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Millfield House, Edmonton

This article by Stephen Gilburt was first published by The Enfield Society in newsletter 181, Spring 2011.

Millfield House is a late 18th century Grade II* listed two-storey house with cellars. Early residents included the Imperial ambassador, Daniel Barbot Beale, a local landowner, and Robert Mushet, a Royal Mint metallurgist. The Strand Board of Guardians opened a children’s establishment in Millfield House in 1849 and a workhouse was later built alongside; both closed in 1913. During the First World War Belgian refugees were briefly housed there. The buildings were adapted to form St. David’s Hospital for epileptics in 1917 and an air raid shelter was constructed in the grounds in the Second World War. The hospital closed in 1971 and the former workhouse was demolished. Since 1979 the house has been part of the Millfield Arts Centre, which now includes a theatre built in 1988.

Although currently closed for renovation until later this year [2011], the house can usually be visited on the Open House London weekend in September. Buses 34, 102, 144 and W6 pass the entrance and the nearest railway station is Silver Street.

Illustration 1. Millfield House was built by 1796 of stock brick with a stone canopied parapet. The south wing has dormer windows in a later mansard roof.
Illustration 2. Either side of the entrance is an early 19th century cast iron verandah with a swept roof.
Illustration 3. Left: The curved, stuccoed entrance porch has Doric columns and a frieze flanked by round headed niches. Right: Iron framed fanlight over the central door
Illustration 4. Left: The oval stairwell has an impressive curved, cantilevered staircase, naturally lit through a glass dome. Doors and architraves are also curved to fit the shape of the wall. Right: Plaster ceiling rose in the oval entrance lobby.
Illustration 5. Behind Millfield House can be seen the former workhouse which was demolished after St. David’s Hospital closed in 1971. [Picture courtesy of Enfield Local Studies Library & Archive]
Illustration 6. Left: Decorative Frieze above the door of the large ground floor room. Right: The same room has a neoclassical frieze of urns and husk garlands and a fine carved marble fireplace.
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