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Borough: Enfield
Oakwood Park
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Oakwood Park  
The area was originally part of Enfield Chase which was given to Geoffrey de Mandeville by William the Conqueror after the Norman Conquest in 1066, the family becoming the Earls of Essex. The Chase was later owned by the De Bohun family when the granddaughter of the 1st Earl of Essex married Humphrey De Bohun. A descendent married Henry Bolingbroke, son of John of Gaunt who later became Henry IV and thereafter the Chase remained royal property for some 400 years.

The trees growing on the 8,351 acres of Enfield Chase were cut down in 1777. Later the land was divided up with the King retaining 3,218 acres and the rest distributed to freeholders of neighbouring parishes. The Parish of Edmonton was given 1,231 acres part of which remains as Oakwood Park. The northern part became property of William Tash who lived at Broomfield House, Lord of the Manors of Bowes and Dernsford until 1816. The southern part became property of Mrs Mary Bowles, nee Galliard, a prominent citizen of Edmonton whose name is recalled in a street.

In 1870, Samuel Sugden, a homeopathic chemist, purchased the land and renovated the farmhouse within the estate, renaming it Oak Lodge and added a walled garden, orchard and ice well. The Lodge was demolished after World War I. In 1927 Southgate Urban District Council purchased .26 hectares at a cost of 17,134 to create a public park here, naming it Oakwood.

Facilities provided at the time included a square pond for model yachts, with an island and four corner 'beds' which is still one of the park facilities, as is the brick half-timbered pavilion which bears a plaque for the opening of the park in 1929. Tennis courts and a large children's playground were provided, and a pitch and putt course opened in 1964. From 1945, an avenue of scarlet oak trees was gradually planted annually by the Mayor and it was intended that each successive mayor of the borough would add a tree over the years. This practice has continued until recent years. An avenue of Poplars was planted to commemorate the birthday of Queen Mary and a replacement planting programme was started with funding from the Association of Enfield Rotary Clubs to celebrate its 95th anniversary.

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