Russell Hill, Croydon
A scholastic locality in north-west Purley, where the ground rises to over 360 feet above sea level
The area was referred to as Beggar’s Thorn in a 10th-century charter of King Edgar and was later known as Beggar’s Bush.
The Warehousemen, Clerks and Drapers School was opened by the Prince of Wales (subsequently Edward VII) in 1886. The site was named Russell Hill in honour of the school’s president, the former prime minister John Russell, the first Earl Russell, whose family seat lay at Kingston Russell in Dorset.
The school bought the 100-acre Ballards estate in Coombe Lane, Croydon, in 1923 to provide additional accommodation for its growing roll. It vacated Russell Hill in 1961 to consolidate all teaching at the Ballards campus and is now the Royal Russell, an independent, fee-paying school with a separate trust funding the education of foundation students.
The surrounding avenues are lined with generously proportioned detached and semi-detached homes, mostly built between the wars, with more recent additions wherever a cul-de-sac could be squeezed in.