London Parks & Gardens Trust

A Cycle Ride around Enfield

Trent Park

Trent Park

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Directions

Where the road bends right, after the former Fallow Buck pub, turn left into Strayfield Road. Following the direction signs for Cycle Route 12, turning left after about 600 metres. Pass under the railway and follow the road left at Rectory Farm. On reaching the main road (The Ridgeway), turn right and immediately left into Oak Avenue. At the bottom, turn right into Hadley Road. After about 1.7 km, you come to the entrance to Trent Country Park on the left.

Entering the park, follow the rough road straight ahead. The road goes down a hill (take care on the loose surface), forks slightly right past the Fish Ponds and then turns slightly left up a hill. You emerge onto a drive near a small café. (The toilets and main café are by a car park at the end of the drive to the right. If you use these, come back afterwards to this point.)

Description

Trent Park is on land formerly part of the royal hunting forest of Enfield Chase, which in 1777 was enclosed and divided by Act of Parliament. A small part was earmarked as a miniature hunting park, the principal portion of which was granted to the King's physician Dr Richard Jebb, as a reward for saving the life of the King's brother, the Duke of Gloucester, at Trento in the South Tyrol, hence the present name of the estate. A deer park of 81 hectares and lake were laid out and in c.1777 one of the old Enfield Chase lodges was converted by Sir William Chambers into a villa known as Trent Place.

The house was extended at various times and was then largely rebuilt between 1894 and 1931. Philip Sassoon, who inherited the estate in 1912, laid out the formal gardens and pleasure grounds around the house, and these contain various fine monuments and sculptures.

When Sassoon's cousin Hannah Gubbay died in 1968, most of the land became a public park, Trent Country Park, which was officially opened in 1973. In 1947 the house with approx. 81 hectares of land became the Trent Park Teachers Training College, itself becoming Middlesex Polytechnic in 1974 and then Middlesex University in 1992.

The university has now moved out of Trent Park and the house sold. The house is unfortunately cordoned off, so that visitors can no longer enjoy the view from the terrace. See savetrentpark.org.uk