End in sight for Broomfield House as council seeks to demolish

Bid for cash to fund demolition and ‘memorialisation’ of historic mansion house, reports James Cracknell

Broomfield House pictured in 1981
Broomfield House pictured in 1981 (credit Christine Matthews/Wikimedia Commons)

Enfield Council is seeking to demolish Broomfield House and “kick-start the rejuvenation of Broomfield Park” with its bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

There had been little to no hope remaining of restoring the Grade 2*-listed mansion house in Palmers Green, which has been damaged by a series of fires going back to 1984 and been steadily deteriorating, even leading to fears that it might collapse.

But now it has been confirmed that the council is seeking total demolition, removing the derelict shell of Broomfield House and “reconnecting the park and house through memorialisation, interpretation and landscaping”.

In addition, the council wants to provide “heritage engagement activities over two years” that “will involve the community and result in a shared vision and memorialisation of their memories of Broomfield House”.

Colin Younger, from Broomfield House Trust, said: “The trust and Friends of Broomfield Park are of course extremely disappointed that this Grade 2*-listed house has been lost through years of neglect and are concerned about exactly how it will be ‘memorialised’ – a word we detest for its negativity and wish to be abandoned.

Enfield Dispatch membership appeal

“We prefer the sentiment in the title being proposed for the [council’s] project, ‘Unlocking Broomfield Park for the Community,’ which is much more positive.”

Broomfield House Trust has been involved in multiple attempts to save the historic building but has become increasingly pessimistic about its fate in recent years. Its last proposal, rejected by the council in 2020, was to permit a small housing development in the stable yard and use the money raised to salvage parts of the house and create replicas of what couldn’t be saved.

If the council’s ‘expression of interest’ application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund is successful, it intends to submit a first-stage application in summer 2023, with a second-stage bid following in spring 2025 and demolition work on site starting in autumn the same year.

This story is published by Enfield Dispatch, Enfield's free monthly newspaper and free news website. We are a not-for-profit publication, published by a small social enterprise. We have no rich backers and rely on the support of our readers. Donate or become a supporter.

In between the first and second stage bids, the council will “develop a shared vision for the park, agreeing plans for memorialisation of Broomfield House, interpretation, and landscaping around the former house with our communities”. This will include “collecting their memories of the park and house” and “employing a heritage engagement officer to lead on community engagement and pilot activities”.

Broomfield House remains barely visible beneath the maze of scaffolding that has surrounded it for years
Broomfield House remains barely visible beneath the maze of scaffolding that has surrounded it for years

Listed building consent for the demolition would need to be obtained from the government, while significant internal features such as the central staircase, fireplace, and a mural by Flemish baroque artist Gerard Lanscroon would be salvaged where possible and stored until a new permanent home for them could be found.

Colin said it was “critical” that the development phase include briefs to “ensure creative solutions covering the landscape, archaeological, design and heritage aspects of the proposal”.

He added that even if demolition is approved, the fate of the Broomfield House’s stable yard still needed to be decided. Colin said: “We believe it should be developed in a way which allows public use and makes a positive contribution to the park and its users.”

Update (20/10):

An Enfield Council spokesperson said: “Following discussions with Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) the council submitted an ‘expression of interest’ (EOI) to the NLHF for improvements to the heritage parts of Broomfield Park. This included proposals for the remains of Broomfield House, suggestions on how to address priority conservation needs and improvements to the park and how the council would work with the local community to create a new vision for the park. This is the first of three stages in obtaining grant funds from the NLHF. Now the council’s EOI has been successful the council will be able to work with the community to progress to a grant application. This will be done following engagement with key stakeholders and relevant organisations including the Broomfield House Trust and Friends of Broomfield Park. We hope this funding bid is successful to resolve what we recognise has been a longstanding issue of concern for the local community. However the council has taken no final decision on the future of Broomfield House and any decision would only be decided upon following a thorough consultation.”

No news is bad news 

Independent news outlets like ours – reporting for the community without rich backers – are under threat of closure, turning British towns into news deserts. 

The audiences they serve know less, understand less, and can do less. 

In celebration of Indie News Week, Public Interest News Foundation's Indie News Fund will match fund all donations, including new annual supporter subscriptions for the month of June.

If our coverage has helped you understand our community a little bit better, please consider supporting us with a monthly, yearly or one-off donation. 

Choose the news. Don’t lose the news.

Monthly direct debit 

Annual direct debit

£5 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else, £10 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else and a print copy posted to them each month. £50 annual supporters get a digital copy of each month's paper before anyone else.  

Donate now with Pay Pal

More information on supporting us monthly or yearly 

More Information about donations