Thames Tributary Effra - Upper Norwood

Thames Tributary Effra
The Effra rises in this area and flows north.

Post to the west Norbury Grove
Post to the north Norwood
Post to the east Crystal Palace

Beulah hill
The road winds along the slopes of Upper Norwood from All Saints Church. ‘Beulah’ was Bewleys Farm and this was a site for Tudor charcoal burners.maybe originally ‘'beautiful place'. Bewlys Coppice was at the south end of Beulah Hill and where the mineral spring was found and exploited.
The Effra rises between Beulah Hill  and Central Hill
Little Menlo. Demolished. This was the home of George Gourand who promoted Edison in England and there was a demonstration of the phonograph there. The house was named after the location of Edison's workshop in New Jersey - Menlo Park. It was an all-electric house as far as could be achieved in the 1880s. Boots were cleaned by electricity, carpets brushed by electricity, lighting was by electricity and there was a tricycle with an electric motor. There was a direct telephone to Crystal Palace and he could listen to concerts relayed from there it. The house was almost completely reconstructed by Ernest Newton in 1888, although parts of the original villa can still be detected.
The Rectangle was a Beer Shop and it was probably a public house in the 1830’s serving visitors to the Spa. In 1876 it was named The Rectangle, and a castellated entrance added.
41 Beulah Spa pub. Late Victorian with interesting architecture inside and out. Named for the now defunct spa.
47 1836 T.W. Atkinson, part of a crescent
54 St.Valery. By Sextus Dyball. 1880 with French Chateau style roof- no 2 divided into flats. Dyball was a bookmaker.
57 was altered in 1864 by Sextus Dyball, whose heavy hand still determines much of the road’s character
591836 T.W. Atkinson, part of a crescent
61 1836 T.W. Atkinson, part of a crescent
63, a cottage with tented porch.
71 built c. 1860,
75, built c. 1780, each with full- height bay-windows. On older foundations.
76 Linh Son Buddhist Temple
77, built c. 1780, each with full- height bay-windows
79 of c. 1840.
Roselawn. Owned by Attwood the organist at St Paul's, Mendelssohn visited here.
Sycamores, 1690, home of Mr. Warwick who wrote ‘Phoenix Suburb” dates to 1690 and was originally the Rose and Crown pub, owned by a prize-fighter, in 1800. Original cellars and later a tea garden.

Central Hill.
Site of Great Stake Pit Coppice. Effra rose here. The wood provided the timber for Drake’s Golden Hind.
Beulah hills treasure. 1952 hoard of 14th coins found in BM. 138 coins.
Virgo Fidelis Convent. On a sloping site which is part of an 18th landscape. The building was originally a cottage on Knight’s Hill Common, Park House adapted from 175 by Alexander Nesbit, Augustus Hervey, and Earl of Bristol called it Norwood House. After his death Mary Nesbit, his girl friend, acted as a shadowy agent in Euorpean politics. It became a Roman Catholic convent. It is built of stock brick, with ranges of various dates. The earliest buildings, 1857, are by Wardell. St Joseph's Wing was added by George Goldie in 1862 and extended c. 1880 by E. Goldie as the Bishop Grant Memorial Hall. Adjoining this is the convent by E. Goldie, 1881. Roman Catholic boarding school and other schools on the site.
Effra, rising on the higher land above flowed through the Convent grounds.This is now culverted in a sports area near the north boundary.
Kitchen garden abandoned Tudor walls dividing the two orchards remain.
Convent cemetery suffered from theft of lead and flooding, renovated in 1980. Mown with iron crosses
StJosephs RC and Infant SchoolsEntrance to Norwood New town. Housing built on what had been Knights’ Hill Common between Oxford Road and Rockmount Road. Essentially a workers reservation built by the Crystal Palace Company in the 1850s packing in 100s of tiny terraced houses. There was a wall round it to keep them in with three police on the gate, ands the police did not go inside. Compulsory purchase by Croydon council from 1955 and entirely rebuilt by 1967.

Chevening Road
Upper Norwood Recreation Ground. 19-acres was bought by the Council in 1890 from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and laid out by the Borough Road Surveyor including Eversley and Chevening Roads. The Effra flows under the park and at the Harold Road end a well head exists, covered in the 1940s. It runs underground north west.
Effra Spring water flows under the road to join with another course from Orleans Road

This was the lower end of the Norwood New Town and there was a pedestrian only gap in its surrounding wall here. There was a plank bridge across the Effra which led to the fields.

Convent Hill
Convent Wood. Mature natural woodland which is a remnant of the Great North Wood. Once in the ownership of the Archbishops of Canterbury.

Grange Hill
10 further early c19 houses: with symmetrical three-storey front and lower wings
Gayfere, more irregular, with good iron porch with Greek key pattern

Grange Road,
Lower end was Decimus Burton Road

Hancock Road
Spring water feeding the Effra flows under here towards Hermitage Road.
Hermitage Road.
Oak tree at the lowest point - is it the last of the Northwood. Used to be one on the other side of the road
The spring water feeding the Effra is at the road’s lowest point and can be seen under a grating. It goes through the grounds of the Convent but it is now culverted. According to legend Queen Elizabeth I came up the river in her barge to this area.Rockmount Junior School built 1967 on part of Convent Wood
Norwood Hospital. Built 1881 A small red-brick cottage hospital of 1881 enlarged by a New Wing in 1893. It started with sixteen beds,

Highfield Road
Effra could be seen at the Harold Road corner . This is where it came above ground from Great Stake Pit.
Orleans Road
Spring water feeding the Effra from here from Chevening Road and go to Hancock Road.
Oxford Road
Border of Norwood New Town

Rockmount Road
Border of Norwood New Town

The Effra is also fed by springs coming from the area to the east in Westow Park and elsewhere. See


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