Inventory Site Record

Whitewebbs Park and Golf Course (Enfield)

Brief Description

Whitewebbs Park is situated on former parkland laid out after the 1803 enclosure of the Enfield commonland. In 1570 a mansion called White Webbs was owned by Henry VIII's physician Dr Robert Huicke, to whom Queen Elizabeth I granted leave to obtain water from Enfield Chase to supply his mansion and grounds; the C16th Conduit House remains in the park. The old house was demolished in 1790 and the present house was built in 1791 on a different site. The New River originally ran through Whitewebbs estate and later became an ornamental lake after this section of the River was abandoned. In 1931 the estate was purchased by Enfield UDC and Middlesex County Council and made into a public golf course. In 2020 the golf course was initially closed at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, but in 2021 Enfield Council announced its permanent closure, and in late 2022 plans to lease part of the land to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club were announced.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Site location:
Whitewebbs Road, Enfield
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Public Open Land
Open to public?
Opening times:
unrestricted (golf course closure)
Special conditions:
Birdwatching courses. See Friends of Whitewebbs Park: https://whitewebbspark.org.uk/maps-guides-activities/
Public transport:
Rail: Crews Hill then bus
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.enfield.gov.uk

Full Site Description

Whitewebbs Park, which contains areas of woodland, is situated on former parkland laid out after the 1803 enclosure of the Enfield parish common land, which had been created after Enfield Chase was dischased in 1779. Early records list Agnes and Stephen Wilford as acquiring a tenement at Whitewebbs in 1543, and in 1570 a mansion by that name was owned by Dr Robert Huicke, physician to Henry VIII; the house was reputed to have been one of the meeting places of the Gunpowder Plot conspirators. The old house was demolished in 1790 when the present house was built in 1791 by Dr Abraham Wilkinson, a notable agricultural improver.

At one time the New River, constructed in the early C17th by Sir Hugh Myddelton after whom nearby Myddelton House (q.v.) is named, ran through Whitewebbs estate and was carried over Cuffley Brook in a cast iron aqueduct built in 1820. However, the loop through Whitewebbs was abandoned in 1859 when work was carried out to straighten the New River, and was replaced by a new section from Turkey Street to Tenniswood Road, and a new aqueduct over Maidens Brook. When the Whitewebbs loop of the New River became redundant it was turned into an ornamental lake. The park today contains the Pumping Station that was built in 1898 to feed a loop of the New River, and which is now a Transport Museum.

In the late C19th the then owner Charles Stuart Robinson carried out various alterations, adding wings and a large curved pediment to the west front, central bays and balustraded balconies to the east front so that it resembled 'a French chateau'.

In 1931 the estate of c.100 hectares was purchased from Sir Duncan Orr-Lewis by Enfield Urban District Council and Middlesex County Council and made into a public golf course, which retained much of the parkland character. There are notable oak and hornbeam in the woodland, stands of Wellingtonia and other fragments of the designed landscape include mature horse chestnuts. Shortly after the UDC took over Whitewebbs it commissioned a report on the state of the woodlands from W J Bean formerly the curator of Kew Gardens, whose 1937 Report included his statement that he considered 'the greater part of Whitewebbs Park to be very beautiful woodland'. Two lakes formerly part of the estate are now outside the park's boundary to the west, one of which is within a Water Garden Centre. To the north of the house is a pond with C16th conduit house and well and C19th specimen planting of Douglas fir, Norway spruce, cypresses etc. Two of the Estate lodges remain: North Lodge, a Victorian gothic building on Whitewebbs Road, and South Lodge, 'a delicious pink confection' (Pevsner), a quaintly barge-boarded mid C19th cottage orné at Beggars Hollow.

The area retains some of its rural atmosphere and in fact was slow to be developed, in part due to poor communications and public transport; although Turkey Street station had opened in 1891, it was then closed in 1909 not to re-open until 1960. Whitewebbs House is now a pub and family restaurant with an area of garden in front of the building which has lawns and some ornamental beds, beyond which is the golf course. The golf course has a public footpath running through it from which the undulating landscape can be seen. To the west are woods, with various nature trails and paths running through, which contains ancient woodland with such plants as wild service-tree, butchers broom, yellow archangel and enchanter's nightshade. Oak, hornbeam, beech and horse chestnut are found in some areas and bird-life here is prolific, with newts, frogs and toads in the ponds and river.

In 2020, Enfield Council closed the golf course at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and in 2021 made the decision to close the club permanently, on the grounds that it ran at a loss. In December 2022, the Council's proposal to release part of the former golf course to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club on a 25 year lease was announced, which has led to sifgnificant local opposition. The football club's plan is to create a women's and girls' training academy, which would cover c.18% of the overall parkland. Friends of Whitewebbs along with CPRE and Enfield RoadWatch have sought legal advice on the lawfulness of Enfield’s action in trying to dispose of a large proportion of Whitewebbs Park by lease. The final decision is due to be made in summer 2023. 

Sources consulted:

Revd George Hodson (Church History) and Edward Ford (General History), 'A History of Enfield in the County of Middlesex including its Royal and Ancient Manors, the Chase and the Duchy of Lancaster, with Notices of its Worthies, and its Natural History, Etc. Also an account of The Church and the Charities, and a History of the New River' (Enfield Press, printed by J H Meyers, 1873); Andrew Crowe, 'The Parks and Woodlands of London', (Fourth Estate, 1987); Arthur Mee 'The King's England: London North of the Thames except the City and Westminster', (Hodder & Stoughton, 1972); Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England: London 4: North' (Penguin, 1998); Victoria County History, Enfield leaflets; Friends of Whitewebbs website: ; Simon Allin,  'Council confirms Spurs lease of Whitewebbs Park despite hundreds of objections', Enfield Dispatch, No. 59, August 2023, p.6; see also: https://www.enfield.gov.uk/services/property-and-economy/former-whitewebbs-park-golf-course 

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ328994 (532757,199231)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Enfield
Site management:
LB Enfield Place Shaping and Enterprise, Parks Business Unit; Whitewebbs House: Brewer's Fayre
c.1800; 1931
Listed structures:
LBII: North Lodge, South Lodge; Bridge at west end of lake in Whitewebbs Woods. SAM 111: Flash Road Aqueduct. Locally listed: Whitewebbs House; Stable block and garden walls of Whitewebbs House; Conduit House in Whitewebbs Park; TWA Pumping Station.
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:


Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
In Conservation Area:
Tree Preservation Order:
Not known
Nature Conservation Area:
Yes - Metropolitan Importance (Whitewebbs Woods)
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Yes - Enfield Chase Heritage Area AOSC (Area of Special Character)
Other LA designation:
Part: Local Nature Reserve. Whitewebbs Park Included in Local Register of Historic Parks and Gardens

Whitewebbs Park and Golf Course

Whitewebbs House - Photo: Colin Wing
Date taken: 20/08/19 12:57

Enfield, White Webbs Park, the Pond , postcard, 1920s. Enfield Local Studies Centre and Archive
White Webbs Park, Enfield, postcard, c.1910. Enfield Local Studies Centre and Archive
'White-Webbs-Park, the Seat of Henry Wilkinson Esq.', reproduced from Edward Ford, 'A History of Enfield in the County of Middlesex', 1873
'Old Conduit House at White-Webbs', reproduced from Edward Ford, 'A History of Enfield in the County of Middlesex', 1873

Click a photo to enlarge.

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