Russell Hill

Russell Hill, Croydon

A scholastic locality in north-west Purley, where the ground rises to over 360 feet above sea level

Highfield Road - geograph-3567506-by-Christopher-Hilton

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.

Since 1962 the Russell Hill site has been occupied by the Margaret Roper and Thomas More schools, which are voluntary-aided Roman Catholic primary and secondary schools.

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.

Postcode area: Purley CR8
* The picture of Highfield Road on this page is adapted from an original photograph, copyright Christopher Hilton, 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.