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Posted 19 September 2023

In July we posted the council statement and questionnaire  on the future of Broomfield House. Although we are bitterly disappointed that after nearly 40 years' efforts by a range of local groups it has not proved possible to save Broomfield House in any meaningful way. Four fires and a lack of finance have sealed its fate.

The attached presentation gives more detail of the proposals which once again depends on National Lottery Heritage Fund backing.

The proposal is intended to memorialize the House and rejuvenate its surroundings, and in particular begin the restoration of its rare baroque water gardens. To make the bid financially realistic in the eyes of the Lottery, it excludes work on the southern, "swimming" lake at this stage given the expense this would add. The hope is that a bid for this might follow once this project has shown success.

The other key element missing from any plans is a way ahead for the Grade II stableyard which we believe has a high potential to be developed for public use.

Colin Younger
Chair, The Broomfield House Trust

Statement By The Broomfield House Trust and the Friends of Broomfield Park
11 July 2023

This is the latest council statement on the future of Broomfield House.

"We are currently preparing a grant funding application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for improvements to the heritage parts of Broomfield Park which includes proposals on the House ruins.
If successful in obtaining funding, this project will kick-start the rejuvenation of Broomfield Park by dismantling the unsafe parts of the derelict shell of Broomfield House, and reconnecting the park and house through memoralisation, interpretation and landscaping.
This application is due to be submitted in August 2023 and we will be notified by the National Lottery Heritage Fund of whether our bid has been successful in the first quarter of 2024.
If successful, we will receive an initial award to resolve on a shared vision for the house and landscape around it in consultation with the local community and determine the project costs, required resources, and timeline for its delivery.
To secure funding to implement the works to the house and park necessary to deliver this vision, another funding application will be made to the National Lottery Heritage Fund in 2025. If that final stage is successful, works to the house would commence in 2026.
In the lead-up to submitting a bid, we are testing some initial ideas and a programme of activities with residents and park users. We would welcome your ideas and feedback by completing a short survey by Sunday August 6, 2023."

Complete the 'Unlocking Broomfield Park for the Community' survey.

Colin Younger
Chair, The Broomfield House Trust

Enfield Council’s New Proposals for Broomfield House and Broomfield Park
9 October 2022

Statement By The Broomfield House Trust and the Friends of Broomfield Park

Enfield Council has now shared a document with the Broomfield House Trust and the Friends of Broomfield Park, which outlines the scope of a bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for funding new proposals for Broomfield House and Park. What follows are extracts from the draft (in italics) and some of our comments on the draft.

This follows the rejection of our proposal to construct a building on the site of Broomfield House replicating the house exterior as it was when it was purchased by Southgate Urban District Council for public use. Funds for this would have come partly from a limited housing scheme in the Stableyard. As well as housing a café, it could at a later stage incorporate a reconstruction of the oak staircase and sections of the Lanscroon murals.

The new bid is intended to: -

‘Kick-start the rejuvenation of Broomfield Park by dismantling the derelict shell of Broomfield House, and reconnecting the park and House through memorialisation, interpretation and landscaping. Heritage engagement activities over 2 years will involve the community and result in a shared vision & memorialisation of their memories of Broomfield House.’

The Council’s intention is to submit a Round 1 Application between May and August 2023.
If confirmed, the project will then go to the Development Phase (August 2023 – March 2025) leading to the submission of a Round 2 application in March 2025. If approved, the Delivery Phase of the project would be between September 2025 and August 2027.

The Development Phase is intended to: -

(i) Develop a shared vision for the park, agreeing plans for memorialisation of Broomfield House, interpretation, and landscaping around the former house with our communities
(ii) Involve the community by collecting their memories of the park and house
(iii) Employ a Heritage Engagement Officer to lead on community engagement and pilot activities
(iv) Consult with statutory consultees and secure planning permission which will require Approval by Secretary of State
(v) Resolve legal issues around a covenant on the building
(vi) Prepare briefs and obtain quotes for dismantling the remains
(vii) Catalogue and assess the condition of the remains of the staircase and timbers salvaged and currently stored in shipping containers, Broomfield House and in situ features e.g. fireplaces, shutters. Assess significance of the remains and Lanscroon murals in the context
of a dismantled House. Find solutions for ownership, permanent storage, and listings.

The process and timetabling of such a bid are complicated and stringent conditions will need to be met if it is to meet the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s requirements. The programme will also have to be integrated with the views of Historic England, given the Grade II* listing of the house and the need for Listed Building Consent (for demolition) from the relevant Secretary of State.

The Next Steps

The Council will be creating a consultation list for stakeholder groups beyond the Broomfield House Trust and Friends of Broomfield Park. They have proposed another meeting of the working group in December to discuss how to frame the project as a Heritage Fund application.

There are many issues which we will want to have clarified as the Council process moves forward. The Trust and Friends of Broomfield Park are of course extremely disappointed that this Grade II* 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. We prefer the sentiment in the title being proposed for the project, ‘Unlocking Broomfield Park for the Community,’ which much more positive.

The draft notes that
‘The significance of the house is the relationship with the Park and Stableyard’

and goes on to say that

‘The Park is the area’s only cultural hub, hosting year-round community events.’

In our view it is therefore critical that the Development Phase must include briefs to ensure creative solutions covering the landscape/archaeological/design/heritage aspects of the proposal to ensure that these links are made clear. We have also asked to be consulted on these briefs. At the moment the plan only refers to briefs for the demolition of the House.

The Council have been advised not to include the Stableyard in this bid, but to take a phased (10 year) approach to maximise the chances of this bid’s success. While we understand this advice, it leaves the listed Stableyard at risk, just as delay and neglect sealed the fate of Broomfield House. We would like to see what ideas there are about the Stableyard both in the short term for maintaining and safeguarding the buildings, and in the longer term for its future use. We believe it should be developed in a way which allows public use and makes a positive contribution to the park and its users.

We understand that the sections of the Lanscroon Murals which we had reconstructed and conserved, will be displayed in the Museum of Enfield in some way. However, we remain concerned about the future of other elements salvaged from the house after the first fire, particularly additional material from the Lanscroon Murals and the oak staircase, which have been in store for so many years. There may be other elements salvaged from the house which should, if possible, be preserved and displayed.

Colin Younger
Chair, The Broomfield House Trust

Broomfield House: Where we are and how we got here (5 August 2022)

Restoring Broomfield House after the series of five fires, the first in 1984, the last in 2019, has proved unaffordable. In 2013 The Heritage Lottery Fund rejected the joint Council-community bid for full restoration of the House. In retrospect, this was probably the best and last chance of saving the House for the public.  However, beginning in 2014 the council-chaired Broomfield House Partnership Board (on which among others the Broomfield House Trust and Friends of Broomfield House were represented) examined a variety of alternative ways ahead. The Board last met in November 2018.

In March 2019 a Council-led workshop discussed the possibility of rebuilding the exterior of the house as it appeared at the time of purchase in 1902.  This would restore the key visual heart of the listed park . Part of the funding for the initial stage would come from a small housing development in the listed stableyard, subject to Historic England’s approval.   The Trust believed that once a structure was in place, and the confidence of other potential donors boosted it might then be possible to gradually restore key parts of  the interior (Hall, oak staircase, and murals). The Trust funded the successful restoration of the Minerva Panel as evidence that this was possible.

The council funded a proposal from The Regeneration Practice intended to start the process off. The Broomfield House Trust and Friends of Broomfield Park representatives strongly supported the concept, at least as a starting point, but the Council rejected it in 2020. Information on the council’s consideration of the TRP proposal was only discovered through a Freedom of Information request.

Continuing with the policy of ad hoc meetings, the Trust was invited to a meeting on 15 November 2021 with Adrian Smallwood (Head of Strategic Property Services) and Dr Alix Slater of Alix Slater Consultancy & Training Ltd (Dr Slater had been heavily involved in finalising the 2012 bid to the Lottery for a full rebuilding of Broomfield House).

Unfortunately, this meeting was exceedingly disheartening. In summary, Dr Slater said that the current National Lottery Heritage Fund "Expressions of Interest" statement and its priority outcomes which run up to 2024, meant that in her view the Broomfield House
project does not score highly; new build and restoration is a lower priority, and the London/SE area is highly competitive, even though the Borough of Enfield is a priority for the NLHF.

The conclusion was that the House would be likely to be demolished and "memorialised" in some way, but that there was potential for securing funding for a restored stableyard and the Park. It was suggested that there could be a combination of housing in the Grade II listed stableyard with some undefined public use. What form "memorialisation" would take had not been decided and might be the subject of a public competition.

In spite of request for a promised meeting to discuss their thinking, the Council have not responded to the Trust or Friends.  Once again, as has happened on many occasions in the history of attempts to restore Broomfield House, the council has retreated from meeting with the Trust and Friends of Broomfield Park.

However, by 19 June, a Member’s Request from Palmers Green ward councillor Chris James elicited this brief response:
“Discussions with Historic England and the National Heritage Lottery Fund (NHLF) have been positive, and the Council is poised to submit an ‘Expression of Interest’ to the NHLF for improvements to the heritage parts of Broomfield Park which include proposals on the House ruins. An Expression of Interest (EOI) is the first of three stages in obtaining grant funds from the NHLF and is the gateway to knowing whether they are prepared in principle to support a project.

In the event that the Council is successful with its EOI then a Cabinet report will be forthcoming (estimated to be early 2023) for approval of outline proposals that will form the basis of a ‘Round 1’ grant application to the NHLF. In the interim there will be a programme of consultation with key stakeholders including Members and relevant local organisations such as the Broomfield House Trust and Friends of Broomfield Park amongst others.”

We are trying to find out what form this will take and in particular how the Broomfield House Trust and Friends of Broomfield Park, key stakeholders if anyone is, will be involved. Given the efforts the Trust and Friends have devoted to Broomfield House and Park over the years it is disappointing that Enfield appears to have side-lined both groups.

Colin Younger
Chair, The Broomfield House Trust

This is the 5 April 2022 status report from Enfield about Broomfield House.

Following on from the briefing you received from the Council’s heritage consultant, Alix Slater, last November, the Council is still working through options for the future of Broomfield House, Park and Stable Yard. As mentioned in the briefing, guidance is being sought from Historic England and the National Heritage Lottery Fund which will influence the recommended option. Such guidance is not going to begin to be forthcoming until May.  Officers will also need to brief members and the election timings do play a part in that process. 

I hope to be in a position to have an update in the summer.

Colin Younger, Chairman BHT

Enfield Council Responds to Enfield Dispatch Questions on the Future of Broomfield House

Readers will be interested in this article from the Enfield Dispatch website about the future of Broomfield House and Stableyard.

The full text of the Trust's correspondence the article refers to can be found below.

It may say something about the Council that the Dispatch has had a response to its questions, while at the time of writing, the Trust has not.

Letter to the Chief Executive of  Enfield Council  - 30 January 2021

"Dear Ian,

It was decided at the Broomfield House Trust AGM that I should contact you about the Council’s strategy as regards the future of Broomfield House, since this is unclear to us. You will be aware of some of the background to this from your previous role as Director Regeneration and Environment when you were a member of the Broomfield House Partnership Board.

The Board has not met since November 2018 and we do not know what the Council’s intention is as regards the Board or whether a new Chair has been appointed, though on precedent it would be the new Associate Cabinet Member for West Enfield, Councillor Chibah (to whom a copy of this goes).  

However, a Workshop was held in March 2019 which explored the concept of a limited, interim rebuilding/reconstruction of Broomfield House, to be funded by a housing scheme in the stableyard. The Regeneration Practice (TRP) was subsequently engaged to produce a possible way ahead for the House and stableyard. Regretfully, it appears that the council has concluded that this is not feasible. The Trust does not believe that things should rest with this. Instead, we argue strongly that an approach on the general lines which were proposed is still the best, possibly the only, way ahead.

It is our understanding that as things stand, Historic England is extremely unlikely to support an application by the council for listed building consent for demolition. We wonder what the odds would be of a Conservative Minister supporting Enfield’s request for demolition. The process is likely to involve a costly public enquiry, and this together with demolition and site remediation would be money poured down the drain. Although it might eventually save some maintenance costs of the House (but not the stableyard), there will be
, literally, nothing to show for it.  If some form of memorialisation were to be proposed, the additional costs of this would need to be included and would produce something which has no discernible support. Essentially it would be an expensive sop, and a lost opportunity.

It is also our understanding that Historic England is unlikely to support a development in the stableyard
unless it is an enabling development in support of the House. Under these circumstances it seems likely that the stableyard would remain another listed, at risk asset, costing the council ongoing maintenance and with similar security risks to the house.

Although the Trust’s objectives cover restoration and public use of both House and Stableyard, we recognise the difficulty of raising funds for both, and accept that the priority needs to be given to Broomfield House. We are therefore very keen to further explore the proposal from The Regeneration Practice which we thought might form the basis to deal with both problems.

Leaving things as they stand satisfies no-one, but only the Council can break the impasse. It seems to us that there is a positive way ahead; that it is to follow TRP’s concept. If the specifics of TRP plan are not acceptable, it ought to be possible in discussions between Council, TRP and Historic England to produce a revised plan and costings which meet those objections. It might then be time, based on a positive plan, to approach the National Lottery Heritage Fund for support, particularly given their recognition that Enfield has poorly benefited from Lottery grants. It might even be that Historic England will find
itself able to put some money into such a project. Restoring the house would of course also restore the centre piece of the listed park.

In our view once an external structure is in place it would be possible, in the medium term, to find funding to gradually complete the house interior. We have shown that restoration of the murals, or large parts of them is possible, and restoration/rebuilding of the Oak staircase is also likely to be feasible. This encompasses the most important features of the House. However, as we have already learned, we need tangible commitment to the initial stage before we could begin to approach what would have to be a consortium of potential donors to complete the fitting out of the interior.

As we have said again and again, we are not arguing for the restoration of a structure only of historical interest, important though that is. Anyone visiting the park in the last few years should be aware of the much changed social and ethnic "Park Community" who use the park. Further, The Friends of Broomfield Park are looking to link with groups in the east of the borough through EVA and your cultural department (social prescribing).  Broomfield House should provide a key asset for this wider community’s social, educational, artistic, musical, and sporting activities (something of particular interest to younger age groups). It would then become a cultural and, in its widest sense, "wellness" centre. Is that not a goal worth pursuing, rather than just watching further decay?  It’s in your collective hands!"

Follow Up Email to Councillor Chibah, Chair of the Broomfield House Partnership Board - 18 June 2021

"Dear Councillor,

Time passes and though the council has no doubt many pressing issues to address, we wonder whether any progress has been made in responding to our questions about Broomfield House originally addressed to Ian Davies in January. (A copy is attached for ease of reference.)

We are not expecting to hear a complete solution, but perhaps you could at least share the Council's strategy aimed at dealing with the dilemmas we set out and the way ahead we suggested.

It would be interesting to know what discussions there have been with the National Lottery Heritage Fund or Historic England. You will recall the 28 January answer to Cllr Barry's questions about Broomfield House ("Officers have informed me they have plans to resume options evaluation, including engagement with Historic England and local residents, in the late spring".)  Given that there is still a formal arrangement (The Broomfield House Partnership Board which you now chair) to consider all this, the Broomfield House Trust and Friends of Broomfield Park would expect to be fully involved in work on the way ahead."


We have yet to have a substantive response on the Council’s proposed way ahead or even its outline strategy, though we have had an informal walk around the park with Councillor Chibah.

The Broomfield House Trust
Chair’s Report for 2019-2020
(see below this item for Cash Books)

The Broomfield House Partnership Board, which was set up by the Council in 2014, has in effect become moribund. It last met in November 2018. The Council has instead called ad hoc meetings such as the Workshop held in March 2019 noted in the report for 2018-19.  

As a result of that meeting, a proposal was produced by The Regeneration Practice. This is for an external reconstruction based on the House as it was when purchased by the Southgate Urban District Council. Initially it would only be occupied by a café. The funding of this first stage would largely come from a housing development in the stableyard. Our view is that once such a structure is in place, it should be possible, on that evidence, to raise funds for a gradual restoration of the interior beginning with the hall, oak stairs, and eventually large areas of the Lanscroon Murals.

The unofficial signs we received was that this concept appeared to be the basis of a way ahead.

When we next met the Council on the 29 th October we were shocked to be told that in the Council’s view their own costings (although based on TRP’s plans and costings would not support the rebuilding proposal. Instead, they favoured demolition of most of the remaining structure; some form of memorialisation of the House, and possibly some combined housing development and (undefined) community use of the stableyard might be possible.

Having failed to have proper sight of the basis of this view, we submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act to see all the relevant papers. This produced a mass of material.
The simplest presentation of the costings is in the March 2020 Viability Report produced for the council by Perfect Circle from which the following extract is taken:

Range (Low)     Range (High)

£6,066,135           £7,740,000   Broomfield House  
£300,000              £1,000,000   Park Landscape  

(scope not determined - Historic England requirement)

                              £2,410,000   Priced Risk Register

£6,366,135           £11,150,000 TOTAL
£3,153,517           £4,050,000   Broomfield House (Shell only)  
£300,000              £1,000,000  Park Landscape  

(scope not determined - Historic England requirement)

                              £2,410,000   Priced Risk Register  

£3,453,517           £7,460,000  TOTAL  


£610,000              £784,000 Broomfield House Partial demolition, and memorialisation  
£300                     £1,000,000 Park Landscape  

(scope not determined - Historic England requirement)  

£300,000              £200,000   Public Enquiry Risk [though the Risk Register puts this as at least £400,000]

£910,300             £1,984,000   TOTAL  

The alternative options reviewed in this report include:  
• Demolition, Restoration of soft landscaping with Interpretation Boards (c. £660,000), plus risk of Public Enquiry (c. £200,000) [though the risk Register puts this at least £400,000] plus annual maintenance costs (c. £10,000 pa).  
• Do Nothing – ongoing annual maintenance and security costs (c. £100,000 pa).  

The report continues:

It is important to recognise that Historic England would object to demolition of Broomfield House for memorialisation of the site unless they had been satisfied that all other sources of funding, such as a grant from the National Heritage Lottery Fund, had been fully and recently explored with restoration of the Baroque landscape and investment in the park as a whole. The Secretary of State would scrutinise any proposals and have the power to direct the refusal of listed building consent, hence the potential risk of a public inquiry, which would bring both substantial costs and an unknown outcome.  

The recommendation to mitigate this risk is to prepare a holistic proposal for Broomfield Park incorporating memorialisation of the Broomfield House ruins and seek funding from a Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Stable Block would then no longer be seen as an enabling development for the House and proposals could be developed to restore the Stable Block and yard by rebuilding the four existing houses with properties more in keeping with the historic park and use the capital receipt to restore the Stable Block and create a Community facility."
[NB this is not defined]

NB The return on housing in the stableyard at the time was put at between £1.55m and £2.99m though this was uncertain and would have to be market tested.

There were many questions and uncertainties about these figures even at the time, but they give an idea of the issues involved. For example, the landscaping costs do not seem to us to be inevitably part of the reconstruction of the House. Historic England say that the landscape improvements could be phased and be part of a separate project. These costs might only reach such a high figure if there were conditions imposed by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. This would only be an issue if they were providing funding, and there is no provision noted in the estimates for the possibility of such an offsetting sum. Further, the Priced Risk Register figure of £2.4m is not the same as an inevitable cost to the project; the ten individual elements might not be triggered together, though obviously each one needs to be managed and mitigated by the Council.

We do not know how the Council intend to proceed.

Our position is that we should continue to press for a limited reconstruction of the House and accept that housing in the stableyard as offsetting the reconstruction is the only way that this can be done. Money spent on demolition and/or memorialisation, including the costs of a possible public enquiry would be simply wasted, and at best leave the Council with the unresolved problem and costs of the decaying Grade II stableyard.

Other Matters:
The Trustees have continued to visit historic properties to learn how they are managed and funded. In November 2019 we visited Beckenham Place Park, which has a Georgian stableyard which houses a very impressive café. The Mansion run by another independent group accommodates a variety of social and arts-based activities and has a small snack bar.

Also in November 2019, a local resident put us in touch with the eminent architect Maxwell Hutchinson, former President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, who visited the park. Although he said he would think about options for the future, sadly we heard nothing more, though he expressed doubt that the council could obtain Listed Building consent to demolish the house.

Broomfield Park Purchase Memorial
We took advantage of the Trust’s charitable status to negotiate grants to restore the shell memorial (by the white gates) which had deteriorated to the extent that the engraved dedications had all but disappeared. Grants from the Heritage of London Trust (£6,000), the Enfield Society (£800) and the Friends of Broomfield Park (£800) enabled this work to take place and we held an “unveiling” event on 5 March with the enthusiastic support of pupils from Broomfield and Hazelwood Schools.

Pupils from Hazelwood and Broomfield schools who unveiled the restored memorial with (L-R) Dr Nicola Stacey, Director of the Heritage of London Trust, Colin Younger, Chair of the Broomfield House Trust, and Bambos Charalambous, MP for Enfield Southate and past chair of the Broomfield House Partnership Board.

Unveiling the Broomfield Park Purchase Memorial
5 March 2020

Today saw a short ceremony in Broomfield Park to celebrate the restoration of the memorial which marked the 1903 purchase of the Park and House for public use by Southgate Urban District Council.

Among those attending were Bambos Charalambous MP for Enfield Southgate (and previously a Chair of the Broomfield House Partnership Board), and Councillors Claire Stewart (current chair), Daniel Anderson and Maria Alexandrou.

Grant providers were represented by Jamie Cayzer-Colvin,  Heritage of London (HOLT) Chair, Dr Nicola Stacey HOLT Director, Rebecca King (HOLT), Flic Parker (HOLT), John West (The Enfield Society) and the Co-Chairs of the Friends of Broomfield Park, Kim Lumley and David March, as well as Ivor Evans and Susan Younger.

It was great to have the enthusiastic support of pupils from Hazelwood and Broomfield Schools, who untied the red ribbon across the shell and uncovered the small plaque recording the contribution of the three donors. (This plaque has yet to be securely fixed in position.)

Broomfield Park Memorial Restored
22 February 2020

When Broomfield Park was opened to the public in 1903, Southgate Urban District Council commemorated the occasion by commissioning a large shell-shaped tablet engraved with information about the purchase and the names of councillors and key officers.

This was originally placed on the main drive from the white gates, but was later removed to the nearby border. The shell had decayed through pollution and moss and lichen growth, and the lettering has almost disappeared. This photo (top right) shows the extent of decay and overgrowth.

The Broomfield House Trust obtained grants from the Heritage of London Trust, the Enfield Society and Friends of Broomfield Park to restore the memorial.

We selected Paye Conservation to carry out restoration of the monument, which has now been completed. Go along and take a look! If you can’t, see the photos of work in progress. These show the carver Gary Churchman at work, and the HOLT Director Dr Nicola Stacey.

A Mulberry Tree, the Richest Man in England, and Broomfield House
7 January 2020

On 7th January 2020 a group of the Friends of Broomfield Park and the Broomfield House Trust met to unveil a plaque recording the 2010 planting of a mulberry tree in Broomfield Park by local historian Peter Brown. This may initially seem slightly eccentric, but it has its roots in the history of Broomfield House.

In October 2018 Jenny Bourke produced one of her "Palmers Green Tales" in which Peter highlighted the main historical features of the park. The film, "A walk around Broomfield Park" ends with a photo of the mulberry tree by the path opposite the southern facade of Broomfield House. Peter planted the tree to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death in 1610 of Sir John Spencer, Lord Mayor of London, Master of the Clothworkers’ Company, and a merchant adventurer.

Sir John, though born in Suffolk, owned Broomfield House and surrounding land from 1599 until his death in 1610. Sir John, known as "Rich Spencer" was reputedly the richest man in England. He made much of his fortune from the silk trade with the eastern Mediterranean carried out through his membership of the Levant Company, which he subscribed to at its creation in 1592, and of course the silk moth caterpillar feeds on mulberry leaves.

However, there was nothing in the park to make clear the significance of the tree. Sue Younger of the Friends of Broomfield Park thought that ten years after the planting it was appropriate for this to be remedied.
With the cooperation of Chris Langdown, the council’s arboriculture officer for parks, and with the funds from the Friends, a commemorative plaque was purchased and unveiled today. The occasion also gave us an opportunity to mark Peter’s extensive research which has resulted in a series of immaculately handwritten and illustrated booklets many of which are held by the Local Studies unit in the Dugdale Centre.

In 1599 Sir John became a founder member of the East India Company, though the Company evolved in to something far from its simple trading origins, commemorating this notable resident is long overdue.

L-R: David March, Jenny Bourke, Sue Younger, Ivor Evans, Elizabeth Dobbie, Doreen Brown, Peter Brown, Roger Blows

L-R: Sue Younger and Kim Lumely

10 October 2019
Broomfield House Trust Annual General Meeting

The Minutes of the latest AGM may be found under
the Meetings tab.

Colin Younger
Chair, The Broomfield House Trust

10 May 2019
Council Statement on the Future of Broomfield House

The Council, working in partnership with the Broomfield House Partnership Board, aims to resolve the future of Broomfield House which is currently unsafe and a blight on the Park.

In March 2019 the Executive Director of Place, Sarah Cary in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Property & Assets, Cllr Ahmet Oykener, approved further feasibility work be undertaken into the viability of delivering a shell reconstruction of Broomfield House. This would be cost neutral to the Council with funding arising from the disposal of the redundant fire damaged stable block / yard which was formerly used for staff accommodation for repair and development and without reliance upon obtaining grant aid.

Feasibility work will include pre application planning advice from Historic England and the Local Planning Authority and further market testing of the stable block / yard for a residential development.

The approval noted that the Council-led shell reconstruction envisages repair and reconstruction of the exterior shell of the building and reinstatement of essential interior structure that may be necessary to provide structural integrity. The interior will not be fitted out other than as a café on the ground floor and other suitable income generating uses will be investigated.  

It is further noted that the outcome of the feasibility work will be reported to Cabinet for approval of the way forward. If the shell option is not viable, an application to the Secretary of State to review the listing and dismantling of the remaining structure would be the only remaining viable and deliverable alternative.  

It was approved that the Partnership Board continue as a consultation body to oversee the development of the option.

A capital budget was approved to enable the shell option to be progressed and to enable the ongoing protection and maintenance of the house and related heritage assets over the next year.

Contact officer: Mark Bradbury, LBE Director of Property and Economy

Comments from The Broomfield House Trust and Friends of Broomfield Park

Over recent months the Council-led Broomfield House Partnership Board has examined a range of options for the reconstruction of Broomfield House. The Broomfield House Trust, the Friends of Broomfield Park and Historic England are represented on the Partnership Board.

These options range from a full heritage-standard repair and reconstruction of the House, partial reconstruction through to demolition. The funding implications of each option were examined. Although we would have wished to develop the stable yard for community use, the only combination of options and funding which approached the main aim of reconstructing and reopening the House relies on housing development in the stable yard.

We believe that if the House is reconstructed as proposed in the LBE statement it will be possible to attract further funding to complete the full reconstruction of the House and eventually, the restoration of the Lanscroon Murals. Attempting to attract full funding from commercial or charitable sources in one go has proved impossible, and partial reconstruction of the House would be inappropriate in both historic building and landscape terms. We found our views were consistent with the Conservation Architect who attended the last meeting of the Partnership Board and we look forward to seeing his ideas developed.

The Council’s statement makes it clear that there are issues which need to be explored, but clearly if we are unsuccessful in resolving them the House is likely to be demolished. In the interim the Council sees the merit of ongoing funding for stabilising the house and protecting it (hoarding and surveillance) both on safety grounds and to meet Historic England requirements.

Colin Younger
Chair, The Broomfield House Trust

January 2019

Hidden Treasures: Revealing Broomfield House and Park
Go to the exhibition, it tells the story of the House and its owners, its acquisition by the Southgate Urban District Council, events through two world wars, and how the community has increasingly become involved in a range of events and developments. The centrepiece of the display is the restored Minerva panel.

If you can’t get there (and it has been extended until 22 April 2019) see the film of the restoration of Minerva (and her owl), and if you are going to watch it as it as an appetiser!

For booking go to Box Office 020 8807 6680

Colin Younger
Chair, The Broomfield House Trust

View PDFs of the Museum printed programme:



Download the GVA Marketing Brief (PDF).

September 2018

Broomfield House and Stableyard: Invitations for Reconstruction, Restoration and Development Proposals
As some have already seen, Broomfield House and stableyard are being advertised in the Estates Gazette which identifies itself as “The number one title in commercial property, providing market intelligence, comment and interviews every week”.  They are also being directly marketed by GVA which claims to be “Britain’s leading and most diverse real estate advisory-led business”.

The ad lists Broomfield House and stableyard as a restoration and development opportunity. This breaks down in to a reconstruction and restoration opportunity for the Grade II* Broomfield House and a conversion and redevelopment opportunity for the stables (subject to planning permission). It invites conditional and unconditional offers and a long leasehold interest.

There are many supporting documents available to interested parties setting out the background to, and constraints on, this marketing approach.  The constraints include vehicle access being by a Grade II* listed arched gateway. The Council believe that they have a solution to the issue of the covenants limiting developments in the park.

We have reached this position after six years of intensive lobbying and working closely with Enfield Council and Historic England to find ways of funding the restoration and rebuilding of Broomfield House.  None of this has been successful, and this is the final throw of the dice.

In direct line with the Trust’s registered charitable objectives the Trust (supported by the Friends of Broomfield Park) has continued throughout to press for the community interest and community access.  Understandably, the Council has wider issues to take in to account and the marketing brief includes community access as a desirable, not essential objective. If bids fail to meet our registered objectives, the Trust at least will have to consider its position. The Board next meets on 15 November but we would hope to have some indication of how things have gone before then.

This is the last hope for Broomfield House.

Colin Younger
Chair, The Broomfield House Trust

22 May 2018

On 24 April we achieved a significant milestone! In accordance with the provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1990 and the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, we have been given permission to go ahead with the restoration of the Minerva panel. This will be the centre piece of the Dugdale Centre exhibition (see panel right).
The mural sections which will make up the Minerva panel have now been transferred to the Arte studios for restoration.

We continue to seek donations to help with our project, which can easily be made using the MyDonate button on our homepage.

Colin Younger
Chair, The Broomfield House Trust

February 15 2018

We have now agreed with the Enfield Museum Service to hold a joint exhibition "Hidden Treasures: Revealing Broomfield House" at the Dugdale Centre in Enfield from 23 July 2018 until 6 January 2019.

The Broomfield House Trust will be using donations and a grant from the Enfield Society to fund the restoration and display of the
Minerva Panel of the Lanscroon Murals, which will be the centre piece of the display. We are awaiting formal permission from Enfield Council who "own" the mural and Historic England who guard its listed status, before our chosen restorers, Arte Conservation, can move the sections to their studios in Faversham to begin their painstaking restoration.

There is more about this farther down this webpage.

We continue to seek donations to cover the costs of this whole exercise. Donations can easily made through the BTMydonate button below this panel.

Stacey Bagdi is the energetic organiser of the exhibition and she is appealing for items and memories connected with the park and house - see the poster on the News page.

Help bring Minerva to life!!
Broomfield House is a beautiful Grade II* listed 16th century building, the centrepiece of Broomfield Park in Palmers Green. It was badly damaged by fire some 20 years ago. It remains held up by scaffolding and awaits restoration. This is now a matter of urgency.

Some of the most notable historical features of the house include the Baroque murals painted by the Flemish artist Gerard Lanscroon in 1726. Lanscroon was one of the leading mural painters in his time. He also worked on murals at Windsor Palace, Hampton Court, Powis Castle and at Arnos Grove.

The murals were salvaged and are now stored in pieces. The Broomfield House Trust wishes to fund a restoration of parts of the murals and mount an exhibition at the Dugdale Centre in 2018, where visitors will enjoy a glimpse of these beautiful works of art and learn more about the history of Broomfield House and the Park.  

We hope the exhibition will help to ignite further interest in Broomfield House and our aim of raising funds to restore it as a heritage and learning centre for the community.


Trust Chair Colin Younger (standing) introducing Dr Banting (seated right)

Lanscroon Lecture 16 September 2017

The lecture at Southgate Beaumont given by Dr Mark Banting  was attended by well over 50 people. Mark is always an excellent lecturer and his introduction of the themes of changing society and the theatricality of the combination of the murals and the staircase was new to many. It forces a new way of looking at the "installation art" of its day. Thanks to him, to Adrian Day for these photos of the Southgate Beaumont, and Southgate Beaumont and staff for the venue. So let's get on with restoring the Broomfield House version!

Colin Younger
Chair, The Broomfield House Trust

Posted 25 August 2017
Lanscroon Murals - Conservation

This is the result of the first test of the removal of the protective coating. It is a roughly 6”/15cm square showing the face of Minerva from the east wall of the entrance hall.

Colin Younger
Chair, The Broomfield House Trust

Posted 16 August 2017
Lanscroon Murals - Conservation

Tom Organ, Matt Organ and Rita Radovanovich of Arte Conservation began work on the 15th August to test methods to remove protective coatings from sections of the Lanscroon murals. These coatings have been in place since the murals were salvaged in 1984. Identifying the best solvents to use, and assessing how long it might take to uncover, then repair and restore larger sections, are key steps in our project.

Colin Younger
Chair, The Broomfield House Trust

Posted 07 August 2017
Lanscroon Murals - Take One Picture


Launched in 1995, Take One Picture is the National Gallery’s countrywide scheme for primary schools which aims to inspire a lifelong love of art and learning by promoting the role of visual arts within education.

The scheme shows how schools can be involved in interpreting and developing art work and to explore techniques and ideas for using the visual arts as a resource for curriculum-based learning.

The Broomfield House Trust is very interested in encouraging and supporting the creation of a local programme along these lines with teachers or artists in connection with the Lanscroon Murals. We welcome any enquiries and interest.
Please feel free to get in touch with us at to discuss this. Please feel free to share this with anyone who may be interested.

We also have a Facebook page, "Broomfield House and the Lanscroon Murals" where there is more information.

Colin Younger
Chair, The Broomfield House Trust

Posted 11 May 2017
Lanscroon Murals – Restorer Selected

After careful examination of the three excellent bids received in response to the tender for a trial restoration of sections of the Lanscroon murals, the Trust has selected Arte Conservation Ltd to carry out the work. We will be discussing the details of this and arrangements for a display in the Enfield Museum in the Dugdale Centre.  The display is planned to open in May 2018.

We will be seeking volunteers to assist in this when we have worked out the details. In the meantime, anyone who wishes to can make an online donation through the BT My Donate button on the  Contact Us page.

Colin Younger
Chair, The Broomfield House Trust

Posted 30 April 2017 & 11 May 2017
Suspected Arson at the Garden House in Broomfield Park

Arson is almost certainly to blame for last night’s fire which has destroyed the interiors and roofing of the Garden House, the group of cottages which run along Broomfield Lane at the rear of the Broomfield House stable yard. These form part of the Grade ll listed exterior wall which dates back to the late 1690’s. The stables themselves appear to be largely undamaged.
The early 19 th century stable yard buildings are included in the Council-led Broomfield House Partnership Board’s work on the future of Broomfield House.  One option considered is to convert these buildings, including the Garden House as commercially managed artists’ studios.
Update (11 May 2017): after examination by LBE and Historic England, the chimney stacks have been partly dismantled and the pots have been taken down.  The materials removed have been stored for future re-use.

Colin Younger
Chair, The Broomfield House Trust

Posted 24 April 2017
Broomfield House Trust Annual General Meeting

The date for the  AGM is Tuesday the 9th of May, 7.30 pm-10.00 pm, the Burford Room in Palmers Green United Reform Church.

Colin Younger
Chair, The Broomfield House Trust

4 April 2017
Lanscroon Murals Selected Sections Trial Restoration - Bids Received

The Broomfield House Trust has now received bids for the trial restoration and display of selected sections of the Lanscroon murals from three excellent restoration specialists. We will be assessing these bids as soon as we can.

Colin Younger
Chair, The Broomfield House Trust

22 December 2016
Broomfield House History Project – Volunteers needed

In addition to involvement in the Partnership Board’s work on the main exercise on the future of Broomfield House, the Trust is working up a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for an Our Heritage grant to create a digital history of Broomfield House, its Park and the surrounding area. We are being encouraged in this by Historic England and Enfield Council, and have had useful initial discussions with the HLF.

The first strand of the project concerns the staircase hall murals, completed in 1726 by the Flemish artist Gerard Lanscroon, whose work can still be seen in great houses such as Powis Castle and Burley on the Hill, as well as in Beaumont House (formerly Arnos Grove) in Southgate. The Broomfield murals exist in variously sized fragments and larger sections which were carefully removed from the stairwell walls, protected and stored. This restoration project is intended to prepare three of the stored examples for temporary display in a public exhibition about the house and the paintings (see below).  We already have a pledge of significant financial support from the Enfield Society to help with the trial restoration, and we also had a successful collection through the Waitrose Community Matters scheme. Elements of the restoration process, which will be fully recorded, will be accessed as part of the digital history (again, see below).

The second heritage element relates to the documentary history of the house and its inhabitants. Most documents concerning the house and park, including maps from the 16th century-onwards, leases, inventories and conveyances, are archived in Enfield’s Local History Unit. There are also 19th and 20th century photos and postcards, some films, and Peter Brown’s self-published, handwritten booklets on the history of the house, the total collection probably comprising in excess of 800 items. The project will index all these Broomfield Estate items and digitise them.  Once this is done, this is intended to form the basis of a series of short self-contained informative illustrated "essays" or stories on a range of aspects of the history of the House, Park and surrounding area which will be readable on-line, or possibly in hard copy form. There should be considerable scope for volunteers to carry out much of this work whether in digitising the record (training will be arranged) or writing and perhaps publishing these mini-histories.

The third strand comprises oral history and here voluntary inputs are the key.  The idea is for Broomfield House to be recalled by people who remember the house before the fires, and also for the thoughts of current park users about the park and the future of the house to be included. Interviewees will also be asked to say something about themselves, and how they came to be living in this part of London; interviews – around twenty – will be filmed and recorded. Anyone have a story to tell? Any film buffs who can help with the recording and editing?

We intend to involve local schools in both determining how best this might serve educational needs and to participate in its creation. Any teachers or students interested in helping? We hope that users of Ruth Winston House, Palmers Green’s over-50’s centre will also become involved and an initial chat suggests there is willingness to do so.
The very latest development is that we are discussing with the Enfield Museum Service and the Local Studies Unit holding an exhibition in 2018 about Broomfield House, and we hope displaying sections of restored murals.  The product of the digital history project will be a key part of the display, but we will also be looking for volunteers to help design and mount the display.  Any museum experts out there ready to help?

We need to be able to commit to the exhibition by next spring, so any offers of help with any of this ambitious programme will be gratefully received!

If you think you can help in any capacity then please contact us at:

Colin Younger
Chair, The Broomfield House Trust

Broomfield House: Release of Consultants’ Reports
24 August 2016

Enfield Council has now posted here a comprehensive set of documents prepared for the Broomfield House Partnership Board in its consideration of the future of Broomfield House and stableyard. There follows below a summary of the roles of various bodies and how the studies relate to one another and the overall project. These are my views on the various aspects though where possible I have taken text from official documents.

Role of the Partnership Board
The remit of the Partnership Board is to identify and deliver the restoration of Broomfield House, Stable Block and Park to provide maximum general public access whilst ensuring the building has a viable use for the future.  Broomfield House is on the Historic England list of Heritage at Risk and Historic England (represented on the Board) have advised on the strategy which the Board has followed.

Heritage Lottery Fund
This latest project has to be seen against a number of earlier plans which for one reason or another have not succeeded. The most recent was the 2012 joint Council-Broomfield House Trust/Friends of Broomfield Park working group bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the rebuilding of the House. Regrettably the HLF were unable to agree to provide the almost £5m bid on a basis that this project was risky given the extent of the damage. In addition in their view this was not of national significance warranting a Heritage grant of this size. Any restoration scheme would have to deal with these high capital and longer term running costs.

Heritage Lottery Fund Heritage Enterprise programme
Given the recent history, Enfield Council in conjunction with Historic England and the HLF, determined that an approach to the HLF under its relatively new Heritage Enterprise Programme should be explored. This programme is designed for properties such as Broomfield House where traditional heritage fundraising has not succeeded, and where enabling commercial involvement is secured before the HLF bid is made. This involvement would normally be unacceptable in planning terms, but for the fact that it would bring sufficient public benefits which could not otherwise be achieved. The key element is usually securing the long terms future of the asset.  

The HLF contribution would aim to cover what is described as the Heritage deficit, which is the amount by which the cost of repair exceeds its market value on completion.

Conservation Management Plan***
Available on the Council website  here. Its purpose is to provide a comprehensive and holistic assessment of the significance of the House, Stables and Park to provide information of the relative value or significance of the component parts of the heritage assets. It is a very detailed report intended to provide the basis of a long term maintenance and management strategy for the Park.

The other papers on the website set out the steps in determining how the funding might be secured in a bid under this programme

Options Appraisals
Options Appraisal reports are intended to develop alternative viable future uses of the House and Stable Block.

The Long List Optionsdocument draws on the CMP, the outcome of the public consultation which ran to November 2015, the Market analysis and the Options Appraisal and considers and evaluates a wide variety of options, concluding that the best fit is that of an arts based community use, likely involving artist studio and workshop space in the stableyard, and possibly in the house,  with parts of the House and stables open periodically for public viewing, and with some rooms in the House open more regularly or available for public hire, displays etc.

Also included in this paper are sketches showing how much of the House could be new build.

The January 2016  Update report might better be identified as an interim report, and is perhaps less informative than the  Report on OptionsThis report considers the objectives and finance of the project and risks to it. The objectives are set as Restoration, Public Access and Viability. It focuses on the reduced list of options and shows how they fit with the objectives. The paper then compares the financial profiles of each option. It includes a baseline business model (including a café, rentable space and a degree of heritage interpretation), capital costs, comparative discounted cash flows for the various models, and then runs a risk assessment on them. It concludes (albeit with a number of caveats) that restoration and part re-build of the House and artist’s studios in the stablyard as enabling development are the preferred solutions. This paper takes in to account the comprehensive market analysis.

Market Analysis
View this on the Council website  here. This puts Broomfield in a wider context and develops the concept of the growing potential for creative studio workshop places which it assesses presents an opportunity to capitalise and gain market share for this market.

Cost Model
View this on the Council website  here. Finally, this covers in detail the refurbishment/rebuild costs for Broomfield House, the stableyard buildings and four options for their use, the demolition of the row of 1960’s houses in the stableyard and (should it come to it) for the demolition of Broomfield House itself.

Next Steps
These studies form the basis of an approach to the market which Enfield will be making in the near future to seek informal expressions of interest in the project. A lot hangs on this: the balance between public access and commercial and grant inputs may face us with difficult choices, and if this was not enough, demolition of the House is regrettably an option if funding cannot be found.

Colin Younger
Chair, The Broomfield House Trust

***The LBE website now includes the  Gazetteer annex to the Conservation Management  Plan. This 277 page paper covers every known feature in the Park, including ones of which only the faintest signs now exist and which would need further research, including by archaeologists, to understand.  There are short notes on description, background, significance and any management action suggested for each item, photographs and location maps.

Position as at 1 June 2016

Following a meeting with a Heritage Lottery Fund Development Officer on 15 April and the Broomfield House Partnership Board meeting on 17 May the situation is as follows.

A project enquiry form has been submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund in order to open formal communications. Any request for funding may differ from the details in this as experience dictates.

LBE property staff are to have informal discussions with advisors about how best to pitch any approach to the market seeking commercial partners.

LBE are in dialogue with the Princes Regeneration Trust, Architectural History Fund and the Association of Building Preservation Trusts about providing a seminar on governance and funding. If the scheme to restore and redevelop the House and Stableyard goes ahead, one option will be for LBE to relinquish ownership, in which case a receiving trust might need to be established. It may be that both LBE and the current Broomfield House Trust and possibly the Friends of Broomfield Park will be represented on such a new Trust.

LBE has provided a letter of support to go with a request for funding from the Broomfield House Trust to produce a digital history of the House in the context of the Park and the local area. Both the HLF and Historic England have encouraged this bid. Included in this plan is recording a restoration of two representative examples from the Lanscroon mural. We hope to submit the bid shortly.

Colin Younger
Chair, The Broomfield House Trust

12 February 2016

Lime Avenue Replanting Begins
The work to replant the double lime tree avenue in Broomfield Park has begun at last, after bad weather caused a short delay. Three trees been planted and positions for many others have been staked out.

Click here to see the full report with more pictures.

Colin Younger
Deputy Chair, Broomfield House Trust

31 January 2016

Broomfield House: Latest Developments – Public Consultation
Over the past year in preparation for a possible bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund, a team of consultants has carried out a major set of surveys and studies which has produced a wealth of up to date information on all aspects of the House, Stableyard and Park. The core document, the Conservation Management Plan, is still in late draft, but a short summary of it was made available online to inform the first phase of public consultation, which closed on 30 November 2015. The Trust and Friends were unhappy with some aspects of  the consultation, including with the way that key questions were worded, but we have to say that the outcome has been encouraging from our point of view. The consultation addressed two main issues, what should happen to the House and Stable Block, and how should it be funded. What follows is our own interim view of the results.

What should happen to the House and Stable Block?
There was a fairly even split between those who favoured use as a heritage, arts and cultural centre (38%) and those who supported the idea of a "community hub" (34%). However, there may be an overlap in the minds of respondents over exactly what these terms cover. The next group, who supported commercial development, totalled less than 10%. However, in practice some degree of "commercial" activity is likely to be necessary in any outcome in order to fund restoration and running costs. How this is viewed might depend on how "commercial" is defined. Is a café "commercial" and to be opposed, or if part of a community hub or an arts centre, a solution to be supported? 9% favoured demolition or retention as a ruin. Residential development was supported by only 5%.

How should it be funded?
There were four questions under this heading.

1   Almost 90% strongly agreed or tended to agree that the Council should seek grants to part fund the restoration of the House and Stable Block.

2   74% strongly agreed or tended to agree with the idea that that the Council should part fund the restoration from Council money.

3   Almost 60% strongly agreed or tended to agree that the Council should work with a business/commercial interest to fund or part fund the restoration and running costs of the House and Stable Block. However only 26% strongly agreed with this and almost 27% strongly disagreed or tended to disagree.

4   52% agreed that the Council should look at development within the Stableyard to help fund any restoration. However only about 20% strongly supported this and 27% strongly disagreed or tended to disagree.

The studies noted above make a number of recommendations about how the historic aspects of the park, particularly the Baroque water gardens, might be restored, but this is a longer term issue not addressed by this consultation.

The Partnership Board is currently looking at working up a number of options for use of the House and Stableyard to be put to a further round of public consultation. This will probably begin around Easter 2016. This will take into account the likely viability of possible options.  It seems likely that the Stableyard will be included in the options for the House, which has always been our favoured position. As always the conflict will be between our objectives to maximise public/community use and the need to generate capital for rebuilding and cover any running costs.

If none of the options are judged to be practical, and funding fails to cover capital and running costs then very regrettably demolition of Broomfield House may be unavoidable. Lottery tickets anyone?

Colin Younger
Deputy Chair, Broomfield House Trust

7 September 2015

The Future of Broomfield House and Broomfield Park

Both the Broomfield House Trust and Enfield Council had stalls at the Palmers Green Festival on 6 September to publicise the major public consultation now underway on the future of Broomfield House Stableyard and the wide park.

The survey, which is open until 30 November, can be found at  Enfield Council's website. Paper copies of the questionaire should be returned via your local library or direct to Sam Abelman, Strategic Planning and Design, Enfield Council, Silver Street EN1 3XA.

Please ensure that you read the Conservation Management Plan, clickable on the same page, to understand the current situation, and hopefully go on to support the rebuilding with the maximum community access. In our view demolition, retaining as a ruin or residential development are non-starters. A balance needs to be drawn between commercial inputs, which will be needed to raise both capital and running costs and an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund if we are to maximise public and community access to the House and the Stableyard.

Colin Younger
Deputy Chair, Broomfield House Trust

3 September 2015

The Future of Broomfield House and Broomfield Park

Palmers Green Festival
The public consultation on the future of Broomfield House, Stableyard and the wider Park is being launched by Enfield Council this week. This will largely be carried out on line but there will be an opportunity to pick up hard copies of the questionnaire and essential background material at the Palmers Green Festival on Sunday.

Enfield will have a stall where this material can be picked up. It’s hoped one of the consultants will be available to assist with answering enquiries, help explain the Conservation Management Plan (see below) and how the next step, the Options Appraisal for the future, will work.   

The Broomfield House Trust will also have a stall at the Festival, and will be happy to give its own perspective on the way ahead.

The Questionnaire

The questionnaire can be found at :-

The key background study – the Conservation Management Plan – has been produced on the recommendation of Historic England. A summary of its key points is the same site. This should be read before the questionnaire is completed because it sets out the key issues, briefly describes the current situation, and lists possible options for the future.  Not currently available is a 250 page gazetteer listing all the architectural, historical and archaeological features in the Park, significant numbers of which are not properly understood. However the CMP reflects these more detailed findings.

It’s vital that there is a positive response to the questionnaire if the Park is to have a future in which the views of the local community are taken in to account. Unfortunately responses to the questionnaire have been limited to one per household.

Colin Younger
Deputy Chair, Broomfield House Trust

25 August 2015

The Broomfield House Model

After being refurbished by Ralph Hutchings (who has also made the special wheeled display table) the model is now on show in Scrivens Opticians, Green Lanes, where it will be until 4 September. It will then be removed, to be available for the PG Festival on 6 September. After this it will be transferred to Multiyork on Green Lanes , where it will remain until Friday 18 September. We are negotiating for it to be on display in the newly refurbished Palmers Green Library which reopens to the public on Monday 21 September.

We are grateful for the support we have had from Ralph, Scrivens, Multiyork and Connect Property Management where the model was on display previously.
As indicated above we intend to have a stall at the Palmers Green Festival where, depending on the weather, the model will be on display. Come along to see it and hear about the latest developments. At the same event Enfield Council should be launching the public consultation on the future of the House and Stableyard and the wider park at their own stall.

Colin Younger
Deputy Chair, Broomfield House Trust

18 May 2015

Work on the two aspects of the Donald Insall Partners programme (the Conservation Management Plan for the Park, and the Options Appraisal) continues. The former is to be discussed at the next Partnership Board in June (though we expect to see a draft well before then). The Trustees have met with the consultants preparing the Options exercise and suggested a number of lines of approach.

We have registered our concerns about timing and duration the public consultation exercise, but have not yet had direct discussion with the company engaged to carry this out. We are meeting LBE officers and will raise this again.

The Trustees are also continuing the programme of visits to heritage properties – we have arranged to visit Arundel Museum and re-visit Clissold Park. These visits give us invaluable insights in to how these properties are managed and financed.

We have also got agreement with Enfield Museum staff to repair and refurbish the 1951 model of Broomfield House prior to putting it on display locally as part of the Trustees’ fund raising and publicity programme. Ralph Hutchings has kindly agreed to carry out this work.

Colin Younger
Deputy Chair, Broomfield House Trust

12 March 2015

Conservation Management Plan

Work on this is well underway, and Trust members and officers from LBE have met with some of the team involved in gathering data on site.

Colin Younger
Deputy Chair, Broomfield House Trust

15 February 2015

Learning from others: Trustee visits

Trustees have been following up on a list of contacts provided by Marilyn Scott who was engaged by Enfield to advise on fund raising and business planning related to the restoration of Broomfield House.

So far we have spent time with the Trustees at West House in Pinner and the Chief Executive of the Fulham Palace Trust. These are, overall, very different to Broomfield House, but discussions reveal aspects of their situations which could be relevant, and in particular their mix of revenue earning and public access. Possible future visits include to Arundel Museum.

Trustees have previously visited a number of historic properties, for example Clissold Park and House in Hackney and Valentine's Mansion and Gardens in Redbridge. We may revisit some properties to see how things are going: it appears that some trusts are facing challenges to their original business plans.

To open a Word document with some pictures of these historic properties click here.

Colin Younger
Deputy Chair, Broomfield House Trust

20 January 2015

Broomfield House - where are we now - II?

The current situation is as follows.

The Broomfield House Project Board has met twice with a third meeting scheduled for 26 January. This is chaired by Councillor Bambos Charalambous and The Broomfield House Trust and the Friends of Broomfield Park are on the Board.  [see mission statement, terms of reference and membership – now to include two FoBP representatives under the Documents tab]

A Structural Appraisal of Broomfield House has been carried out to assess the current stability and integrity of the remaining historic fabric. The appraisal showed that the walls are repairable and can be retained. Some essential work is being carried out to ensure the continued safety of the structure during the next phase (see below). The appraisal of the stableblock discovered some issues with water penetration, but so far as we know, no fundamental problems.

Separately, experts have examined the sections of the Lanscroon murals taken into safe storage after initial conservation work in 1984. All the wall sections, but regrettably only about 10% of the ceiling remains. Further work is to be carried out on the detailed condition of the painted surfaces and on options for re-mounting wall sections, initially perhaps as smaller examples of what can be achieved. Recommendations were also made about further safeguarding storage of the mural sections.

A Conservation Management Plan has commissioned by the Council which covers the whole park and all its structures.

An Options Appraisal has also been commissioned which will build on this and examine the whole range of possible futures for the House, Stableyard and park.

The respected consultants, Donald Insall Associates (who have worked on Broomfield House in the past) are carrying out these two exercises. Trust members will be meeting their staff shortly.

These two processes were recommended by English Heritage as a framework under which to resolve all the issues concerned with conservation challenges such as we are faced with in Broomfield Park. This approach has been successfully used in the much larger Gunnersbury Park project. This process is currently underway in Grovelands Park, which was itself on the English Heritage At Risk register because of the absence of a comprehensive management plan for the complete historic landscape split as it is between Enfield, the Priory and Thames Water.

The Heritage Lottery Fund recommended that rather than applying again for a Heritage Grant, that the Council and Trust look at a new way of funding. This is through an Enterprise Grant under which the Heritage Lottery Fund covers the "conservation deficit". Their advice is that an approach to the Parks for People fund would be appropriate to cover our wider project plans.

The Enterprise Grant system is a relatively new scheme, and as yet it is not clear how it would be applied to Broomfield House and Stableyard. The Trust remains committed to community use of these buildings, and will press to maximise this, though from the outset we understood that the scheme had to be financially viable.

The Broomfield House Trust has met with the Heritage Lottery Fund representative to discuss how this works. London examples which have benefitted from Enterprise grants include  The Bothy, Avenue House, Barnet
and the the Fellowship Inn, Lewisham.

We were also pointed to starter grants which are available from the HLF, which can be used for "meanwhile" activities – explaining/presenting heritage, and arousing interest in the larger restoration project, and we are considering how we might use these.

Following introductions arranged by an expert on funding and managing similar projects who was appointed by LBE, Trustees have begun a programme of meeting our opposite numbers involved in saving and running other historic sites. We had of course already consulted with similar groups prior to making the joint LBE-Trust application for a Heritage grant, so this exercise adds to and updates that experience against a changed bid process.

Colin Younger
Deputy Chair, Broomfield House Trust

10 September 2014

Broomfield House - where are we now?

As reported earlier (see recent news items) following the meeting on May chaired by council leader Doug Taylor things are moving ahead. The current situation is as follows.

A Broomfield House Project Board is being established. This will be chaired by Councillor Bambos Charalambous and The Broomfield House Trust will be represented on this Board.

A new Structural Appraisal of Broomfield House has just been carried out. This is to assess the current stability and integrity of the remaining historic fabric. Although the report is not completed the appraisal has shown that the walls are repairable and can be retained. Some essential work is being considered to ensure the continued safety of the structure.

Separately, experts have examined the sections of the Lanscroon murals taken into safe storage after initial conservation work in 1984. All the wall sections, but regrettably only about 10% of the ceiling remains. Further work is to be carried out on the detailed condition of the painted surfaces and on options for re-mounting wall sections, initially perhaps as smaller examples of what can be achieved.

A Conservation Management Plan is being commissioned by the Council which covers the whole park and all its structures.

An Options Appraisal is also being commissioned which will build on this and examine the whole range of possible futures for the House, Stableyard and park.

These two processes have been recommended by English Heritage as a framework under which to resolve all the issues concerned with conservation challenges such as we are faced with in Broomfield Park. This approach has been successfully used in for example the much larger Gunnersbury Park project, and is also underway in Grovelands Park.

The Heritage Lottery Fund now recommend that rather than applying again for a Heritage Grant, that the Council and Trust look at a new way of funding. This is through an Enterprise Grant under which the Heritage Lottery Fund covers the "conservation deficit".

This is a relatively new scheme, and as yet it is not clear how it would be applied to Broomfield House and Stableyard. The Broomfield House Trust remains committed to community use of these buildings, and will press to maximise this, though from the outset we understood that the scheme had to be financially viable.

Colin Younger
Deputy Chair, Broomfield House Trust

3 July 2014

There has been no indication of what's behind the hoarding around Broomfield House, or what might be happening to the ruin for far too long. Two of these new notices now remedy that lack. The BHT provided the wording, and LBE the notices.

Colin Younger

Deputy Chair,
Broomfield House Trust

1 July 2014

Members of the Trust met with Enfield Council Leader Doug Taylor at his invitation on 20 June. In addition to other Councillors, senior officers, and business representatives, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) was represented by Michael Murray, who was involved in the last bid for HLF support.

Things are on the move again. Enfield has now commissioned a condition survey on Broomfield House itself (due to report at the end of June), the condition survey on the Lanscroon Murals, and has begun to prepare a conservation management plan for the park as a whole. The key will be what the condition survey says about Broomfield House. The critical question is how much original material of heritage value remains.

The HLF are advocating consideration of the Enterprise grant scheme for the House, and a bid to the Parks for People fund for the wider park. The former is new to us and needs careful consideration, but our aim remains to maximise community use of the House and Stableyard whatever sources of funding are used.

Colin Younger
Deputy Chair, Broomfield House Trust

28 May 2014

There have been two important meetings in May 2014.

First, we had a meeting with representatives of English Heritage (EH) as a follow-up to the inspection of the Lanscroon murals. The EH recommended that a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) covering the whole of Broomfield Park, similar to the one now underway for Grovelands Park, should be prepared, to be followed by an equally comprehensive, holistic options study.  EH emphasised that all options including some degree of commercial involvement would need to be addressed. This process had been successfully used to resolve issues over the redevelopment of Gunnersbury Park, a bigger and more complex site covered by two local authorities. EH believed that an updated condition survey of BH and associated artefacts would need to be done before an updated rebuilding cost estimate was produced. EH were more flexible than in the past about how modern materials and methods could reduce costs, but emphasised that restoration of the Lanscroon murals was the key to the project.

The second meeting was with Enfield officers and an expert on such projects and associated funding.
Enfield agreed to commission the CMP which will be subject to tender. We offered to begin work on some of the inputs to the CMP.

The fundraiser emphasised a need to have a robust management arrangement, and to have undertaken a realistic and convincing market-tested business plan. On this latter, she emphasised the importance of being able to demonstrate sustainability into the future; this put emphasis on the strength of the Trust, any continuing volunteer input, and the need to examine how a commercial partner might be involved. In essence this meant going beyond the stage 1 Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) case, but would be essential to deal with any HLF questions and to engage and convince other funding bodies to invest. We were advised to visit West House in Pinner, which is of a similar scale to BH. Non-HLF funding bodies would only support Trust-based organisations, but, subject to these many hurdles being passed, it appears that Enfield would be willing to extend a long (999 year) less to the Trust.

We also have learned that Enfield have now commissioned the essential condition survey and report on the Lanscroon murals.

There is also news of a key meeting with the Council Leader, Doug Taylor on 20 June, following meetings he has held with Heritage Lottery Fund. We don’t know what line he will be taking, but, it seems likely that the themes noted above will appear, and no one imagines that the BH saga can continue as before, and some difficult choices may be on the horizon.  

Colin Younger
Deputy Chair, Broomfield House Trust

26 February 2014

The Lanscroon Murals: After the fire….long after the fire!

One of uncertainties about the scope and cost of the rebuilding of Broomfield House has been the condition of the mural panels and fragments.

Immediately after the 1984 fire salvage and  emergency preservation work was undertaken, and the wall panels and ceiling fragments were removed and enclosed in purpose built, tailor made crates.  In our bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund a notional sum of £850,000 was allocated to murals, on the assumption that if we were successful in the Stage 1 bid, the HLF would allocate development funds part of which could be used to pay for the expert conservation work needed to refine this estimate.  

Given the potential risk that examination of the murals without the appropriate conservation back up might result in inadvertent damage there has been reluctance to open the boxes.

On 25 February, as a result of an initiative by Ivor Evans, a team made up of Enfield’s Principal Heritage Officer Christine White, Stephen Paine an expert restorer and Lanscroon enthusiast,
Clair Brady, Building Inspector from English Heritage, Dr Robyn Pender a Senior Architectural Conservator and Tracy Manning, Consultant both from the Building Conservation and Research Team, English Heritage, examined the material in store.

For the Trust this could have been a make or break occasion, since the murals are a key part of the listing status of Broomfield House. I’m pleased and relieved to report that the examination went well. All the experts were very confident that the material was in good condition and that the original salvage and preservation work had stood the test of time. The enthusiasm for both the relatively unappreciated Lanscroon and the rebuilding project was encouraging and bodes well for the expert and professional support the next bid to the HLF would attract.

We are now pressing LBE to commission a full condition survey be carried out to establish exactly what needs to be done and at what cost to reinstate the remaining elements of the murals in a rebuilt Broomfield House. This cost of this would be a matter of negotiation, but informally we understand that this would not be prohibitive. Whatever strategy is pursued over Broomfield House this will be an essential exercise.

We were able to see other material salvaged after the fire, including sections of the important staircase (the rails and barleycorn twist uprights) and various other decorative features from which replicas could be fashioned to replace missing elements.

All in all a good day!

Colin Younger
: Deputy Chair, Broomfield House Trust

7 December 2013
Those who watched the BBC1 programme "Restoring England’s Heritage" coverage of Broomfield House will be in no doubt about the need for significant investment to restore the House and re-open it to the community.

However, the programme showed what can be done with the right level of funding, even to a badly damaged and neglected building.

What wasn’t presented was the significant progress made by the Council and community groups working together to approach the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The community group drafted the initial joint approach, and the Council funded the expert development of the actual bid which was made with very significant further inputs from the community group.

The programme didn’t have time to explain that the HLF specifically don’t want the Council to increase its contribution beyond the £1m which they have pledged; instead they want a wider range of contributors to become involved.

The estimated costs of rebuilding and restoring Broomfield House and reopening it to the public are £6.4m. The indications are that the HLF will look positively at a revised bid for £2m, and Enfield has pledged £1m. Working with Enfield, we are now looking for a donor or donors who will make significant pledges of the same order. We hope that the programme might have sparked the interest of such generous sources. In the meantime we do need contributions, of any size, to fund the continued work of the Broomfield House Trust.

Colin Younger
Broomfield House Trust


2 December 2013
We now have a firm transmission slot for the BBC film. It's scheduled for 7.30pm Thursday 5th December on BBC1 (London region only) under the title "Restoring England's Heritage". The Radio Times wording is "Gyles Brandreth examines historic London buildings in desperate need of restoration".

That's an accurate statement about Broomfield House, but whether the film takes an optimistic or pessimistic tone about our plans remains to be seen.

Colin Younger
Broomfield House Trust

15 November 2013

Filming for a BBC-commissioned programme as a follow-up to the 2003 series "Restoration" series took place in Broomfield Park on 11 November. The two presenters,
Ptolemy Dean and Marianne Suhr were filmed in the Conservatory discussing their original visit to Broomfield House in 2003, and outside the ruin viewing its current state. It seems unlikely that they would be doing anything less than shaking their heads in sorrow! Indeed they may have been heard to use the words "national disgrace", but how much will be aired remains to be seen.

Later, under the Bandstand, Councillor Del Goddard was interviewed, and from what we heard spoke positively about recent efforts to restore the House and open it to the community, and what might happen next. Various members of the working group were then interviewed about their ideas and ambitions for the House.  We are all very conscious of the funding issues involved in re-opening the House and Stable yard, and hope that the film might reach an individual or organisation with both sympathy and the funds to help raise the capital needed.

The programme also squeezes in restoration work on three or four other historic properties in the London area. It will be broadcast in the BBC1 Monday 7.30pm slot possibly as early as 2 December.

25 July 2013
broomfield house film

Christine Lalla has made a beautiful film intended to support our plans to rebuild and reopen Broomfield House to the public.  

She interviewed a number of local residents to record their memories of the House and Park, and courtesy of Jan Metcalfe of the Library and Museum Service, was able  to film some of the stored artefacts which were once the pride of the displays in Broomfield House.  

Also featured are aspects of the Conservatory, the Orchard and various other parts of the park.

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