Old Coulsdon

Old Coulsdon, Croydon

An expanded village situated south-west of Kenley

Hidden London: Bradmore Green pond, Old Coulsdon

As its name suggests, this was the original Coulsdon, which added the ‘Old’ when a new settle­ment grew up around Coulsdon South and Smitham (now Coulsdon Town) stations.

The church of St John the Evan­ge­list was in existence by the twelfth century, and has a 15th-century tower. The manor was held by the Abbey of St Peter, Chertsey, from before the time of its appear­ance in Domesday Book until the disso­lu­tion of the monasteries.

In 1776 Coulsdon cricket club played in the first-ever match to use three stumps. However, despite occa­sional claims to the contrary, the game was staged at their opponents’ ground in Chertsey, not on Couls­don’s Bradmore Green.

Thomas Byron acquired the extensive manorial estate in 1782 and the Byron family remained in residence here for 140 years, building Coulsdon Court in the 1850s. To the south, the progres­sive enclosure of Coulsdon Common led to liti­ga­tion until its acqui­si­tion and preser­va­tion by the Corpo­ra­tion of London in the early 1880s.

Until the First World War the village consisted of a cluster of cottages and farm buildings around the green. Following the death of Edward Byron the Coulsdon Court estate was put up for sale in 1922 and the council bought the house and its parkland for a municipal golf course. In the years leading up to the Second World War, new roads were laid out centring on the village and lined with houses, including the Tudor village, to the south-east. From 1967 Wates laid out the Coulsdon Woods estate on the hillside to the north of the village.

Since 1968 a conser­va­tion area has protected the heart of Old Coulsdon, including Bradmore Green farmhouse and its 17th-century barn. However, on the outskirts, several small cul-de-sacs have filled former large gardens. Coulsdon Court was restored and extended in 1991 as the Coulsdon Manor hotel. Coulsdon College, on Place­house Lane, was formerly a boys’ school and occupies the site of a medieval colliery.

Postcode area: Coulsdon CR5
Further reading: Ian Scales, Village Histories: Coulsdon, Bourne Society, 2000
and Roger Packham and Jean Tooke, Coulsdon in Old Picture Postcards, European Library, 1995
Website: Old Coulsdon Residents’ Association
* The picture of Bradmore Green pond, Old Coulsdon, on this page is adapted from an original photograph, copyright Peter Redzimski, at Geograph Britain and Ireland, made available under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Licence. Any subsequent reuse is freely permitted under the terms of that licence.