Thames Tributary – The Wandle -The Bourne - Coulsdon

Thames Tributary – The Wandle
The westerly arm of the Bourne flows underground through this area to the Wandle
TQ 29729 59430

The Brighton Road as it goes through the small town of Coulsdon, with the Bourne flowing the underground, and remains of the remains of the early 19th tramway

Post to the west Chipstead Valley Road
Post to the east Smitham
Post to the south Cane Hill

The A23 now bypasses Coulsdon, on a road opened in 2006 which runs to the east of the Brighton Road alongside, and west of, the railway. It goes through the site of Coulsdon North Station

Brighton Road
After the road was turnpiked the centre of Coulsdon moved to this area, which had previously been known as Smitham Bottom. In 1331 it is ‘Smetheden’. Before the turnpike road was built in 1803 the road to here from The Swan and Sugarloaf was called Smitham Bottom. Southwards it was Hooley Lane.
Hooley Lane Turnpike gate was set up roughly where the road from Cane Hill is in 1803. There was a duplicate turnpike built in 1807
Turnpike milestone, dates from 1820
Railway - The road is crossed Road crossed the Brighton Line and by the Quarry Line which duplicated the Brighton Line in 1900
Coulsdon South Station. 1889. Between Purley and Main Line destinations on Southern Trains Originally ‘Coulsdon’ there were also a covered way, since demolished, thought to be for the hospital. In 1923 it was renamed ‘Coulsdon South’. On the original main line - between two railway lines. In December 2000 the Bourne stream rose and ran through this area.
Leaden Cross. The area was once called this, probably after a cross on the boundary. It is also known that a direction sign once stood here defaced by Cromwellian soldiers. There was also a gibbet here.
Red Lion pub. Built 1680, it originally stood opposite the Leaden Cross. The Bourne is said to have run underneath the pub. The pub was for a while a coaching inn and also had special facilities for freemasons. It was demolished in 2002.
163 Janes Information Group – world wide shipping etc, This is on the site of a pumping station built in the 1930s to cope with flooding in the valley, and to provide for a growing population.
Embankment - Car park, only bit of Croydon, Merstham and Godstone tramway embankment left
Veteran car rally stop since 1901.

Chipstead Valley Road
Embankment. Croydon, Merstham and Godstone tramway crossed roughly at the point where the Elim Chapel now stands. It was on a high embankment and bridge. The tramway, Built between 1803 and 1805, had been steadily rising since it left Purley built needed to cross this valley – it is thought to have been thirty feet high and half a mile long. .This was the first such embankment built on southern England. Engineer Jessop also built a bridge which crossed the road itself. This was a single arch of brick and flint, built by the Butterely Company and reinforced with iron ribs. The bridge was demolished as dangerous in 1854.
St.Aiden. Roman Catholic Church. This was begun in 1931 by Adrian Scott to replace the church in Woodcote Grove. It was to be a Gothic church but only the first phase was completed and the church remained in debt. In the 1960s it was decided to start again but with a completely new modern style church by Buries, Newton & Partners.
Church Hall. This is on the site of a temporary building put up during building work and then used as a hall.
Elim Chapel. Stands at the point where the tramway crossed the road and some of the embankment was demolished for it. Now in other use.
Smitham Bottom Infants School opened in 1893 as an Infants school on Land given by Squire Edmund Byron. In 1905 Coulsdon and Purley Smitham Bottom Council Mixed School opened in premises close by but moved by 1908.

Footpath between Woodmansterne Road and Chipstead Valley Road
The Croydon, Merstham and Godstone tramway crossed it at the point where it crosses the railway, having followed the line of what is now the railway. It then curved south east towards Woodman Road

Lion Green
One of the homes of early cricket, The Coulsdon Cricket Club dates from 1762 and in 1783 there was a ‘cricket shed’ near the pub. The club moved as the area became built up in the 1880s.
Bare knuckle fighting. In 1788 Jackson and Feweterel fought here in front of the Prince of Wales.
Embankment – in car park. The remains of the embankment of the Croydon, Merstham and Godstone tramway is at the rear of the Lion Green car park. The line passed through here having crossed Chipstead Valley Road. What is left is covered in trees and eroded.
Coulsdon Area Farm. On some of the site of Cane Hill Farm. The Croydon, Merstham and Godstone tramway passed through the site where the farm was later built. The farm was originally to provide produce for the hospital and an occupation for the patients. Sold off in the 1950s when policy changed. Later known as Portnalls Farm
Smitham School – in 1886 an Infants school opened in temporary premises in what had been Cane Hill Mission Room C. of E. Infants School.

Malcolm Road
1-3 Bijou Cinema. Built 1913 as the Palladium, and a number of other owners and names – the Bohemia and the Plaza. In 1923 it reopened and had more owners to close in 1932. It never had any equipment for sound.
Coulsdon and Purley Smitham Bottom Council Mixed School opened in 1908 and various reorganisations followed. It is now an adult education centre.

Portnalls Road
Smitham Primary School
St.Aiden’s Catholic Primary School

South Drive
Route of Croydon, Merstham and Godstone tramway - the line ran parallel and west of the Brighton Road and east of South Drive. It then veered slightly to the south west and crossed South Drive about two thirds down its length and continued towards The Grove.

Station Approach
This was the approach to the now demolished Coulsdon North Station.
Railway housing of 1899. Has a varied roof-line with deep eaves.
Coulsdon North locomotive depot. Opened in 1900 by the London Brighton and South Coast Railway at the south end of Coulsdon North Station. Brick built shed with a water tank, coal stage. Closed 1929 but some buildings remained into the 1980s.
Coulsdon North Goods Depot. Included railway turntable

The Avenue
The Croydon, Merstham and Godstone tramway crossed it at junction with The Grove and continued in a south westerly direction

The Grove
Croydon, Merstham and Godstone tramway crossed it at junction with The Avenue

Woodman Road
The Croydon, Merstham and Godstone tramway crossed the road

Woodcote Grove Road
This was known as Smitham Bottom Road.
Croydon, Merstham and Godstone tramway coming from the junction of the Grove and The Avenue, crossed the road slightly before where road today crosses the Tattenham Corner bound railway. It then continued following what is now the line of the railway south west bound.
St.Andrews Church. On the corner of Woodmansterne Road. It was built in 1911 by Greenaway and Newberry. It has a tower with battlements and a flagstaff and nightly illuminations.
Coulsdon Martial Arts Centre. This is on the site of what was originally a ‘tin’ church built by the Roman Catholic Church in 1916. In 1922 this was replaced with a church, St.Aiden’s, which was built of ‘Merstham firestone’ taken from a barn on Stoat’s Nest Farm. This church later became the Co-op Hall but now has oriental dragons on the façade.

Bayliss. The Surrey Iron Railway
Bourne Society. Journal
Cinema Treasures. Web site
Coulsdon Martial Arts Centre. Web site
Janes's. Web site
St.Aiden Church. Web site
St. Andrew's Church. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. London South
Pub History. Web site
Smitham School. Web site


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