History

The Medieval origins of Winchmore Hill
First mentioned in the history books in 1319AD, Winchmore Hill was then a small village located on the ‘King’s Highway’ from his palace in London to the royal hunting ground, “The Chase”, a large forest nearby.

The 17th Century – a centre of Quaker religious dissent
In 1661, within ten years of the creation of this new religious movement, one George Chalkley was converted by an itinerant preacher at a meeting held in a barn off “The Green”, and went on to found a Quaker community here. One of his sons, Thomas Chalkley, emigrated to North American in 1701 and became a prominent American preacher. The Quaker Meeting House, a beautiful listed building, still has an active community.

The 19th Century – from farming village to city suburb
In the 1870s, a railway line was built to bring workers of the rapidly expanding Capital City to Winchmore Hill, which ceased to be a farming village and became part of London.

Winchmore Hill Today
Remarkably, Winchmore Hill retains its original village layout around a central “Green”, and many of its historic buildings have been preserved. It is a Conservation Area.

Read here extracts from a delightful book, Winchmore Hill: Memories of a Lost Village, by Henrietta Cresswell, the daughter of the local doctor who, in 1912, published her recollections of childhood in Winchmore Hill. She was born in Hoppers Road in 1855. You will find several references (high-lighted) to The Bakehouse, now known as The Old Bakery.


The Old Bakery’s History

The oldest part of the building is thought to date back to 1595AD. It original function was probably as a village meeting hall. It later became a farmhouse, and then a bakehouse. The Bakery was run by the Quaker Catchpole sisters, and later by several generations of the Chalkley family. It is intriguing to think that these Chalkley bakers may well be descended from the earlier 17th century Chalkleys; the family have traced their ancestry back to Thomas’s namesake, born in 1795. Bread ceased to be baked in 1960. The Anstee family have lived here since 1978.