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History

view from the north

St Andrew's from the north © Christine Matthews 2007

Certainly for well over 800 years, possibly for nearly a thousand, Christian worship has continued on this site and at every point we are faced with the work of our predecessors. You will surely rejoice at the faith which led our ancestors to build this place with such skill and beauty.


This history page offers brief descriptions of features of special interest.

Hopefully it will encourage you to visit St Andrew's and discover more.

People often ask, " How old is St Andrew's?" Nobody knows. Two clues, however, do exist which point to there being a Parish Church in Enfield at a very early date. We find the first clue in William the Conqueror's Domesday Book of 1086 where a priest is mentioned as holding about 30 acres of land in Enfield. If a priest was ministering in Enfield in 1086, he presumably ministered in a church. A fainter though even earlier clue lies in the name of a Saxon Manor in Enfield - the name was Churchbury. Of any church that may have existed in Saxon or Norman times, however, nothing is known.

The first written evidence of there being a Parish Church in Enfield dates from 1136, when St Andrew's, along with a number of other neighbouring parishes was endowed to the Monastery at Walden in Essex, now Saffron Walden. In 1190, Abbot Reginald of Walden appointed Robertus to serve as the first Vicar of Enfield.

Earlt St Andrew's

The earliest known parts of St Andrew's date from the years immediately following the appointment of Robertus. Part of the east wall of the church and the south wall of the sanctuary date from this period, including the lancet-shaped unglazed window in the south wall of the sanctuary, opening today into the Artillery Chapel. Originally, of course, this south wall formed the external wall of the church and there are even traces in this window aperture of the sockets for the iron framework of the glass.

It was around 50 years later when Bartholomew was Vicar that Godfrey de Beston gave "to God and the Church of St Andrew, Enfield and Bartholomew Vicar of that Church and all Vicars who succeed him" some two acres of land with the vicarage house upon it to the east of the Church. There is little doubt that the oldest part of the present vicarage, that which fronts Silver Street, formed the original Parsonage House. English Heritage have confirmed that part of the timbering at this end of the vicarage almost certainly dates from the 13th Century. The second picture below shows the view from the south.

The Vicarage

Enfield Vicarage

The 14th Century saw much restoration and major enlargements to the Church, including the construction of the north and south aisles (although the south aisle was much lower than the north, being raised to its present height only in 1824). The church tower is also 14th Century although much restored and altered in later years. The arches in the nave date from this same period. The pitch pine pews were installed after much argument and dispute in 1853; the oak clergy and choir stalls in 1908 as a memorial to Prebendary Hodson, Vicar of Enfield from 1870 - 1904, and the painting over the Chancel arch in 1923 as a memorial to the men of Enfield who died in the First World War.

Text by Prebendary Peter Morgan

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Inside the church

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The Artillery Chapel was dedicated in 1962 as a Memorial Chapel to those killed
in the two World Wars.
The carved stone font was presented to the church in 1850.


Early photographs of the church.



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The dramatic painting of the Crucifixion of Our Lord with St Mary and St John either side of the Cross.
The painting was installed in 1923 as a memorial to those who had died in the Great War 1914 - 1918
The pulpit and brass eagle lectern were presented to the church in 1866-7


© Bob Radakovic 2007


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The marble altar reredos dates from 1901


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The imposing monument to Sir Nicholas and Lady Raynton (1646) and their family which is typical of the first half of the 17th Century and is finely carved


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The beautifully carved organ case, created by Richard Bridge in 1752/3


a short history of the organ

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The monumental brass to William and Ellen Smith. It is stated that William Smith served King Henry VIII, King Edward VI, Queen Mary "and now Queen Elizabeth"


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The tomb of Lady Tiptoft who died in 1446. The slab of Purbeck stone is
inlaid with a beautiful monumental brass


Lady Tiptoft

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Two of the great treasures of St Andrew's are of stained glass. The first is in memory of Thomas Roos, First Earl of Rutland. The date 1531 can be discerned. The Coat of Arms is encircled by the blue ribbon of the Garter.

Underneath may be seen fragments of 16th century glass depicting the nuns at Holywell, weeping for their dead founder, Sir Thomas Lovell.

Window

Window

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This building was erected by the Enfield Vestry in the early C19 to house the parish fire engine. Note the wide arch which gave suitable access. The building served as a mortuary for over 50 years from 1882. Subsequently it was used as a Chapel of Rest by a local undertaker and then as offices for "Meet a Need with Christian Care". It now serves as an extra meeting room for St Andrew's Church.


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photographs by Horace Brown and David Holliday unless otherwise acknowledged

dates

Click here to find out about our bells

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The Old Enfield Charitable Trust


© The Old Enfield Charitable Trust

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