Forestdale, Croydon

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


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