Wartime Buildings

At the time of the Munich Crisis when war seemed inevitable a programme of trench building began throughout the borough. From 1939, as part of the Civil Defence preparations, the local authorities of Edmonton, Enfield and Southgate began roofing over the trenches and building many structures for wartime use.There were trenches on the Library Green in Enfield and in Pymmes Park in Edmonton. There were Auxiliary Fire Service Stations at Pymmes House and Broomfield House.

LIBRARY GREEN 1939
Digging trenches on the Library Green in Enfield Town
Broomfield House in use as an ARP post
Broomfield House in use as an ARP post
Gun emplacement Slades Hill
Gun emplacement Slades Hill

There was a gun emplacement on fields north of Slades Hill and a searchlight in Pymmes Park. Although some Wardens’ Posts and First Aid Centres were housed in existing buildings such as Broomfield House and under the Methodist Church in Enfield Town many were purpose built.  Tank traps were built on railways.

Pill Box at Government Row
Pill Box at Government Row

Air Raid shelters were built across the three authorities including a shelter at Weir Hall which still survives. The entrance is now covered by bushes and inaccessible to the public.

Surface Air Raid Shelter at Forty Hill
Surface Air Raid Shelter at Forty Hill

The majority of these structures were demolished at the end of the war.

Mr Miller demolishing his Anderson shelter
Mr Miller demolishing his Anderson shelter

Some survived for many years after. Some still exist.

We want to try and identify any that are left. If you know of the remains of a public air raid shelter, wardens’ post, pill box or any other Second World War structure please let us know.

Phone: 0208 379 2724

Email: local.history@enfield.gov.uk

Or in person at Local Studies Archive and Library, First Floor, Thomas Hardy House, 39 London Road, EN2 6DS. We are open 9.30 to 5pm Monday to Friday.

Plan for public air raid shelter in Compton Road
Plan for public air raid shelter in Compton Road