Edmonton's population grew with the opening of the high level railway at Edmonton Green station in 1872. The traffic produced by the railway and by a tramway opened by the North London Tramways Company in 1881, brought a working class population to Lower Edmonton and encouraged housing development and the development of Edmonton Green's outdoor market. This had always been the major centre for the village, but by the early 20th century its character had changed to a busy, raucous Cockney centre, alive with costermongers barrows and food stalls, the venue for travelling circuses and fairs. On several occasions the local council tried unsuccessfully to close down the market .
By the 1930s the area had become a major shopping destination drawing visitors from a wide catchment area. The early post war years saw much of the area in a run down state. There was also an acute housing shortage. Comprehensive redevelopment of the area was agreed in 1960, to a plan by Frederick Gibberd & Partners for a radically transformed urban centre with a pedestrian shopping area, car parking for 3000, 750 flats including three tower blocks and new civic and amenity buildings to replace the old town hall and baths. When Edmonton was incorporated within the new London Borough of Enfield (1965) plans for the civic buildings were abandoned. Only the leisure centre (demolished 2007) set in a car park was completed. Building began on the redevelopment in 1965 and completed in 1974.
The crenelated perpendicular Edmonton Town Hall was built in 1884 to the designs of George Eedes Eachus. The building was enlarged in 1902-3 by W. Gilbee Scott, who added public swimming baths. The baths were replaced by the Edmonton Green Swimming Pool in 1970. The Town Hall was demolished in 1989.
Description of the centre
The airy South Mall leading north is sheltered by a translucent roof and lined with a mix of shops. Leading off is the library and offices on three floors which was converted from a former departmental store. In the library, memorial boards to local people, from the old Town Hall can be viewed. The Market Square is a covered area (originally open to the elements) lit by clerestory windows. The market stalls today are permanent fixtures. The big, bustling no-frills market is popular with shoppers with a good range of goods, particularly - greengrocery. The North Mall is treated differently, in the harder spirit of the late 1960s: a concrete coffered roof alternates with open light-wells, and ends in an open square, with two levels of shops and two stories of flats above; brutalistic, dark brick and shuttered concrete. The backdrop rising from the deck above North Mall is composed of huge slabs of system-built flats which the borough built so keenly at the time.
Edmonton Green area is currently being regenerated by St. Modwen Properties, who bought the property from the London Borough of Enfield in 1999. Phase 1 was completed in 2007 and includes a Primary health care centre, 176 affordable residential units, bus station, hotel, leisure centre, new retail outlets and the refurbishment of the existing multi-storey car park. Demolition of the original 1970's leisure centre has been completed, that enabled construction to commence of a new Asda supermarket which opened in November 2008.
- The video for the Lostprophets song Shinobi vs. Dragon Ninja was filmed in a car park in Edmonton Green.
- The area was featured in an episode of 1970's sitcom Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em.
- Local musical duo Chas & Dave recorded a song titled Edmonton Green lamenting the changes that have occurred there.
- Transport for london- Buses Retrieved 9 April 2008
- Godfrey. A ( notes to) Old Ordnance Survey Maps: London Sheet 1, Lower Edmonton 1894 Alan Godfrey Maps ISBN 0-85054-966-3 Retrieved 9 April 2008
- Cherry.B &Nikolaus PevsnerThe Buildings of England p430 London:4 North ISBN 0-14-071049-3 Retrieved 11 April 2008
- p11 Photo of Town Hall Archived 10 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 11 April 2008
- http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=26938 Retrieved 19 April 2011
- St. Modwen Archived 11 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 15 January 2008
- Edmonton Leisure centre Archived 6 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 12 April 2008
- The videos Archived 8 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 14 January 2008
- Hidden-London: Frank Spencer in Edmonton Retrieved 14 January 2008
- Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em - Video Retrieved 10 April 2008
- Chas & Dave discography Archived 24 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 10 April 2008