Inventory Site Record

Ashburton Park (Croydon)

Brief Description

Ashburton Park is a municipal park created on the site of an C18th park; the original mansion was built in 1788 but was largely demolished in 1927. Croydon Corporation purchased the site in 1924 and it was first used as a putting green but this was abandoned after a decline in use and it was subsequently re-opened as a public park.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Byculla Park; Stroud Green House; Woodside Convent
Site location:
Lower Addiscombe Road/Spring Lane, Addiscombe
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Public Park
Open to public?
Opening times:
8am Mon-Fri/9am weekends - dusk
Special conditions:
Library. Toilets; car park in Tenterden Road; children’s playground; bowling green; tennis, netball and basketball courts, Petanque
Various including fairs and firework displays; Summer Show
Public transport:
Tramlink: Route 2/3 Woodside.
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.croydon.gov.uk

Full Site Description

Ashburton Park is a municipal park created on the site of an C18th park; the original mansion was built in 1788 and underwent several name changes over the years. From 1855 the estate was known as Byculla Park after a Bombay suburb and then between 1869-1878 the house was called Stroud Green House after nearby Stroud Green Common. At one time the owner was Henry Dorling, a horse racing celebrity; King James I is said to have established public horse racing in Croydon early in his reign and there was a race-course nearby on the area now covered by Ashburton Playing Fields and Stroud Green housing estate. In 1878 it was purchased by Revd Father Tooth, founder of the 'Community of the Paraclete', who erected the chapel buildings and opened Woodside Convent Orphanage in 1882 for sons of gentlemen under the care of six sisters of his Community. The remains of the convent chapel was later used as Ashburton public library but it is now vacant, adjacent to which is a mid C19th lodge formerly of Stroud Green House.

An article in The Times of 10 March 1921 provides an interesting account of life in the orphanage by a former inmate: 'I was at Woodside during the war from 1915 to 1918, and we boys had much to be thankful for during those years.Candidates were admitted who had lost one parent. The grounds at one time were stocked with over 4000 fruit trees, and during the scarce years of the war , fruit and vegetables were available to us in abundance. We were encouraged to learn to do things for ourselves, and our hobbies included felling, sawing and chopping the large trees in the grounds, grafting, pruning and tending the fruit trees, and collecting and storing the fruit.'

Croydon Corporation purchased the site in 1924 and the old house was largely demolished in 1927. The site was first used as a putting green but this was abandoned after a decline in use. The park was used for the annual Croydon Summer Show, which in its heyday ran over 2 days with events up until midnight, animal shows as well as flower, fruit and vegetable shows, illuminations and dancing. The park today is enclosed within late C20th iron railings with good wrought iron gates at the east corner of the park.

Sources consulted:

Cherry, B and Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England London 2: South (1983); Winterman, M A, Croydon's parks: an illustrated history (LB Croydon, 1988) p9/10; LB Croydon, 'Local List of Historic Parks & Gardens', December 2008. History of Woodside Convent and Orphanage on: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ian-s/1458661289/in/photostream/

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ346669 (534720,166948)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Croydon
Site management:
Parks and Open Spaces
Ashburton House 1788; Public Park since 1924
Listed structures:
Local List: Ashburton Park former chapel building
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:


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:
In Conservation Area:
Tree Preservation Order:
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:
Local Open Land, Green Corridor

Please note the Inventory and its content are provided for your general information only and are subject to change. It is your responsibility to check the accuracy.