Russell Mansion, Hadley Wood

This article by Stephen Gilburt was first published by The Enfield Society in newsletter 201, Spring 2016. The colour photographs were supplied by the author.

Hadley Wood in the Manor of Enfield became part of the royal hunting ground of Enfield Chase in 1421. Following the enclosure of the Chase in 1777, Francis Russell (1740-95), a Duchy of Lancaster surveyor, acquired the freehold of 152 acres and later gained additional land. By 1781 he had built Russell Mansion and lived there until his death. In 1805 Archibald Paris moved into the mansion which he renamed Beech Hill Park. For nearly 50 years he farmed between 1,500 and 2,000 acres. In 1827 Paris took a lease on West Lodge and moved into a rebuilt West Lodge in 1834. Beech Hill Park was leased to General Sir Edward Barnes. After his death his widow and later his brother George Barnes lived there.

In about 1850 Paris sold Beech Hill Park to Charles Jack. Jack persuaded the Great Northern Railway to open a station at Hadley Wood and prepared plans to develop the surrounding area. By 1896 when Charles Jack died, some 50 superior houses had been built in Crescent East and Crescent West, with about 50 more being constructed in Lancaster Avenue, Camlet Way and Beech Hill before the First World War. Inter-war development added some 200 more houses. In 1920 the Economic Insurance Co. purchased Beech Hill Park Mansion with 250 acres of land from the trustees of Charles Jack Estates and leased 180 acres to Hadley Wood Golf Club which opened in 1922. The Club purchased the freehold in 1976.

This European Magazine engraving of 1796 was provided by Enfield Local Studies Centre and Archive.

The two storey Grade II listed Russell Mansion was built of yellow stock brick. The seven-window-wide south front has four Doric pilasters. The entrance porch with Doric columns led into the south hall which was flanked by drawing rooms. In the 19th century a single storey stuccoed brick conservatory was added on the left and a billiard room was built on the right. Other ground floor rooms included a hall with Corinthian pilasters and columns, a dining room, a library, bedrooms, a kitchen, a scullery and a W.C.

An interior view of what was the billiard room.

A neo-classical plaster roundel.

The Grade II listed 19th century stable block included boxes and stalls for 10 horses, a large coach house, a harness room and three rooms for coachmen.

The Hadley Wood conservation area was established in 1989 to include the core of the Victorian suburb. According to a 1920 brochure, some newly built houses had “5 to 6 bedrooms, 3 reception rooms, usual office…labour saving, central heating, oak panelling, etc. Freehold from £3,800.”

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