A privately developed housing estate situated on the eastern edge of Selsdon, and sometimes considered to be part of Addington
Forestdale is separated from New Addington by Addington Court golf course, which was the first privately run golf course to be opened to the general public when it was established in 1932.
From the 1920s the open land here was acquired for conversion to smallholdings for use by ex-servicemen. The scheme came to an end in the mid-1960s, soon after which the flats and houses of Forestdale replaced the allotments, nurseries, piggeries and sheds. The Forestdale name seems to have been conjured out of thin air by the developers. There is no record of its use here before the 60s, nor was there a forest of any serious kind – just a few acres of trees in Court Wood and Lady Grove.
Wates added a development in the mid-1970s that won an industry award for the pioneering solar heating system installed in three of the houses.
Since the opening of Croydon Tramlink in 2000, a ‘gradient of desirability’ has arisen, with the value of properties being influenced by their proximity to tram stops, primarily the one at Gravel Hill, at the top of the map below.
Looking like a cross between a scout hut and a bomb shelter, the Forestdale Forum stands at the corner of Bardolph Avenue and Pixton Way. The Forum hosts the meetings of several local clubs and societies and its hall is available to hire for events and parties.
The Forestdale Centre is a shopping precinct located near the junction of Featherbed Lane and Selsdon Park Road. In addition to the Forestdale Arms pub, the centre is graced by McDermott’s, which in 2012 won the award for Independent Fish & Chip Restaurant of The Year.
Plans to demolish the Forestdale Arms and replace it with a restaurant and drive-through takeaway were rejected by Croydon council planning officers in March 2018.
According to Ofsted, Forestdale primary school serves a very diverse community, with almost half the pupils coming from minority ethnic backgrounds, though most pupils speak English as their first language. However, the school’s make-up does not reflect the demographics of Forestdale as a whole, where almost three-quarters of residents are white British.
Postcode area: Croydon, CR0
Website: Forestdale Residents’ Association
Further reading: John S Wagstaff, From ‘Hungry Bottom’ to Forestdale … A chronicle of changing Croydon through the twentieth century, [Review of ‘A century of Croydon …’ by John B. Gent] Beckenham Historian, 344, 2001