Southgate village originated as a tiny hamlet, which grew up in the north-west corner of Edmonton parish, along the southern boundary of Enfield Chase.
The name derived from the south gate of Enfield Chase, which stood roughly where Chase Road
now joins Winchmore Hill Road
. The area was originally very heavily wooded, with large estates of oak coppice woods; the last remains of the woodland can be seen in Grovelands Park
. Enfield Chase was enclosed in 1777. On the 1803 enclosure map, the settlement is called Chase Side
after its main thoroughfare, and what is now Southgate Green is called Southgate. On this map, the four roads which form the crossroads – Chase Side
, Bourneside, Chase Road
and High Street
– are quite densely developed near the junction, with long narrow frontage plots and more generous larger houses in substantial grounds.
Much of the land formed part of the large Grovelands and Arnos estates. The early railways in the mid 19th century gave Southgate a wide berth because of its hilly terrain and, until the arrival of the Piccadilly line extension, the nearest station to Southgate town centre was Palmers Green, built in 1871 and with a horse-bus link to Southgate town centre.
Southgate station opened on 13 March 1933 with Oakwood on the second phase of the northern extension of the Piccadilly line from Finsbury Park to Cockfosters. Prior to the station’s opening, alternative names were suggested including ’Chase Side
’ and ’Southgate Central’. On opening, local residents were given a free return ticket to Piccadilly Circus