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Edmonton Union

Edmonton Parish Workhouse was situated off Church Street, where All Saints National School was later built. It had been completely rebuilt on the same site in 1827. It was handed over to the Edmonton Board of Guardians to house the Pauper Children. It later became St Michaels Hospital.

The Edmonton Union was set up in 1835 and in 1838 decided to build a Larger Workhouse at Silver Street, the site now occupied by the North Middlesex Hospital. The children were to be separated from the Adults and were sent to Enfield House, at Chase Side. In 1904 it was decided to build a new Infirmary next to the Workhouse, which was opened in July 1910.

There were many problems with epidemics at Chase Side, and in 1886 it was decided to move to a new site at Chase Farm on Lavender Hill. Chase side reverted back for use as a Workhouse. In 1897 it had 150 inmates compared to 600 at Edmonton House. Vicar Hodson declared that it should be retained for deserving poor people in their old age.

Chase Farm School
The whole establishment rose at six o'clock and the children had to dress, make their beds and say their prayers before washing and assembling in the Day Room for breakfast at seven o'clock. School commenced at a quarter to nine. Dinner was at noon and school recommenced for the afternoon from two until five. Supper was at six o'clock and the children could then play in the playground until seven o'clock when it was time for prayers and bed.

The Guardians sent children out to Canada from 1892, where it was felt they would receive a better life. In 1899, 58 girls and boys were sent out through the Agency of Dr Barnardo's. In 1900 Dr Barnardo insisted that all Children applicants for emigration must reside for two to three months in one of his homes before departure. This was given as a reason for the decline in number of applicants to emigrate. The issue of British Home Children is discussed fully by Perry Snow, please see links from Orphanages Page.


Union House at Tanner’s End. 
William Barraclough, master; 
Mrs Barraclough, matron; 
Rev Charles Jeafferson, chaplain. (See also Hampstead).

Children’s Establishment for the west London Union:
Church St. 
Thomas Parker, master; 
Mrs Parker, matron;  
Mrs Anderson, schoolmistress.

Infant Poor House of Islington Parish:
Lower Edmonton. 
Mrs Levinson, matron
Post Office 1846 - p 427  
Submitted by Betty Longbottom

The Workhouse, Union Road, Upper Edmonton, a building of brick and stone, erected in 1842 and enlarged in 1890 and again in 1894, will hold 750 inmates. An infirmary was erected in 1910, which later became the North Middlesex Hospital.


Total Area: - 47,111 acres.                        
Southgate Area:
3,587 acres.            
Enfield, 12,600 acres. Including eight  Parishes, viz.: Cheshunt, Edmonton, Enfield, Hornsey, Southgate, Tottenham, Waltham Abbey, and Wood Green.

Population. - 
1841  ...  42,494
1891  ... 242,405                                    
1901  ... 332,270
1910  ...  (Est) 476,877

Inhabitied Houses within Union. -

In  1841  ...  7,473                    
In 1901  ...  57,504

Elected Guardians. - 40
Chairman - Edward George Cole (Wood Green). First elected 1894
Vice-Chairman - James Kerry (Southgate)            First elected 1904   
Clerk - Francis Shelton, Solicitor, White \Hart Lane, Lower Tottenham. Telephone: “Tottenham 25”            Appointed 1881. Salary (to include             assisstants), £1.050.
Treasurer. - John Woodrow Cross, London and Provincial Bank, Upper  Edmonton.
District Auditor. -  Sutherland Wilkinson.
L.G.B Inspector - C. Foulis Roundell.
Collector to Guardians - William Henry Whitmore, 70 Silver Street.  Salary, £350.
Chaplin - Elias William Gilley, 76 Holmleigh Road, Stamford Hill.


Edmonton, comprising 221/4 acres:             
Enfield,8 acres

Relief    (on January 1, 1910):
Adults -Indoor, 1,147;  Outdoor - 2,240. - Total, 3,387
Children. - Indoor, 807;  Outdoor, 1,650. - Total, 2,457
Indoor and Outdoor totals, 5,844
January 1, 1909 : Indoor and Outdoor Totals, 5,619

Enfield contributing  315 Indoor and 343 Outdoor Adults and 146 Indoor and 256 Outdoor Children ; whilst Southgate sent 33 Indoor and 55 Outdoor adults, and 16 Indoor and 21 Outdoor Children.

Of the children receiving indoor relief, 604 (from the age of 2 years and upwards) are being maintained and receiving a good education in the Chase Farm Schools, which are extensive buildings on land comprising 55 acres.

In addition, 48 children are under the care of foster-mothers at Fortescue Villas, Enfield, 60 boarded out in Scattered Homes, and 59 boarded out beyond the Union with foster parents.

Source: Extract taken from the 1911 District Handbook Ratepayers’ Guide and Almanack for Bowes Park, Palmers Green, Southgate, Winchmore Hill and New Southgate
Submitted by Anthea Greenaway.


The Board also has charge of 1,059 mental patients, 27 of whom are maintqined at Edmonton and 1,032 in 17 Asylums, at a weekly charge varying from 10s. 6d to 19s. 3d. per patient. The great majority, however, (818 are at Napsbury Asylum, at a cost of 11s. 1d each.A grant of 4s per week per patient is received from the county rate.  


One of the most difficult and expensive of tasks entrusted to the County Council ( Middlesex) is the treatment of lunacy. In 1891, 16 in 10,000 were admitted to Asylums; in 1907 the figure had increased to 21 per 10,1000. During this time (1911), the population increased 81.2 per cent.,and admissions to Asylums increased 144 per cent.

1.  Napsbury, near St Albans. Opened June 3, 1905. Already practically full. An estate of 432 acres, 100 occupied by buildings and gardens.

            The cost, including land and equipment, was £545,000, or £473 per bed.    There is accomodation for 1,205 persons. Applications increase at the rate of 142 per annum, and plans have been passed for buildings to           accomodate 582 more patients.
Medical Superintendent.  - Dr L. W. Rolleston
Clerk and Steward - H. G. Armour.

2. Wandsworth, SW. An estate of 141 acres , taken over from London; 28 acres are occupied by buildings. The accomodation is for 1,214 patients.
 Medical Superintendent. - Dr H. Gardiner Hill.
Clerk. -T.W. Beale, Beechcroft Road, Upper Tooting, SW.


A History of Enfield, Volume Two 1837 - 1914 - A Victorian Suburb... published by The Enfield Preservation Society, 107 Parsonage Lane, Enfield, Middlesex.
Submitted by Mary Ann White.

Post Office 1846 - p 427 Submitted by Betty Longbottom

Page updated March 12, 2008 by Rossbret