South Norwood

Post to the south Woodside
Post to the east Birkbeck
Post to the north Anerley

Albert Road
This road is the earliest built here, first listed in 1855, and although the Croydon Canal was no longer in use it influenced the alignment of the road. From the junction with Portland Road looking the curve of the road reflects the line of the old canal which was to the north of the houses. It is named after Albert, the Prince Consort.
74-76 Stanleybury. Very large three-storey semis. Built for William Stanley, who moved to 74 in 1867. William Stanley’s works in South Norwood was complimented by his local philanthropy. His site is now a close of modern flats. Accidentally demolished.
67 small trading estate and MOT centre.  At one time this was home to a theatre transport specialist.
St.Mark. This was the first church in the area and is the parish church by G. H. Lewis. The nave was built in 1852 and the church was extended in 1862 and in successive years until 1890. It is in Kentish rag. Pictures show a house with a cross patterned front on the west side of the church and this has been replaced with what looks like a community building from the 1950s.

Apsley Road
Apsley Road Playground. This site was bought by the local authority in 1946 and had been a house. It was laid out as a children’s playground in 1951. An air raid shelter to the rear was demolished in 1973.

Belgrave Road
Estate of local authority blocks behind the High Street

Cambridge Road
Tunnel under the railway to Love Lane

Carmichael Road
48 there is a small workshop behind the house which had on the wall "Richards, Sign Writer, Carriage Painter, Etc.". Richards was here from 1889 as a "Sign Writer and Wheelwright" until the 1930's.

Clifford Road
Railway coal depot. This was on the triangle of land between Portland and Clifford roads and the railway.
1 In the 1970s this was Photo speed Lithographic Ltd and Shown on maps as a Printing Works in the 1970s.  Buildings to the rear may have been those of Coldrey's Steam Bakery in the 1930s, becoming Broomfields in the 1950's. Previously A. Creesy, coachbuilder had the premises from the mid 1880s until the Great War and who made car bodies in 1906.
3 South Norwood Islamic Centre. They are in the workshops to the rear of 1.  In the 1990s a group of local Muslims started looking for a building which would cater for needs of local Muslims, This site was procured in 2000 and the Centre was established soon after as a place of prayer.
19 building shown on maps as St Mark’s Hall, latterly a double glazing business. Now demolished
21-23 Alexandra Hotel. Became an engineering works, the offices and now demolished.
South Norwood Congregational Church. This was a temporary ‘tin tabernacle’ with an adjoining Hall which opened in 1867. . In 1907 it was purchased by the Catholic church. The chapel, a so-called tin tabernacle, and dedicated to St Chad. Later an industrial building was erected here which had a number of uses, including that of a spice mill in the 1930s.  This was demolished around 2010 and there is now a modern block of flats on the site.

Coventry Road
When the road was built in 1860, it was called Victoria Road, to complement the older Albert Road
St. Mark Church of England Primary School.  This is now an ‘academy and part of the Reach2 Academy Trust in the Diocese of Southwark. The school was built in 1969s by the Borough Architect's Department
School building of around 1860, 'vaguely Tudor' with diapered red brick, altered. From map evidence this was in use as the school until the 1960s. There is a plaque on the wall with nothing written on it!
17 Victoria Arms Beer house. This dated from around 1853 and was demolished in 1973. It was a Watney house       
3a Car repair business and panel beater with behind it a building variously used as stables, a smithy, and a Wesleyan chapel.  – The two-storey building is in flint and is a larger building.  It appears to have been in later industrial use as the Acme Button Co...
3 a pair of flint cottages with brick dressings. There is a similar building at 37 Portland Road

Cresswell Road
Morland Nursery. This lay in the middle of the square of roads with an entry in the area of Brierly Close. It was started in the early 1870s by Mr Bause (confusingly the address given then is Portland Road) who had managed a nursery in Anerley and specialised in ferns. It appears to have closed in the 1960s.

Crowther Road
34 South Norwood Primary School. This opened as Station Road School in 1872 but without any boys.  A boys' school opened in a different building to the girls and infants in 1875. The school was reorganised in 1931 and senior pupils went elsewhere. In 1937 new buildings were opened.

Croydon Canal
The canal was authorised in 1801 and ran south from a junction at New Cross with the Grand Surrey Canal to what is now West Croydon Station which is on the canal basin. It was never a success and closed in 1836 and much of the alignment was used by the London & Croydon Railway Company, for the railway between London Bridge and West Croydon station, which is on the site of the canal basin. This included their use of the atmospheric system.
After crossing an almost level area the canal had to cross South Norwood Hill. So as to avoid the need to build locks it had to go round this staying on the 150f contour.   Horses were needed to pull the barges so there had to be a towpath and this ran on the south side of the canal. By 1861 all that was left was a narrow strip of land next to an isolated section of the old canal.

Cumberlow Avenue
The large site at the end of the road, now the Harris ‘Academy’ was originally Pascall’s brickfield and then a dairy farm. It was later purchased by William Stanley for the building of his house, Cumberlow, which was now been demolished
Boyden & Co.  Tile factory. This works was purchased to enable construction of the Harris academy. Previous works here had been a Bottling works and the Cosmo Dental Co., who made acrylic teeth.
Stanley Trade Schools. Now demolished for the ‘academy’.  In the square to the north.
Stanley's Film Club. This was established in 2015 ad Stanley Halls, where it became a weekly community cinema. N 2017 it relocated to the Harris Academy, rebranding as Screen25

Doyle Road
This was previously called Farley Road
36 this was a small nursery run by a florist until the early 1900s.

Eldon Park
The road follows path of the Croydon canal which was filled in 1868. The road name reflects the type of area that was being developed:  exclusive residences tucked away from the main road close to a railway station.  Several lengths of canal bank, which had been lined with trees, survive as property boundaries and there are descendants of some of the original trees.
10 Tobacco factory with land at the rear
Stanley House. Henry Tinsley moved his works here in 1907 and entered into a partnership with another instrument maker named Snell - telegraph apparatus, condensers, standard cells, potentiometers and 'bridges'. Snell however died after one year of the partnership, Henry produced many innovative and pioneering instruments her but in 1916 moved to Werndee Hall.

Goat House Bridge
This bridge is on the A213 leading from Penge/Anerley towards South Norwood. It passes over the Croydon bound railway between Anerley and Norwood Junction.
The name ‘Goat House’ is shown in 1678 on a map as a clearing in the woods. In 1797 here was a farm called Goat House in the Sunnybank area. I the 1860s a hotel was built called Goat House and the bridge took the name
Goat House Bridge Woodland Garden.  On the corner south of the bridge is a garden made up of shrubs found in the Great North Wood. They were planted by local people and the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV).

Great North Wood.
The Great North Wood once extended over the high ridge of land between Deptford, Sydenham Hill, Streatham and Selhurst. It supported woodland industry, timber for ship building, charcoal as fuel, bark for dyeing leather and thinnings for baskets, brooms and woven hedges for a rapidly expanding London. The Wood was mainly composed of oak and hornbeam trees, with some ash, hazel and holly. In damper places willows thrived. There are still places where the Wood has recovered such as in parks, peoples' back gardens and along the railway embankments.

Hambrook Road
A footpath at the end leads to a tunnel under the railway going to Marlow Road

Harrington Road
Harrington Road Station. 1998. between Birkbeck and Arena on the Croydon Tramlink
Site of the tram station was once called ‘Blind Corner’.  This is thought to be the site of a small settlement and farm, and there is a widening of the road here where the farmyard was
65-67 Albert Tavern.  On the site of a pub which was bombed.  Cricketing memorabilia

King's Road:
Croydon Canal route would just touch the southern corner of the road
Camille Close is built on some of the alignment of the canal and of its successor railway,
St Marks Mission. Converted into housing
The Croydon canal is thought to have crossed the road where the cottages next to the mission are

Lincoln Road,
The road follows the line of the canal and the trees would have been on the banks of it.  It was filled in in 1868. Several lengths of river bank survived as property boundaries   between the houses.

Love Lane
At one time a through thoroughfare but now a footpath link.After the junction with Waverley Road this continues as footpath to meet a tunnel under the railway going to Cambridge Road
Norwood Spur Railway crossed at the junction with Cambridge Road to where it joined the route from Crystal Palace, this is now the Tramlink. Now Croydon Tramlink Beckenham Junction branch joins the Railtrack line south-west of Birkbeck station and the two systems run adjacent until the tram terminus alongside the main line.
30 Scout hut. “The Den” 23rd Norwood Scouts, formed in 1909. The building is described as a Mission Hall in the 1930s

Manor Road
The triangle of land between the railway and Manor Road is the site of where the Croydon Canal was widened for Norwood Wharf.  It later was a site for railway sidings. It is now the site of houses and flats called Leybourne Court. Manor Road seemed originally to go to the grounds of a big house.  This may have been called Canal House
Jolly Sailor Station.  Just past the junction with Portland Road is the site of the Jolly Sailor Station on the west side of the railway. There were also buildings here connected to the atmospheric railway.  Slightly further up were a group of railway cottages which may have been built for the canal
This was the first station at South Norwood, opened in and was called ‘Jolly Sailor’ but renamed Norwood in 1846. It was about 80 yards to the north of the railway bridge. In 1859 it closed, and replaced by the present station. It was subsequently been demolished
Where the canal crossed the road is the site of three houses. At their rear the canal went through what are now gardens to Sunnycroft Road.  This stretch appears to have had water in it up to the 1890s.
Manor Works. This is now GEN Vent, metalworkers – they make garage doors. This probably sits on the sites of the jolly sailor station and railway cottages.
14 originally Manor Cottage, it was converted into the Liberal and Radical Club in 1890. It became the South Norwood Liberal & Working Men’s Club and was extended in 1900. Now, partly demolished, it is converted to flats
Parking area at the back of the club. Trees along the side of the car park are on the site of the Croydon canal southern bank

Marlow Road
Slight depression in the road may mark the course of a contributory stream to Pool River flowing down from near Goat House Bridge.

Pembury Road
Charles Dickens Court. Retirement housing. This is on the site of Abner Creasey's Coach Building Company – A. Creasey (Locomotors). This had been established as a coach building business in Clifford Road in 1888 and moved to Pembury Road before 1913.

Penge Road
2 Goat House pub. Said to be named after a marking on an old map when goats were kept here. This was the first site on the east side of the road over the bridge after Sunnybank. A Charrington's pub, It was latterly taken over by Fullers and closed in 2004. Demolished.
Croydon Canal route.  The point at which the canal crossed the main road, now Penge Road, is unmarked. The route of the canal then cuts across to the southern corner of King's Road
Goat House Bridge. The bridge makes a severe skew kink in Penge Road. In order to get up South Norwood hill, rather than make a detour like the canal the railway company dug a cutting over 40ft deep.  This meant they had to skew the bridge round at an angle of 30° to shorten its length. Thus they interrupted the original straight road as laid out by the Enclosure Commissioners.
81 Freemasons Tavern. With ornate carriage entry to the rear. Closed in 2003

Portland Road
Portland Road was one of the oldest tracks across Norwood Common. It was retained by the 1800 Enclosure Commissioners and given the name Woodside Road. Portland Road was South Norwood’s main shopping centre until the when the railway station was removed from Portland Road and a new railway station built in 1859 at Norwood Junction Station. The new station changed the commercial centre of South Norwood from Portland Road to the High Street
Croydon Canal Crossing. From the railway going down Portland Road the ground slopes down South Norwood Hill.  Near the railway bridge itself it is flatter and it is here that the canal and the road met. The road crossed the canal on a simple swing bridge standing where the railway line does now.  It was looked after by a canal company employee 'Old Grumble'.
Railway Bridge Rail crossing. When the atmospheric system was installed the road needed to be lowered to get enough headroom.  The London & Croydon Railway was built on an embankment, here and crosses Portland Road above the original canal bed and the road at some height.  The first railway bridge in 1838 was of cast iron, with a span of 20 feet. It is assumed to have carried only the two original tracks but after 1841 it needed to carry in addition trains belonging to the London & Brighton Railway and the South Eastern Railway. It was rebuilt, in 1859 when the station was moved and could then take seven railway tracks. One of these tracks was used only for shunting and was lifted. There were site safety concerns on this and The Board of Trade refused to sanction the erection of any further such bridges from 1883 in addition Croydon Corporation wanted the road widened.  Following another accident a new bridge was built with a span of 42 feet and a footpath was built.
1 Portmanor. This pub was originally called ‘The Signal’ dating from the early 1860s. It was an Allied Brewers pub, later owned by Punch Taverns. It closed following dispute with Punch Taverns over CCTV. The pub was expected to reopen in 2014, it is still closed but has now been demolished
37 This is a shop front on a flint building with some sort of plaque above the cable.  It appears to be a very, very similar building in structure and design to the flint cottages in Coventry Road which connect to a possible chapel.  There seems to be, or to have been, a connection at the rear between them which must date from before 1868.  Is this the entrance to the Wesleyan shown here in directories of the 1860s? The space between the buildings is full of various sheds and other structures.  Some of these seem to have been used at one time by Percy Frostick Percy, for a pianoforte warehouse
44b Regent Cinema. This was between Crowther and Doyle Roads. Initially as the New Electric Theatre it opened in 1911. It had a long passage led to the auditorium which was built at the rear of other buildings. It was closed soon after opening and then reopened again months later. After three years it closed again and reopened after another three years as the Electric Theatre and soon after re-named Mascot Cinema. A few years after that it was La Rosa Cinema, but within a year was back to being the Electric Cinema again.  It closed again two years later and re-opened in 1934 as the Regent Cinema, but closed in 1935.  In the Second World War it became a restaurant and then a kitchen for school meals. In 1963, it was converted into the Socco-Cheta Club with snooker and television. This closed in 2005. Corrugated iron shed
57 Duke of Clarence pub. Closed since 2010 following a drugs raid and losing their licence.  Dated from the 1880s.
89-91 Sullivan’s Scrap Metal. This was founded in 1966. The building was Thomas Jenkins printers in the 1970s
105 London City Mission Hall. The London City Mission first met in Norwood in 1880 in Birchanger Road, latterly in a tent. The Portland Road building was adjacent to ‘The Tent’ and opened in 1889. An extension was later built for a classroom, tea room and for the Girls’ Brigade.
110 The Central Hall Picture Palace.   Opened in 1910, on the corner of Portland Road and Stanger Road. In the late-1930’s, it was became the Central Cinema and in 1953, it was re-named Rex Cinema. It closed in 1956. The building became the Portland Room and more recently a furniture showroom.  It has now been converted into flats.  The prominent tower on the corner of the site is still in place but no longer lit.
167 Gladstone pub. 19th pub which closed in 2008.  It is now in residential use

Railway Lines
In the early 19th as railways using locomotives began to be built promoters put forward a scheme to link Croydon with London. The Croydon Canal was a failure and it was proposed to buy it and to use its course. Meanwhile The South Eastern Railway planned a line to Dover in 1837 which relied on using the proposed London and Croydon line from Norwood making the proposed line a trunk route. The consultant engineer was William Cubitt. In 1837 it was also agreed that The London and Brighton Railway could run a line to Brighton from a junction with the London and Croydon Railway at Norwood. The railway to Norwood opened in 1839 but using the Jolly Sailor station on a site to the north of Norwood Junction.  From 1841 the lines through Norwood were used by both the London and Brighton Railway and from 1842 the South Eastern Railway, but neither of them used the station
Atmospheric Railway. In 1844, the London & Croydon Railway was authorised to lay an additional line next to the existing track to test an atmospheric railway system. For this a pumping station was built at Norwood. The system created a vacuum in a pipe laid between the running rails. A piston in the pipe was attached to the train. The piston and the train were thus propelled towards the pumping station by atmospheric pressure. There were many problems and in 1847, the atmospheric experiment was abandoned.
Flyover. As part of the atmospheric system, the world's first railway flyover,   a wooden structure was built south of Jolly Sailor, to carry the atmospheric line over the steam line.  This appears to have been on the site of the current crossover and thus in the square to the south.
Brighton Main Line. This goes though the station and is the original London to Croydon Route from London Bridge.  However clearly it also takes trains from other places, on lines which have joined the main line at various points up and down the route.
The West End and Crystal Palace Railway. This had originated as a tourist line to Crystal Palace in the 1850s and was extended to Norwood in 1857. It now provides a service to Victoria.
Railway that crosses Penge Road north of Kings Road is the Farnborough Extension of the Norwood Junction-Crystal Palace line of 1857.  It continues from here to Birkbeck Station.
Norwood Spur. This spur left the line from Norwood Junction to London Bridge at a point shortly beyond the station. It ran between the London Bridge bound lines and Manor Road then veering east to Kings Road and covering the area of Camilla close. It met the line running to Birkbeck at Norwood Spur Junction roughly where the tunnel between Cambridge Road and Love Lane runs. It opened in 1862 connected Norwood Junction but had no passenger services after 1917 and closed in 1928. IK continued open with some special trains until 1959 and was not officially closed until 1966. It was lifted in 1969
Marshalling yard. The London and Brighton and South Coast Railway built a marshalling yard south of the station in the 1870s.  It lay on both sides of the line with 30 sidings roped in sixes and eights. In 1934 a Motive power depot with a turntable was added 1935. The yard was used less for freight from the 1980s and the site was eventually used for the Selhurst Depot.
Traction cable depot. This is on the site of the old motive power depot.

Regina Road
This was originally called Queens Road, a short cul-de-sac from Sunny Bank dating from the early 1860s which was extended in 1889 to join up with Lincoln Road.  The road no longer followed the route of the old canal but the Norwood Spur Railway paralleled the curve of the road. Queens Road was renamed Regina Road in 1939 thus keeping the link to complement Albert Road while preventing duplication of road names elsewhere.  Second World War bombing demolished 19th housing on the Goat House site and they were replaced by flats.

South Norwood High Street
(Edith admits that the street numbering here seems to follow a very unusual line)
River Willmore. This stream ran down the hillside to the River Pool, it had various contributory streams. One of these is thought to have started south of Goat House Bridge. And flowed in the direction of Marlow Road.
Harris Academy South Norwood ex-state school sponsored by a carpet salesman. The old school was vacated in 2005 and the whole site was demolished, with the exception of Stanley's original buildings ad should be "refurbish" them in a "sympathetic manner"
Thomas Pascall Brickworks. South Norwood is built on clay, which made it much easier to build a canal which was watertight. Even so, leakage of water from the canal was a constant problem. There were a number of brickworks and the largest was that of Thomas Pascall whose brickfields extended to behind The Albion public house.
24 this was a butchers shop until 1940 with a licensed slaughterhouse at the rear. Cattle were led in through the passage in South Norwood Hill. The slaughterhouse building remains, in other use. The tiled front of the shop where the meat carcases were hung is underneath the front of the current shop
26 Albion pub. Stables and outbuildings remain at the back. There was a fire station here in 1897, either in the stables or on the site of the shops next door.
27 Double-fronted shop. The central entry leads to old dairy buildings behind Welford's Surrey Dairies Ltd. present in 1913.
45 Astoria Cinema. This opened as New Gaiety Cinematograph Theatre in 1921. It had a straight Robert Hope-Jones 2Manual organ. In 1937, it was modernised to look Art Deco by Richard Seifert and was re-named Astoria Cinema. On the front was a half-circular glass tower lit from the inside. It closed in 1957 and became a motor parts store. Later there was a snooker hall and in the 2000’s it became the church of Higher Ground Assembly and the building was David House. It was demolished in 2008 and flats built on the site.
55 The Ship. This opened in 1853, over ten years after the canal closed, but the rear structure of the building appears on canal maps. It was built on the south side of a track way that linked Thomas Pascall's brick-works on the north side of the High Street with the canal wharf. This alleyway survived until the beginning of this century as access to a tile and brick-yard.
57 behind is a builder’s yard created around the old entrance to the Norwood Wharf. The triangle of land on which the coal depot was built was where the canal widened at Norwood Wharf.
The atmospheric station with a pumping engine house was here. This was an early English Gothic design with tall church like chimneys disguised as bell towers and called stalks which also acted as an exhaust vent for air pumped from the propulsion pipe.  Much of this building was transferred to Croydon waterworks where it remains.
59 substantial mid-19th century cottage with the shops added later. The opening to the rear ran down to the canal.
63 this is an inter-war brick building with a balcony and pillars. In the 19th there was a coal depot and small goods yard with two lines from a wagon turntable and sidings running up to the High Street.
64 Jolly Sailor.  . This is first noted in 1810 as the canal opened and it was the 'Jolly Sailor Beer House' on an uninhabited crossroads. They provided overnight stabling for the barge horses and a Tea garden for leisure boats. The original building was to the south of the present one and had a garden sloping down to the canal. ". The present building is about 1868.
Cast iron clock tower. This commemorates Mr. and Mrs, Stanley's Golden wedding. It came from the Croydon clockmakers Gillet and Johnston and was erected in 1907.

South Norwood Hill
Drinking fountain. This in the wall of 25.  It was installed in 1887 for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. It was made by Whiteheads of Kennington Oval and provided by the Metropolitan Cattle Trough and Drinking Fountain Association. The metal cup was removed in 1946
10 South Norwood Conservative Club.  The club was founded in 1912 and was visited by Winston Churchill and some snooker players. This may originally have been a bank
White Lion Pub. 1826-1871

Stanger Road
Werndee.  A large mansion of the late 19th.
Tinsley Precision Instruments. Tinsley in 1904. In 1904 Henry Tinsley started his business from a workshop at home making resistance boxes and galvanometers. In 1905 he made Weston Standard Cells and in 1907 moved to South Norwood to Eldon Park Road. After successfully manufacturing many new instruments there in 1916 he moved to Werndee Hall where there was space to expand became of military demand for his instruments. After the war the firm continued with many pioneering and innovative instruments. In 1983 the firm moved to the Old Croydon Airport Estate.

Station Road
The rest of Station Road is in the square to the west
A service road which keeps at the higher original level.
Norwood Junction Station.  Opened in 1839 as Jolly Sailor station this lies between East Croydon and Anerley and also Crystal Palace on Southern Rail.  It was originally built on the old main line of South Eastern Railway.  It was also a station on the atmospheric railway. In 1846 the station's name was changed to Norwood and the station moved to the present site. In the 1850s a line was added for trains to Crystal Palace. and later for the Norwood Spur.  There are seven platforms but not all are used.
Subway under the tracks. This said to be the world first use of reinforced concrete as a tunnel lining
Goods shed. Just south of the station forecourt, is the goods shed, built just a few years after the station opened in 1859 . It is now used as railway offices.
Footpath south and along by the railway.  The slightly curved footpath corresponds exactly to the west bank of the canal.

This road originally led to cottages on the site of what had been called the Goat House on the edge of a common. When the canal was built it curved round the area and later it became known as Frogs Island. Developers renamed it Sunny Bank.
Canal - Although the canal had disappeared by the end of 9th trees from its bank survived as boundaries   .
9-10 a V2 hit the area in 1944 a water-filled crater, and demolishing many houses.

Sunnycroft Road
Canal House. North of Sunnycroft was Canal House which was a big 1840s house with ground covering north of the canal and bounded by Sunnybank and the railway. Owned by Mr. Peacock. An earlier house was nearer Sunnybank and had a pond off the canal. Canal in the grounds of both houses.

Westgate Road
South Norwood Sewage Farm. This was in what is now South Norwood Country Park in a space which would be adjacent to the south east comer of the road. Baldwin Latham designed tr19th sewage farm at South Norwood. South Norwood Irrigation Farm opened in 1865. The fields would lay wet for long periods of time and smelt very bad. . Despite this, the sewage farm was productive. Grass was sold as hay, as were mangold worzels for animal feed. Later improvements to the works included concrete channels, to direct sewage out and over the numerous fields, and later filter beds were built and the irrigation beds abandoned. By 1967 raw sewage treatment ceased at the site and it was no longer used

Celebrating South Norwood.  LB Croydon
Closed Pubs, Web site
Croydon Canal. Blog site
Friends of South Norwood Country Park. Web site
GLIAS Newsletter
Historic England. Web site
Industrial Archaeology Review
Jackson. London’s Local Railways
London Borough of Croydon. Web site.
London Railway Record.
Norwood Society. Web site
Pevsner. Surrey
Pevsner and Cherry. South London,  
Retracing Canals Croydon to Camberwell
Running Past. Blog
Tinsley. Web site
To Penge, 
What pub. Web sit


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