The society was founded in 1936 as the Enfield Preservation Society (EPS), and renamed The Enfield Society (TES) in 2007 and has about 2000 members.
The Enfield Society has a record of vigorous action in defence of the local environment by practical conservation and campaigning. There is also a strong social section. The Society is a registered charity in England and Wales (276451) and is registered in England as a limited company (312134).
The Enfield Society does not hold any significant resources on the history of Enfield or on the people who lived here. As the Borough has an excellent Local Studies Library and Archive with comprehensive resources and a friendly and helpful staff, the Enfield Society does not attempt to duplicate their function but cooperates with them when appropriate. Historical and biographical enquiries should therefore be sent to Local Studies rather than to this Society. We do have a collection of photographs, mainly of buildings of interest in the Borough, which were used in our publications and in exhibitions. We are making many of these available on our web site.
Enfield’s environment is threatened as never before. Open spaces are being sacrificed to commercial development. The Green Belt is under constant pressure. Historic buildings are deteriorating. We are fighting to preserve our heritage so that future generations can enjoy Enfield’s rich architectural legacy and Green Belt countryside. We do not oppose development, but do all that we can to ensure that it enhances the character and atmosphere of the Borough, while not losing the best of the past.
Our Objects and aims
The object of the Society is the conservation and enhancement of the civic and natural environments of the London Borough of Enfield and its immediate surrounding area for the public benefit.
To further this object the Society seeks to:
- Conserve and enhance buildings and groups of buildings of architectural quality or historic interest;
- Defend the integrity of the Green Belt;
- Protect and improve open spaces and views;
- Ensure that new developments are environmentally sound, well designed and take account of the relevant interests of all sections of the community;
- Publish papers, books, reports and literature;
- Make surveys and prepare maps and plans and collect information in relation to any place or building of historic or architectural interest;
- Assist in the preservation and maintenance of footpaths, commons and rights of way;
- Promote and pay the expenses of meetings, conferences, lectures and exhibitions, whether public or private, and (subject to Clause 7 of its Memorandum of Association) to remunerate and pay the expenses of persons attending on the invitation of the Society to give expert advice or assistance.
Meetings and events
Jubilee Hall, The Society’s Headquarters, 2 Parsonage Lane, Enfield, is used by the Society and other organisations for informal meetings and conferences. The special interest groups organise walks, coach outings, working parties and other activities.
TES has representatives on London Borough of Enfield’s Environment Forum, London Green Belt Council, London Forum of Amenity and Civic Societies and other bodies. The Society is administered by a Management Committee, elected annually, on which each special interest group is represented.
Successful campaigns initiated by Enfield Preservation Society include resistance to building on Chase Green (1936) and the Library Green (1938), opposition to a major ring road through St. Andrew’s churchyard (1961–1967), constant struggle to preserve the Green Belt (e.g. Crews Hill campaign 1973), extension to the countryside network of public footpaths (1967 onwards), formation of the New River Action Group (1986), Save Whitewebbs (1990–1991), Enfield’s Countryside Campaign (1991). Recent projects include working to safeguard Forty Hall, the refurbishment of the New River Loop, and opposition to the loss of Green Belt land for a Tottenham Hotspur football training centre. In the last 30 years we have provided more than 3,500 new trees in Enfield.
More recently we ran an information campaign in opposition to the proposal for tower blocks in Enfield Town (2020–21) and provided a detailed reply to the Council’s Local Plan consultation (2021).