When Enfield Chase was enclosed in 1779, a portion was allotted to Enfield villagers as compensation for the loss of their common rights. This portion was itself then enclosed in 1803, except for five hectares which were placed under the management of the church before being transferred to Enfield Urban District Council in 1898. As such, Chase Green constitutes the first public open space in Enfield.
In 1890 the portion of the New River around Enfield village was piped underground, thereby making this stretch redundant. It was saved from being filled in by a public campaign to preserve it for its ornamental value and it is essentially a linear lake. With the aid of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £1.8 million in 1997, the New River Loop Restoration Project has since 1998 restored the historic watercourse, listed bridges and railings, reinstated the timber banks of the New River and provided new seating and a new fountain in Chase Green Gardens.