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Addington Hills Croydon
   
Summary: Addington Hills is a large natural area that rises from Oaks Road up to a high plateau. The land was acquired in four stages over a period of some 45 years, Croydon Board of Health purchasing the first area in 1874 following a public meeting. The birch wood from Oaks Road to Coombe Lane was a gift from the late Frank Lloyd of Coombe Park Estate. When the pine woods in the south-east corner were added in 1919 it became the largest public open space in Croydon at the time. In 1963 the commemorative Viewing Platform was provided by Alderman Basil Monk.
Previous / Other name:
Site location: Coombe Lane/Oaks Road/Shirley Hill Road, Upper Shirley
Postcode: CR0 5HQ > Google Map
Type of site: Public Open Land
Date(s): 1874 - 1919
Designer(s):
Listed structures:
Borough: Croydon
Site ownership: LB Croydon
Site management: Parks and Open Spaces
Open to public? Yes
Opening times: unrestricted
Special conditions:
Facilities: toilets, horse rides, trim trail
Events:
Public transport: Tram: route 3.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/06/2005
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.croydon.gov.uk

Fuller information:

Addington Hills is a large natural area that rises from Oaks Road up to a plateau 460 feet above sea level. The land was acquired in four stages over a period of 45 years. In 1874 the Croydon Board of Health purchased the first area following a public meeting, the lower part towards Shirley was added in 1903, the Birch wood from Oaks Road to Coombe Lane was a gift from the late Frank Lloyd of Coombe Park Estate (after whom Lloyd Park was named), and finally the pine woods in the south east corner were added in 1919 making it the largest public open space in Croydon at the time.

Addington Hills is on a plateau of Blackheath Pebbles which has been colonized by heather with scattered groups of pines and mixed plantations. The north west side of the plateau has been broken into by a number of steep valleys which are covered with Birch to the west and Oak to the east. Below the Blackheath Pebbles an outcrop of less impervious Woolwich Beds was marked by a line of springs although these have now disappeared possibly due to a lowering of the water table.

The seasonal changes of the colourful heather, birch, oak and pine and the variety of birds and other wildlife as well as the bracing situation on top of the plateau, attract visitors to the area at all times of the year. In 1963 a Viewing Platform of granite construction was provided by Alderman Basil Monk as a permanent commemoration of Croydon's Millenary. The platform, which is north west of the restaurant, is situated at the top of steeply sloping ground and provides extensive views over Croydon. A low wall around the platform is engraved with directional lines and inscriptions indicating the main view points, which include Shooters Hill, Epping Forest, Fulham, the Town Hall and skyscrapers of Croydon and on a clear day the towers of Windsor Castle. Addington Reservoir on the southern side of the Hills is the only area that is fenced off and not open to the public. The reservoir was built in 1888 and the Valve House was initially open to the public with refreshments being served from the ground floor and a residence above.

Unfortunately an outbreak of Typhoid in 1937 was traced to the reservoir and the cafe was quickly closed and the area fenced off. Below the reservoir on the Coombe Road frontage was once Broadcombe Cottage which was part of the Coombe Park Estate. Broadcombe was the old name for the tract of land alongside Oaks Road and at the foot of Addington Hills. Also in this vicinity was the Lamb Inn, which according to tradition was the site of a fierce affray between smugglers and revenue officers.

Sources consulted:

Winterman, M A, Croydon's parks: an illustrated history (LB Croydon, 1988);
Grid ref: TQ354642
Size in hectares: 52.62
   
On EH National Register : No
EH grade:
Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
Registered common or village green
on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No
Protected under London Squares
Preservation Act 1931:
No
 
The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
On Local List: No
In Conservation Area: No
Conservation Area name:
Tree Preservation Order: No
Nature Conservation Area: Yes - Metropolitan Importance
Green Belt: Yes
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: Yes - Archaeological Priority Zone (part)
Other LA designation:
   

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