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Old Vestry Offices

Tiny polygonal building originally for the beadle. Used as local police station until 1930s and then as offices. Grade II listed.

Date

c1829.

22 The Town, Enfield EN2 6LT

Sat 10am-5pm. Talks on the building and history. Max 10 at one time.

Enfield Town, Enfield Chase

329, 192, 121, 313, 307

  • Regularly open to the public at no charge

OLD VESTRY OFFICES In his will of 1635 a certain George Cock, brewer, left œ30 to the parish of Enfield, the yearly interest on which was to be given to the poor in the form of bread, and indeed twenty sixpenny loaves were distributed in church every Sunday for many years. In 1829, using some of the money which had accrued, the parish built a house for the beadle (whose job it was to collect monies due to the parish and carry out tasks connected with various parish charities). The beadle paid an annual rent of œ6.6s for his house, which is now known as the Old Vestry Offices. The small lodge-like building has a two story centre and one storey side wings, canted back. The wings originally contained cages for the detention of the unruly. Finished in stucco, the front has a first floor band continuing across the wings as a frieze. The imposts in the wing openings are extended to give a further horizontal emphasis to the building. The central double door is surmounted by a pediment. The windows are sash, that above the pediment being contained in a round-arched recess. The slate roof is low pitched and hipped. The 19th century wrought iron railings, with urn finials, follow the line of the building. In the 19th century the Vestry_s duties were taken over by the Poor Law Board which set up its headquarters in the neighbouring Greyhound Inn, while the Old Vestry Offices became a temporary police station until a purpose-built one was opened in 1873. After that, the building was leased, mainly to solicitors, but very recently the Old Enfield Charitable Trust has moved in, providing a happy return to something reminiscent of its original use.