Purley Oaks, Croydon
A popular residential locality straddling the Brighton Road between Sanderstead and Purley
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.