Charity School, Edmonton - Development Phase

8a - View along Church Street, Edmonton


Grade II listed.  On the Heritage at Risk Register

In partnership with



The former Girls’ Charity School and the adjacent cottage at no.24 Church Street in Edmonton are Grade II listed historic buildings on the Heritage at Risk Register.

LHBT and Learning for Life Charity are working together to regenerate this site through the ‘Life in the Community’ project. The project aims to sensitively repair and restore the historic Charity School and create a place of learning, training, and work experience for young people in Enfield once again. 

This project is based on an Options Appraisal project delivered over 2020.  To find out more about that work, please visit the project page.

The outcome will be a permanent hub where vulnerable young people, including those with special education needs, will access training and work experience. The space will also contain a community café, garden and a venue for local events.

Thanks to generous funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Architectural Heritage Fund, development work has started on the Life in the Community project. 

To find out more about our proposals, please read our project leaflet.

Testing our Plans

Between the 18th January and 2nd February 2024 we’re circulating a questionnaire to test our plans and find out more about how people want to use the buildings at completion. This information will help us build a strong business plan that reflects what people want and need. 

To complete the questionnaire please follow the link here. 

For a paper version, please contact 

Who is involved?

We’ve set up a Project Board with representatives of stakeholders from the local community and have also set up a Youth Steering Group, who will help us understand how we can engage with young people across the breadth of the project.

Where we are...

  • Developing the plans for the building
  • finalising surveys which are helping us understand the building better
  • consulting with the community about our emerging plans and how they want to engage with and use the building
  • exploring the heritage of the site, informed by the findings of our community researchers

Meet our Team

LHBT Project Manager Rosie Shaw is leading the Charity School project in her role as a Project Director at the London Historic Building Trust. She’s been involved in developing the Charity School project since 2018 and is keen to see it through to completion.  Rosie has been working in the heritage sector for over 15 years, previously as an Architectural Paint Researcher and historic interiors conservation project manager.

LHBT Project Officer – Eulilee Brown has joined the team as a Freelance Project Officer, providing administrative support for the project. Prior to this, she completed an MA in Principles of Conservation and has held various roles related to art, heritage, and communications. As well as her work for the Charity School project, In Autumn 2023, Eulilee will begin studying for a PhD in heritage, researching the role of craft practitioners in living museums.  

Lead Consultant – Kennedy O’Callaghan Architects (KO’CA) is a conservation architecture firm with extensive experience working on projects with National Lottery heritage funding. Janie Price is working on the Charity School Project as the Project Architect and Kennedy O’Callaghan as the Design Team Leader. Janie and Kennedy are drawn to the Charity School project because of its ambition to set a high standard of conservation and social inclusion that will make a real difference to the life in the community in the heart of Edmonton

Structural Engineer – The Morton Partnership is a respected, long-established sustainable Structural Engineering consultancy. The team is led by Ed Morton, a conservation accredited engineer with extensive experience in historic buildings. Ed was involved with the early stages of the Charity School and is looking forward to working with LHBT and Learning for Life Charity to lead the Charity School to becoming a thriving hub to serve the local community.

MEP Consultant – Max Fordham is an environmental building services engineering consultancy with experience designing sustainable buildings. Their portfolio includes award-winning exemplars of sustainable design. Max Fordham’s team, led by David Lindsey and Michael Pangalis, is providing Mechanical and Electrical Engineering consultancy services on the Charity School project. This will include designing building services that are easy to use and maintain, and appropriate to the building’s intended use and listed status.

Access Consultant – Teri Okoro FRIBA NRAC is an NRAC access consultant, and is the  project’s Access Audit and Design Consultant. Her role includes auditing the building and reviewing the proposed design. A registered architect and RIBA Fellow, Teri is founder and director of TOCA, an Enfield-based consultancy and RIBA Chartered Practice. She is also a Mayors Design Advocate and Design Council Expert on Inclusive design. Previously an Edmonton resident, Teri still lives in Enfield.

Business Planner Alix Slater Consultancy & Training Ltd is a heritage and arts consultancy led by Alix Slater. With a track record of supporting heritage sites and over 25 years’ experience, Alix began her career at the Royal Ontario Museum and the National Museum of Wales. There she gained experience in business planning, marketing, and evaluation. In addition, she has had a successful academic career and is on the National Lottery Heritage Fund ROSS register.

Heritage Consultants – Nicola de Quincey architecture + conservation is the heritage architect leading stakeholder consultation for the Charity School project. Nicola is a specialist conservation architect and heritage consultant who has been deeply involved in the project since the feasibility stage. She has previously collaborated with KO’CA, The Morton Partnership and Max Fordham on many projects as part of a team that is experienced at adapting historic buildings for change of use.

The history of the site

A charitable foundation was established in 1778, although records of a school on Church Street date back to 1624. It is unclear where the teaching took place when the foundation started, as there is no record of a building prior to 1783 when Obadiah Legrew offered a piece of his land for the school. Ten years later, in 1793, Obadiah tired of the inconvenience of having a school on his land and the building was demolished and rebuilt across the street where it still stands today. 

For many years, the Charity School provided a site for the education of local girls, while the adjacent cottage offered accommodation for the school-mistress. At its peak, the school taught upwards of 70 pupils. The school closed in 1904 as a consequence of the 1902 Education Act, which the governors found made it impossible to carry on the school in accordance with its original foundation. 

After the school closed, the site served various roles in the community, including as a polling station and the headquarters of the Edmonton Fanciers’ Association. The charitable foundation was renamed “The Girls’ Special Instruction Foundation” in 1913, and the building was from then used primarily as a space for various educational aids for children and adults in need of financial assistance. London Historic Building Trust is working with the remaining trustee of the original charitable foundation in the Life in the Community Project. 

The Site Today

In recent decades, the school building had been used for various community activities, however for the last ten years it has been closed due to its poor and deteriorating condition.  In 2020 live-in guardians occupied the site. They helped to protect the vacant buildings from vandalism and generously donated £12,000 for emergency repair work.

The Florence Trust

Since 2022 The Florence Trust have been occupying the Charity School on a meanwhile basis, offering affordable artists stuido space.

They have undertaken extensive maintenance to improve the condition of the historic buildings and reduce deterioration.

Read more about Menwhile Use in our newsletter.

The Enfield Society

The Enfield Society have been supporting our project in many ways, including ongoing management of the Charity Schools garden.

When we first visited the site, we couldn’t get through the overgrowth to see the garden at all.  With the hard work of many volunteers the garden is now clear it is our ambitions for the space that have grown.


This project has been generously funded by the Architectural Heritage Fund and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. 

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To support our work you can make a one off donation via our Kindlink page;

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