Little Roke

Little Roke, Croydon

A relatively affordable residential locality in north Kenley, situated immediately south-west of Riddlesdown

Little Roke Road: a view from its junction with the A22
Lit­tle Roke Road

Lit­tle Roke’s name means (indi­rect­ly) ‘lit­tle place at the oak tree’ and dates back at least five cen­turies. Roke Farm was in exis­tence by 1762 and a sub­stan­tial house called Lit­tle Roke lat­er stood at the south­ern end of Roke Road.

In the 1920s and 1930s Lit­tle Roke con­sist­ed of a small com­mu­ni­ty of ter­raced and semi-detached cot­tages. The vil­lage had a pri­ma­ry school, a church hall and a sur­pris­ing vari­ety of shops, sell­ing almost every­thing except cloth­ing.

Lit­tle Roke was almost entire­ly rebuilt dur­ing the sec­ond half of the 20th cen­tu­ry, los­ing most of its ameni­ties and its vil­lage char­ac­ter.

Roke pri­ma­ry school was rebuilt in 1994 and has a rel­a­tive­ly high pro­por­tion of pupils from eth­nic minori­ties who speak Eng­lish as an addi­tion­al lan­guage. Hav­ing pre­vi­ous­ly been repeat­ed­ly judged ‘out­stand­ing’ by the edu­ca­tion­al stan­dards agency Ofst­ed, the school’s rat­ing dropped to ‘inad­e­quate’ fol­low­ing its inspec­tion in May 2012 – a high­ly unusu­al plunge from the best cat­e­go­ry to the worst.

Despite the insis­tence of many par­ents and teach­ers that this was a mis­lead­ing blip, the Depart­ment for Edu­ca­tion quick­ly pro­posed to con­vert the school to acad­e­my sta­tus, under the aegis of the Har­ris Fed­er­a­tion. The upheaval prompt­ed most of the school’s staff to leave dur­ing the first half of 2013, and Ofst­ed applied a ‘spe­cial mea­sures’ regime to keep the place tick­ing over until its relaunch as the Har­ris Pri­ma­ry Acad­e­my Ken­ley. Ofst­ed inspect­ed the acad­e­my in June 2015 and rat­ed it ‘out­stand­ing’ in every cat­e­go­ry.

Two ancient oaks were measured in 2001, when they were threatened by a proposed development, and one was found to be almost 900 years old.

Postcode area: South Croydon CR2


* The picture of Little Roke Road on this page is adapted from an original photograph, copyright Derek Harper, 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.