The house was built between 1629 and 1632. It is generally said to have been built by Sir Nicholas Raynton or Rainton, a wealthy London haberdasher who was Lord Mayor of London from 1632 to 1633. However Tuff, writing in 1858, says that it was built by Sir Hugh Fortee and bought by Raynton, quoting a 1635 survey describing a copyhold house "some time Hugh Fortee's, and late Sir Thomas Gurney's". Lambert also gives Fortee as the origin of the name. The detailed history of the house has until recently been poorly understood, since it is known to have been built in the 1620s, but has the external appearance of an 18th-century house. A detailed examination was carried out for Enfield council as part of the Forty Hall Conservation Plan. This concluded that the house was probably not designed by a famous architect such as Inigo Jones, but by a "clever artisan builder". The original square house was not altered much in the 17th century other than a small extension to the north-west in 1636. In 1640 Rainton was imprisoned for refusing to help Charles I raise a loan. The Hall's permanent exhibition tells the story of the house and its estate throughout the ages and looks at the life and times of Sir Nicholas Rainton and life in the seventeenth century through a range of visual and audio interpretation and displays. There is also a range of guided tours, led by a Jacobean character. The exhibition programme focuses on art, ecology and heritage.
Forty Hall & Estate is one of England's finest historic houses set in its own Estate. The 273 acre Grade II listed estate is a rare example of an intact 18th Century Landscape, with an Ornamental lake, medieval fishing ponds and streams, a walled garden, Pleasure grounds, Georgian and Victorian flora and fauna, lakes, lawns, and meadows. Forty Hall Estate is even home to one of the oldest Cedar of Lebanon trees in England. The Estate parkland contains the archaeological remains of Elsynge Palace, developed from a Tudor hunting lodge and medieval manor, frequented by King Henry VIII, King Edward VI and Queen Elizabeth I. The site and surrounding land is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and is the subject of annual archaeological digs, which culminates in a public event in July. The park is home to numerous mammals, birds and invertebrates, even some protected and endangered species. Go along and learn about this historically rich landscape, take a stroll around the estate, bring a picnic and admire the scenery.
Location : Forty Hill, Enfield, EN2 9HA
Transport: Bus routes 191 or W10 to roundabout at Myddelton Avenue and then 10 minute walk up Forty Hill.
Opening Times: Monday to Friday 11:00 to 16:00.
Saturday/Sunday 12:00 to 16:00.
One hour later closing April to Nov 1st
Tickets : Free.
Park open every day.
Tel: 020 8363 8196.