Palmers Green is a place in the London Borough of Enfield. It is a suburban area 7.6 miles (12.2 km) north of Charing Cross, and is in London N13. It is home to the largest population of Cypriots outside Cyprus and is often nicknamed "Little Cyprus" or "Palmers Greek".
Palmers Green was once a tiny hamlet in the parish of Edmonton, situated at the junction of Green Lanes and Fox Lane. Its population was very small, and there were no more than a few isolated houses in the mid-17th century. Local records mention a Palmers Field in 1204 and a Palmers Grove in 1340. Palmers Green is mentioned as a highway in 1324 (in Westminster Abbey Muniments).
By 1801 the area had grown to a village of 54 buildings, including two inns (according to the Middlesex Record Office). In 1871 the railway line from Wood Green to Enfield was opened and a station was built in Aldermans Hill to serve Palmers Green (half a mile away from the nearest houses).
The area remained largely undeveloped for thirty more years, as local landowners refused to sell their large estates for building. In 1902, however, large tracts of land were sold for building and the area began to develop rapidly. The first large-scale developments were on the Old Park estate between Fox Lane and Aldermans Hill, and the Hazelwood Park Estate between Hazelwood Lane and Hedge Lane. Within the latter development the building that now serves as Hazelwood Infant School and Hazelwood Junior School was built in Hazelwood Lane in 1908.
Notable local buildings include Broomfield House and Truro House, both in a state of some neglect. The library, formerly Southgate Town Hall, is intact, but is often the subject of redevelopment rumours. The former Pilgrims Rest (reflecting the name Palmers - "medieval pilgrim who carried a palm branch as a token of having visited the Holy Land") has already been demolished for housing. The Fox public house, which has been in its present guise since 1904, was once the site of the Electric Mouse comedy venue.
The poet and novelist Stevie Smith lived in Palmers Green from 1905 until her death in 1971. That same year Joe Strummer shared a flat at 18 Ash Grove with Tymon Dogg and several others. Paul Scott, the author of The Jewel in the Crown, was born in Palmers Green on 25 March 1920. Victoria Cross recipient Alfred Herring lived locally. Local author Douglas Hill was killed by a bus on a zebra crossing at The Triangle in 2007.
The Intimate Theatre was opened in a building that had been built in 1931 as St Monica's Church Hall. Among the actors who performed there were Richard Attenborough, Vivien Leigh, Roger Moore and (in a mime production) David Bowie. It is no longer a repertory theatre and the building is no longer used exclusively for theatrical performances, but it is still often referred to as the Intimate Theatre. In 1992 the building housed a Radio Cracker studio.
Palmers Green today
There is a parade of shops known as Palmers Green Shopping Centre along Green Lanes, with many restaurants, pubs, clothing shops, independently owned cafes, beauty salons, and branches of Superdrug, Wetherspoons (The Alfred Herring), Waitrose, Morrisons, WHSmith, The Carphone Warehouse and Starbucks.
Broomfield House, in Broomfield Park, remains a burnt-out shell despite numerous redevelopment proposals and an appearance on the BBC2 programme Restoration. The Conservatory in the park has recently reopened after a refurbishment.
Palmers Green railway station car park is the location of a Sunday farmers' market and also of the Waiting Rooms cafe (), which hosts live blues music on a Friday evening with performers including "Mad Dog" Dave Barnes and Graham Hine, guitarist of Brett Marvin and the Thunderbolts. There is also a small platform coffee counter and art exhibitions are occasionally held in a second waiting room.
The widening of the North Circular Road single-lane section at Bowes Road/New Southgate is almost complete, after more than 20 years of discussion.
Public access to the New River canal has been improved with waterside paths and access gates.
According to the 2011 census, 64% of the ward's population is white (34% British, 27% Other, 3% Irish). 6% was Indian and 5% of 'Any other ethnic group'. The main foreign languages are Turkish, spoken by 795 people, and Greek, spoken by 605.
In popular culture
Palmers Green is mentioned in Jona Lewie's song "You'll Always Find Me in the Kitchen at Parties" (1980). The song's lyrics were written by Lewie's friend Keef Trouble, a fellow member of Brett Marvin and the Thunderbolts. The reference to Palmers Green was prompted by the fact that Trouble had split up with his girlfriend and was at a party thrown by his friend Charles "Charlie Farley" Hallinan near The Fox public house in Palmers Green. Jona Lewie slightly amended the words, but still mentioned the "do in Palmers Green".
A train service runs at Palmers Green railway station, operated by Great Northern, with southbound trains running to Moorgate. Northbound trains run to Hertford North, Stevenage and Letchworth, with additional services terminating at Hitchin and Gordon Hill.
Nearest tube stations
Nearest railway stations
- Hazelwood Primary School
- Firs Farm Primary
- Oakthorpe Primary
- Palmers Green High School (Independent)
- St Michael at Bowes CE Junior
- Tottenhall Infant
- St Monica's RC Primary
- St Anne's Catholic High School
- Saint Monica's Church, Palmers Green (Roman Catholic)
- St John's Church (Anglican)
- Palmers Green Baptist Church
- Palmers Green United Reformed Church
- "Greek in Palmers Green", UKTV
- Mills A. D. Oxford Dictionary of London Place Names (2001) p173 ISBN 0-19-860957-4 Retrieved 23 October 2008
- "Hospitals in Enfield". Hospitals in Enfield a history. Enfield Borough Council. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
- "Site Maintenance". Broomfieldhouse.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-05-20.
- "Conservatory history". Friends of Broomfield Park. 1934-10-26. Retrieved 2014-05-20.
- "Exclusive pix of Potter filiming". BBC News. 2003-04-01. Retrieved 2010-05-21.
- YOU'LL ALWAYS FIND ME IN THE KITCHEN AT PARTIES - Lyrics - International Lyrics Playground
-  Archived 1 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
- Once Upon a Time in Palmers Green by Alan Dumayne
- Intimate Memories by Geoff Bowden
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Palmers Green.|
- A History of Edmonton Social Life from British History Online, including some history of Palmers Green social life
- The official site of Hazelwood Infant School
- The official site of Hazelwood Junior School
- The official site of Palmers Green High School
- Schools in or near Palmers Green
- Palmers Green history, people and community