Purley Oaks

Purley Oaks, Croydon

A popular residential locality straddling the Brighton Road between Sanderstead and Purley

Hidden London: Brighton Road and Capella Court, Purley Oaks, by Gordon Griffiths

Until the late 19th cen­tu­ry hors­es and cat­tle grazed at Pur­ley Oaks Farm, which retained an ancient barn and sev­er­al of the trees that had giv­en the estate its name. Brighton Road school was built in 1873 at a time when the area was still unde­vel­oped.

Pur­ley Oaks sta­tion opened on the line to Brighton in 1899 and the farm was offered for sale at auc­tion in 1903. The con­di­tions of sale ensured that hous­es were built for the pro­fes­sion­al class­es and the first prop­er­ties were occu­pied with­in two years. Ser­vants and live-in maids were the norm but the need for garages was not recog­nised at that time.

Much of the sur­round­ing land remained open and in 1916 James Relf estab­lished a mar­ket gar­den near the sta­tion.

After the First World War the area was almost entire­ly built up with sub­ur­ban hous­ing. Brighton Road school was renamed Pur­ley Oaks in 1922 and rebuilt in 1940.

Capel­la Court (also known as the Roy­al Oak office block) is a local land­mark, built in the mid-1960s on an island site on the Brighton Road.

The present Pur­ley Oaks pri­ma­ry school takes pupils from a large catch­ment area and from a wide range of socio-eco­nom­ic and eth­nic minor­i­ty back­grounds. A rel­a­tive high num­ber of them speak Eng­lish as an addi­tion­al lan­guage.

The for­mer Pur­ley Oaks dump on the Brighton Road reopened as a reuse and recy­cling cen­tre in 2005.

Postcode area: Purley CR8
Station: Southern (zone 6)
* The picture of Brighton Road and Capella Court on this page is adapted from an original photograph, copyright Gordon Griffiths, 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.