming.
The Gardens – it is claimed that this was a Baroque water garden although clearly it is long reconfigured. The Rocque map of 1754 shows the ponds and lawns beyond hem, and avenues of trees plus a canal running north from the house.
Victorian Conservatory - has a waterfall, fish pond and plants from all over the world.
Bandstand - built in 1928. 
The Garden of Remembrance. Built in 1928 as a war memorial to Southgate men dead in the Great War – the dead of the Second Wrold War have subsequently been added.  The garden has a pond and a pergola. There is also a cairn made of 280 stones - “Each stone symbolises a life laid down".  They were built on the site of stables, outbuildings and a rifle range
The Sensory Garden: This garden has a border of shrubs chosen for their distinct aroma
The Aviary - home to a number of birds of including quails, parrots and finches. 
Brick walls and piers around the gardens are 18th
Ponds – these probably date from garden design of the mid 18th and can be seen on the Roque map of 1754
Boating Pool constructed by Southgate Council in the 20th.
Lime Avenue.  This replaced an avenue of elms which died in 1978 through Dutch elm disease. The avenue is on the Roque map of 1754.
Brick archway – this is over the main entrance. It appears to date from the 16th but expanded in the 18th, with brick piers supporting a wooden pediment. The gates are 18th with an iron bell-pull, in the form of a grinning face.
Summerhouse – this 18th building stands against the garden wall on the east side of the house and has wooden Ionic columns.
Stable Yard. Considered at risk and still in bad shape. Early 18th.

Broomfield road
Broomfield cottages – tucked on an unmade up road off the main road

Brownlow Road
Palmers Green and Southgate United Synagogue. It is said that “ The Palmers Green Kehilla fits into the classic pattern of the rise of Jewish suburb”.  Originally meetings were held in the mid-1920s  and affiliated to the United Synagogue in 1934. The Brownlow Road site was purchased, and a synagogue built in 1936 but this was destroyed in an air raid in 1944. It was rebuilt by 1947 and has been extended since.

Davey Close
The line of the road reflects a siding off the railway to the fire station. This is now all housing.

Derwent Road
There was a pond at the junction with Alderman’s Hill

Green Lanes
Drove road into London. A long street also referred to as Green Lane End in 1662.  
Palmers Green Baptist Church
176 Truro House. early 19th villa with a garden front overlooking the New River. Home in the mid 19th to Lord Chancellor.Thomas Wilde. Baron Truro of Bowes.
Deadmans Bridge over Pymmes brook
Southgate Town Hall.  Built in 1893 by  Local architect Arthur Rowland Barker who was instructed by to design a new town hall like a private residence rather than a public building.  Later this it was described by the local newspaper as  a "'Town Hall in a turnip field'. It was enlarged in 1914 and is now due for disposal..
New River crosses under here where it can be seen alongside Southgate Town Hall. Called Kings Arms bridge
Cock Pub. The  original Cock Inn isa said date from the 15th. It was rebuilt in 1885 and irs grounds on August Bank Holiday 1887, held thousands of people for Queen Victoria’s Jubilee.Im the 21sr became the Polski Bar but is now a supermarket.
Bowes Farm, was opposite The Cock

New River
The New River now flows down through this area but the original course took a long loop to the west and back

Palmerston Crescent
New River - An embankment at the back of the houses in carries the channel of the New River over Pymmes Brook and extends as far as the North Circular Road, eliminating the old loop to the west.  The old course swung eastwards past the Church of St. Michael at Bowes to cross Palmerston Road but it has been built over and is difficult to recognise.

Pilgrim’s Close
Built on the site of Palmers Green Station Masters’s house as well as part of the goods yard and sidings.

Powys Lane
The lane was the boundary of the Walker Estate from Arnos Grove. It was developed from abut  1907.
School which stood at the junction with Wilmer Way was founded by tge  Walker family, who were Quakers, and licved in Arnos GFrovce. This was a boys' school founded in 1810 "to teach the surrounding peasantry reading, writing and arithmetic" and was a plain, single storey brick building with a thatched roof and consisted of one large room. By 1868 this had become the Southgate Boys' Church of England School costing 2d a week. Closed in 1887 when the school moved elsewhere.
The New River.  From Southgate Town Hall the 100ft contour crosses near Dawlish Avenue, and the old course must have been near here - but there is no trace of it.
Green – small green area as the road turns south at the junction with Broomfield Lane. This green would have been outside Broomfield Farm. It was the site of Littler’s Pond
Broomfield Farm.  Dairy farm demolished in 1912.
Bridge over Pymmes Brook with metal plaques “SDC 1897”. Before the 1890s there was a footbridge for pedestrians and a ford for horses and carts. There is a small amenity building alongside
Fire hydrant cover at the corner of Broomfield Lane. This is marked: ‘Southgate District Council 1910, Fire Hydrant’ with Blakeborough's name and address in the middle.
Powys Court – art deco flats to match shopping parades and cinema in Bowes Road.

Regents Avenue
Bus garage opened in 1912 London General Omnibus co. it is now operatred by Arriva, This had been the Rosalie Roller Skating Rink.  

Shapland Way
In the 1930s this was the area of the fire station, to which a siding line came from the railway,

Westminster Drive
New housing at the end on the site of tennis courts


London Railway Record
London Encyclopaedia
Field. Place names of London
Stevenson. Middlesex,
Pevsner and Cherry London North
Cinema Treasures web site
Transport for London web site
Essex Lopresti. Exploring the New River
Trinity at Bowes web site
History of Middlesex. Edmonton. Web site
Broomfield Park web site
London Borough of Enfield web site
Friends of Broomfield Park web site
Palmers Green and Southgate United Synagogue web site


Stuart said…
The art deco flats/shops at 140-142 Bowes Road are no more unfortunately. They were demolished a couple of years ago for the North Circular widening/improvements

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