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Crews Hill

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A horticultural heaven, situated two miles north-west of Enfield. Its name derives from a family that lived here in the mid 18th century. Crews Hill was part of the woodland hunting ground of Enfield Chase and very little human activity took place here until after the enclosure and division of the chase in the late 1770s. By the early 19th century Trinity College, Cambridge owned most of the land here. The station opened in 1910 when the Great Northern Railway Co. extended the line as far as Cuffley in Hertfordshire. Crews Hill golf course was established on land bought from Trinity College in 1915. Theobalds Park Farm, which covered 140 acres, produced vegetables for the London markets and new nurseries were still being established in Crews Hill at a time when the wider trend elsewhere was for their closure and replacement by housing. A small estate of 102 bungalows was built in the early 1930s but soon afterwards Crews Hill was included in a ‘green girdle’ plan to restrict development in north Middlesex, which evolved into green-belt protection after World War II. The nurseries progressively switched from production for London’s wholesale fruit and vegetable markets to retail horticulture. Crews Hill is now utterly overgrown with garden centres and these are not loosely scattered but crammed together along a ‘golden mile’ east of the station. There are specialists in hardy plants, bonsai trees, landscaping and garden fencing and furniture.

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The entrance to one of the dozens of garden centres on the 'golden mile' in Crews Hill

As well as all the nurseries, Crews Hill has an architectural reclaim merchant, on a site covering three-and-a-half acres, and an equestrian zone to the north with stables, paddocks and a stud farm. The Plough is a well-regarded example of the traditional English country pub and has a landscaped beer garden.

Postcode area: Enfield, EN2
Station: First Capital Connect (Zone 6)

Crews Hill website

Brewer's London Phrase & Fable

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