London Gardens Online
Record
London Gardens Online

SITE DETAILS

Fairfield Gardens Croydon

Summary

The Fair Field was the site for Croydon's annual fair from at least early Tudor times. The 'Great Fair' was an important cattle fair as well as an occasion for popular entertainment, although this was discontinued after 1868 when rioting took place. Despite local protest, the Croydon Board of Health sold the Fair Field to Brighton Railway Company. The ground was also used for gravel extraction, and later as a car park until the 1960s. Croydon College of Technology and the Fairfield Halls opened in 1962 and Fairfield Gardens were laid out as ornamental gardens and ponds over an underground car park, designed in the modernist geometric style that was gaining popularity.

Basic Details

Previous / Other name:
The Fair Field

Site location:
Park Lane, Croydon

Postcode:
CR9 1DG ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Public Gardens

Date(s):
1960-62

Designer(s):
Peter Youngman

Listed structures:
None

Borough:
Croydon

Site ownership:
LB Croydon

Site management:
Parks and Open Spaces

Open to public?
Yes

Opening times:
unrestricted

Special conditions:

Facilities:

Events:
Occasional open-air art shows

Public transport:
Rail: East Croydon.

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/12/2008
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.croydon.gov.uk

Further Information

Grid ref:
TQ326654

Size in hectares:
0.81

Green Flag:
No

On EH National Register :
No

EH grade:
None

Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
No

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:
No

Local Authority Data

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

Tree Preservation Order:
No

Nature Conservation Area:
No

Green Belt:
No

Metropolitan Open Land:
No

Special Policy Area:
No

Other LA designation:
Local Open Land. Part of AP2. Part of Proposals Site

Fuller information

The Fair Field was the site for Croydon's annual fair from at least early Tudor times when the Walnut Fair was held here. Croydon's 'Great Fair' was an important cattle fair as well as an occasion for popular entertainment, which included all manner of attractions from mummers, jugglers, tumblers, dancing bears and other attractions. However, this aspect of the fair ceased in 1868 when rioting took place, the entertainment having increasingly attracted 'undesirables'. The Ordnance Survey map 1st edition of 1870 shows the old Fairfield, and the annual Cattle Fair continued to be held here for some years. Despite local protest, the Croydon Board of Health sold the Fair Field to Brighton Railway Company for the new railway and the ground was also used for gravel extraction. The gravel pit was used as a car park until the 1960s when Croydon College of Technology and the Fairfield Halls were built, opened in 1962 by the Queen Mother.

Next to the college, Fairfield Gardens were laid out as ornamental gardens and ponds over an underground car park. The new gardens were designed by Peter Youngman in the modernist geometric style that was gaining popularity. Due to the shallow soil above the car park large trees could not be planted. In 1969 the first open-air art exhibition was staged here and in 1976 the first permanent sculptures were installed in the garden.

Sources consulted:

MA Winterman, Croydon's parks: an illustrated history (LB Croydon, 1988) p34/35

Page Top

Discover. Visit. Research. Explore.