Spring Park

Spring Park, Croydon/Bromley

A primarily interwar settlement bordered by Monks Orchard to the north, West Wickham to the east, Addington to the south and Shirley to the west

Hidden London: Links View Road by Christopher Hilton

This was a patch of infe­ri­or farm­land until it was enhanced in the first half of the 19th cen­tu­ry by the addi­tion of new roads and an accom­pa­ny­ing change of iden­ti­ty from Cold Har­bour to Spring Park (an exist­ing local name) as part of a plan to encour­age the build­ing of man­sions in the area.

A wealthy MP, Sir John Tem­ple Leader (who lat­er start­ed a size­able British colony near Flo­rence in Italy), bought Spring Park in the mid-1830s and engaged the inno­v­a­tive Hewitt Davis as ten­ant farmer. By improv­ing the soil and drainage, Davis trans­formed the land from rough heath­land into a mod­el farm. Agri­cul­tur­al asso­ci­a­tions organ­ised trips here to learn from his achieve­ments.

Spring Park House stood on the present-day Farm Dri­ve, at first in iso­la­tion but grad­u­al­ly encroached upon by less­er prop­er­ties. Sub­ur­ban devel­op­ment start­ed in the 1920s and accel­er­at­ed in the 1930s, absorb­ing the ham­let of Starve Acre on the Adding­ton Palace estate.

After the Sec­ond World War coun­cil hous­ing filled the remain­ing gaps, with only the munic­i­pal open spaces escap­ing devel­op­ment.

Hidden London: All Saints, Spring Park, by John Salmon

Shown in the pho­to­graph above, All Saints church is a dis­tinc­tive struc­ture built in 1956 by the archi­tec­tur­al part­ner­ship Cur­tis Green, Son and Lloyd. It is a grade II list­ed build­ing.

Fol­low­ing what Ofst­ed called “a tur­bu­lent peri­od of change”, Spring Park pri­ma­ry school became For­est Acad­e­my in 2013.

The City of Lon­don cares for the heath­land and cop­piced woods of Spring Park, at the bot­tom right cor­ner of the map below.

Small­er clumps of the wood­land also sur­vive around Miller’s Pond and north of Links View Road, which was named for a for­mer golf course laid out in 1922 on land now cov­ered by the Shrub­lands estate. Links View Road (seen across Bri­dle Road) is shown in the pho­to­graph at the top of the arti­cle.

Many Shirley and West Wickham telephone numbers include the digits “777” because this was the numeric equivalent of the first three letters of SPRing Park.

Postcode areas: Croydon CR0 and West Wickham BR4
* The picture of Links View Road at the top of this page is adapted from an original photograph, copyright Christopher Hilton, and the picture of All Saints church, Bridle Road, is slightly modified from an original photograph, copyright John Salmon, both 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.