Broomfield Conservatory: History
The Broomfield Park Conservatory was first proposed in 1933 and Southgate Borough Council accepted a tender to build it for the sum of £912. It was opened to the public in 1934 with a display by the Chrysanthemum Society. The conservatory was maintained by the Park's own team of gardeners and contained a rich collection of exotic and ornamental plants. Unfortunately, in more recent years the building was repeatedly vandalised and in August 2003 so much glass was broken that the Conservatory was closed to the public as it was no longer considered safe. The state of the building continued to decline until the Winter of 2009, when Enfield Council commissioned a major refurbishment.
We now have a beautiful building and we want to recreate the lush planting and maximise the Conservatory’s use for the local community. A small group of volunteers from the Friends of Broomfield Park is working with Enfield Council to develop the project. Initially the Conservatory was open once a month so that park users could see progress, but the conservatory will now be open regularly on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons, stewarded by volunteers. We have also held plant swaps which have helped to raise much needed funds to buy the more exotic plants which we hope to include in the planting. Hundreds of visitors have come to view the wonderful restoration and to share ideas about how the Conservatory should be used and developed in the future. Many talked about their memories of visiting the conservatory over the years and several could recall visits as children in the 1930s.
The Friends have been working to develop the Conservatory planting and have identified a list of specific plants to refurbish the central bed, which is our priority. The restoration of the building was funded by Enfield Council but we shall need additional money to buy plants and to support us in our efforts. We are working up bids to grant giving bodies and local residents have been very generous with donations. There are still some practical issues associated with the building to be resolved, but we have begun to stock the main bed and already it has interest and colour. It will take time for the Conservatory to become the beautiful display house that it was in its heyday, but we know that there are many local residents who are watching its progress with great interest.