Arnos Grove

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Arnos Grove
ARNOS GROVE-03 240710 CPS (4837089899).jpg
Arnos Grove station and the steeple of Christ Church
Grid reference: TQ295925
Location: 51°36’59"N, 0°7’43"W
Post town: London
Postcode: N11, N14
Dialling code: 020
Local Government
Council: Enfield
Enfield Southgate
Arnos Grove station

Arnos Grove is an urban town of the north of Middlesex. It was a mediæval demesne and estate of the Arnolds, a Norman-heritage family, in Middlesex. It is adjacent to New Southgate.

The natural grove, larger than today, was for many centuries the largest woodland in the chapelry of Southgate in the parish of Edmonton. It became inter-related with Arnos Park when its owner was permitted to enclose much of its area through the widespread legal practice of inclosure of the common land to create the former park, the heart of which is now public parkland.

The district is centred 1 km north of the North Circular Road.

The modern district of Arnos Grove is centred on the western end of Bowes Road. The estate from which it gets its name centred on what is now Morton Crescent. The road/street that runs from Morton Crescent eastward (to Southgate) is also called Arnos Grove.

Arno's Grove house in 1816


The area's name derives from that of an estate called Arnoldes Grove or Arno's Grove, which is to say 'grove or copse of the Arnold family'. The Arnolds were local landowners who are mentioned in documents dating from the 14th century.[1]

Arnos Grove was, until the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII, owned by the Nuns of Clerkenwell.[2] It was known as Armholt Wood in the 14th century, and later as Arnolds. A Tudor manor house was erected on the site, but was demolished in 1719 – presumably by James Colebrook, who bought the estate in the same year and built a mansion called Arnolds in Cannon Hill, Southgate. Locals called the estate Arno's and the next owner, Sir William Mayne (later Lord Newhaven), renamed the house and estate Arnos Grove, which is now pronounced as though it never had an apostrophe.[3]

1918 plan of Arnos Grove area

On 19 September 1932 Arnos Grove Underground station was opened, as part of the extension of the London Underground Piccadilly line to Cockfosters. In the years that followed Arnos Grove changed from a rural area to being fully developed – the part of the estate to the north of Arnos Park was, for example, built up by 1939.[3] The main public facilities at Arnos Grove were built in the 1930s. These include Arnos Pool and Bowes Road Library, both of which underwent major refurbishment in the mid-2000s, like Arnos Grove tube station.[4] The library and swimming pool, along with Arnos Park, the extensive facilities at Arnos Grove station (such as Ash House, the six sidings, and three tracks through the station with four platforms) and the proximity of Arnos Grove to the North Circular, which had been built in 1929, made Arnos Grove a desirable area to live in.

The southward expansion of Arnos Grove, which was initiated by the bias of facilities to the south of the original estate, was aided by the destruction of parts of New Southgate during the Second World War. There is now an almost continuous line of shops between Arnos Grove and New Southgate, via Betstyle Circus, making the areas closely linked.

Parent districts and administrative areas

Until the building of its tube station Arnos Grove was largely undeveloped and rural. As its name suggests it was not a manor, parish or district in its own right.[5] Edmonton which included all parts of Southgate was one of five parishes of Edmonton Hundred, one of five hundreds in Middlesex.

As new parishes arose, the area became, in turn, a westerly part of Southgate upgraded from a late mediæval chapelry in the mid 19th century, and closely associated with New Southgate later in that century, which is south of Arnos Grove and overlaps.[5] The tube terminus station, Arnos Grove tube station, has cemented its own district status in the popular naming of UK urban places which is rarely rigorously defined. The relatively recent creation of the local Anglican parishes, civil parishes and later changes in early local government body name and electoral wards in this area means Arnos Grove is rarely mentioned with reference to any of its parent areas. In political representation – for electoral purposes – the area has generally been in national and local areas including the rest of Southgate and mentioning the name Southgate.

Arnos Park

One of the main features of Arnos Grove is the 44-acre Arnos Park, which is a remnant of the Arnos Grove estate, and was opened in 1928 after having been purchased by Southgate Council. The Pymmes Brook flows through the park, which contains diverse woodland but is mostly grassy fields. A large brick viaduct, with 34 numbered arches,[6] carries the Piccadilly line beyond Arnos Grove tube station towards Southgate through the western end of the park.[7] The park contains a large playground for children as well as several tennis courts. The Pymmes Brook Trail passes through the park. Also, evidence of the abandoned New River loop can be found within the trees in the north side of the park.


  • Church of England: St Paul's, in Woodland Road, consecrated in 1873. The building was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott in the Early English style. It consists of chancel with north and south chapels and south bell turret and aisled nave. The fabric, which was severely damaged by bombing in 1944, was restored by R. S. Morris by 1957.
  • Roman Catholic: Our Lady of Lourdes, in New Southgate, built in 1972


  1. Mills, Anthony David: 'A Dictionary of British Place-Names' (Oxford University Press, 2003) ISBN 978-0-19-852758-9
  2. - Arnos Park.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Hidden London - Arnos Grove.
  4. TfL - Arnos Grove improved.
  5. 5.0 5.1 A P Baggs, Diane K Bolton, Eileen P Scarff and G C Tyack, 'Edmonton: Other estates', in A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5 ed. T F T Baker and R B Pugh (London, 1976), pp. 154-161. British History Online
  6. Dumayne, Alan (1998). Southgate. Sutton Publishing Limited. p. 41. ISBN 0-7509-2000-9. 
  7. Pymmes Brook Trail.