Croham, Croydon

A former manor and now an electoral ward covering most of South Croydon

The woods of Croham Hurst - geograph-3131199-by-Ian-Yarham

Cro­ham’s name was first record­ed in 1225 as Crawe­ham, ‘a home­stead or enclo­sure fre­quent­ed by crows’.

Cro­ham Hurst is a 477-foot hill with evi­dence of inten­sive pre­his­toric use, includ­ing a (now bare­ly per­cep­ti­ble) bur­ial mound that dates from around 2000bc. The absence of sub­se­quent relics indi­cates that the infer­tile hill­top was aban­doned when set­tlers moved to the val­ley to cul­ti­vate crops. The pho­to­graph above* shows the view from the path lead­ing up from Cro­ham Val­ley Road as it enters the main wood­land and heads up to the sum­mit plateau.

The manor of Cro­ham was one of four in the parish of Sander­stead and was acquired in the late 16th cen­tu­ry by Arch­bish­op Whit­gift. It lat­er became the prop­er­ty of the schools that the arch­bish­op found­ed in Croy­don.

Pavilion, Old Whitgiftian Association Recreation Ground*
Pavil­ion, Whit­gift Sports Club*

In 1898 the gov­er­nors of the Whit­gift Foun­da­tion planned to sell the low­er slopes for devel­op­ment, while offer­ing the hill­top to the coun­cil.

Fol­low­ing pub­lic protests the foun­da­tion sold the whole of Cro­ham Hurst to Croy­don cor­po­ra­tion, while play­ing fields for Old Whit­gif­tians were laid out on Cro­ham Farm.

Cro­ham Hurst school was found­ed in 1899 for day girls and board­ers, and moved to Cro­ham Road in 1907. The school closed in 2008, when it was absorbed by Croydon’s Old Palace School.

Cro­ham Hurst golf club was estab­lished in the 1920s and sub­ur­ban hous­ing was built beyond the pro­tect­ed slopes, notably in the form of Richard Costain and Sons’ Cro­ham Heights estate in 1927.

The Cro­ham ward has a high­er pro­por­tion of well-edu­cat­ed, young, sin­gle peo­ple than most parts of the bor­ough.

The comedian and television presenter Sue Perkins was educated at Croham Hurst school.

Postcode area: South Croydon CR2
Population: 15,790 (2011 census)
Further reading: Brian J Salter (ed.), Selsdon and Croham, Living History, 1983
and Monica Sharpe, Croham Hurst School, Phillimore, 1998


* The picture of The woods of Croham Hurst on this page is adapted from an original photograph, copyright Marathon, and the picture of the Pavilion, Old Whitgiftian Association Recreation Ground is adapted from an original photograph, copyright Nigel Chadwick, both at Geograph Britain and Ireland, made available under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Licence. Any subsequent reuse is hereby freely permitted under the terms of that licence.