Altar Frontal William Butterfield © John Salmon

The History, Art and Heritage of St Mary Magdalene Church

 

The Church of St Mary Magdalene, Windmill Hill, Enfield, by William Butterfield (1814-1900) is a Grade II* listed building. Built between 1881 to 1883 and consecrated by Bishop Jackson of London on 18 July 1883, it has chancel decoration of 1897-99 by Edward Turner of Bowling Green Street, Leicester and a Lady Chapel added in 1907-08. The materials used are traditional — Kentish ragstone with Bath stone dressings, sandstone for the aisle pillars, and red clay tile for the roofs, the main distinction of the exterior being simply the uninterrupted rise of the tower to the spire, enhancing the typical "solid geometry" of a Butterfield church.

On these pages you can explore the history, art and heritage that is St Mary Magdalene Church, from the very beginnings to the beautiful church we have today.

 
 

The Founding of the Church looks back to Georgiana Twells' desire to build a church for this area of Enfield and dedicate it to the memory of her late husband, Philip Twells.

The Twells Family, written by Joy Heywood, looks back at this Victorian family

William Butterfield, written by Joy Heywood, is a short biography of the famous Victorian architect of our church along with photos and a video of Dr Ayla Lepine explaining the importance of The Butterfield Altar Frontals. The Oxford Movement, William Butterfield and Georgiana Twells are the subjects of Dr Alaya Lepine's lecture when the Victoria and Albert Museum came to visit.

There are a wealth of stained glass windows in St Mary Magdalene. Most of the original stained glass in the church, for which Butterfield himself would have made the designs, was executed by the firm of Heaton, Butler and Bayne. The Stained Glass Windows page looks at the Nave, the Lady chapel and War Memorial stained glass windows. A specially commissioned stained glass window was added The Great Sacrifice by the Artist James Clark as a War Memorial for those from the parish who lost their lives in the First World War and added two plaques on either side of this window with the names of those who lost their lives in the conflict.

To commemorate the centenary of the Armistice following the Great War we have a special page on St Mary Magdalene Enfield and the Great War, researched by our archivist Joy Heywood, detailing the lives of some of those named on our War Memorial, and listing those who survived too.

The Chancel stained glass windows, designed by Butterfield and made by the firm of Heaton, Butler and Bayne, are included within The Chancel pages.

For details of the Chancel Restoration Project, undertaken in 2012, please see the separate pages on The Chancel which includes photos of the before, during and after the restoration.

Following the stained glass windows there is a selection of Interior Photos of various features around the church including the Minton tiles in the Sanctuary and Chancel and the Lady chapel which was a later addition to the church but, very sympatheticly, adds to the Church's charm.

Clergy History contains a list of the clergy who have ministered in this community, with a few short biographies.

Boris Karloff has tread the boards of our church hall.

We once had a Girl Guides troop associated with St Mary Magdalene, which unfortunately has since disbanded. However, there is an very interesting article describing the group.

The Scouts are still going strong, however, and here is a piece of history about their acquisition of a Scout Hall.

Other History includes photos of past and recent interest.

St Mary Magdalene © John Salmon Philip Twells Memorial  © John Salmon Butterfield Altar Frontals  © John Salmon George Passand Turner Memorial  © John Salmon

The Founding of the Church looks back to Georgiana Twells' desire to build a church for this area of Enfield and dedicate it to the memory of her late husband, Philip Twells.

The Twells Family, written by Joy Heywood, looks back at this Victorian family

William Butterfield, written by Joy Heywood, is a short biography of the famous Victorian architect of our church along with photos and a video of Dr Ayla Lepine explaining the importance of The Butterfield Altar Frontals.

There are a wealth of stained glass windows in the church. A stained glass window was added as a war memorial for those from the parish who lost their lives in the First World War. For the Second World War the parish added two plaques with the names of those who lost their lives in the conflict. This section looks at the Nave stained glass windows, for the Chancel stained glass windows see the section on The Chancel. For details of the Chancel Restoration Project, undertaken in 2012, please see the separate section on The Chancel that includes photos of the before, during and after the restoration.

Following the stained glass windows there is a selection of Interior Photos of various features around the church including The Ladychapel which was a later addition to the church but, very sympatheticly, adds to the Church's charm.

Clergy History contains a list of the clergy who have ministered in this community, with a few short biographies.

Boris Karloff has tread the boards of our church hall.

We once had a Girl Guides troop associated with St Mary Magdalene, which unfortunately has since disbanded. However, there is an very interesting article describing the group.

The Scouts are still going strong, however, and here is a piece of history about their acquisition of a Scout Hall.

Other History includes photos of past and recent interest.

St Mary Magdalene © John Salmon Philip Twells Memorial  © John Salmon Butterfield Altar Frontals  © John Salmon George Passand Turner Memorial  © John Salmon

The Founding of the Church looks back to Georgiana Twells' desire to build a church for this area of Enfield and dedicate it to the memory of her late husband, Philip Twells.

The Twells Family, written by Joy Heywood, looks back at this Victorian family

William Butterfield, written by Joy Heywood, is a short biography of the famous Victorian architect of our church along with photos and a video of Dr Ayla Lepine explaining the importance of The Butterfield Altar Frontals.

There are a wealth of stained glass windows in St Mary Magdalene. The Stained Glass Windows page looks at the Nave, the Lady Chapel and War Memorial stained glass windows. A specially commissioned stained glass window was added as a War Memorial for those from the parish who lost their lives in the First World War. For the Second World War the parish added two plaques on either side of this window with the names of those who lost their lives in the conflict. The Chancel stained glass windows are included within The Chancel pages.

For details of the Chancel Restoration Project, undertaken in 2012, please see the separate pages on The Chancel which includes photos of the before, during and after the restoration.

Following the stained glass windows there is a selection of Interior Photos of various features around the church including The Ladychapel which was a later addition to the church but, very sympatheticly, adds to the Church's charm.

Clergy History contains a list of the clergy who have ministered in this community, with a few short biographies.

Boris Karloff has tread the boards of our church hall.

We once had a Girl Guides troop associated with St Mary Magdalene, which unfortunately has since disbanded. However, there is an very interesting article describing the group.

The Scouts are still going strong, however, and here is a piece of history about their acquisition of a Scout Hall.

Other History includes photos of past and recent interest.

St Mary Magdalene © John Salmon Philip Twells Memorial  © John Salmon Butterfield Altar Frontals  © John Salmon George Passand Turner Memorial  © John Salmon
 

There is also an excellent article by Jacqueline Banerjee that might be of interest on the Victorian Web website about Butterfield and St Mary Magdalene.
Click here to be taken to part 1 and click here for part 2 of the relevant pages.

There is also a page with the Grade II* listing and important features of the Church's listing text to be found in the British Listied Buildings website. Please click here to see this page.

We hope you enjoy reading the articles on these pages.