Inventory Site Record

South Norwood Country Park (Croydon)

Brief Description

South Norwood Country Park was created in 1987 on land in the north east of the borough, originally used for agriculture as well as pottery and brickworks. Old maps show there may have been an C18th moated site near the open stream. From 1862 it became Croydon Corporation's sewage farm, with land acquired in a piecemeal fashion until as late as 1951. The sewage works closed in 1967 and the filter beds were dismantled to ground level. The new Country Park sought to preserve the wetlands and developed new meadowlands on areas that had previously been tipped.

Practical Information
Site location:
Albert Road, South Norwood
SE25 4BH
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Public Park
Open to public?
Opening times:
unrestricted. For opening times for pitch & putt see website
Special conditions:
Children's playground, pitch & putt, visitors centre, designated cycle path, toilets, car park
Public transport:
Rail: Elmers End. Tramlink Route 2: Harrington Road
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

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

Full Site Description

South Norwood Country Park was created in 1987 on land previously undeveloped in the north-east of the borough, originally used for agriculture as well as pottery and brickworks, with extensive quarrying carried out, later backfilled. It was the site of the Croydon Local Board of Health 'Irrigation' or sewage farm from 1862 onwards, with land acquired in a piecemeal fashion from then on until as late as 1951. An 1873 plan of the 'Irrigation Farm, South Norwood' shows the bulk of the land at that time was owned by two bodies: Cholmeley's Trustees and Dr Shorthouse's Trustees, with a small portion in the freehold of the Corporation of Croydon. The sewage works closed in 1967 and the filter beds were dismantled to ground level, the south western end of the site extensively tipped with rubbish and waste from highways.

Old plans of the area show a double-moated site near the open stream, clearly marked as La Motes on the Estate Map of Thomas Morley of 1736 and a later map of 1836, which may have been an C18th ornamental feature. Some excavation was undertaken in 1972 by the Croydon Natural History and Scientific Society. The highest point on South Norwood Country Park is a viewpoint formed from an artificial mound created from hardcore tipping from war-time demolition; this was landscaped in 1988 when the development of the country park commenced. Two streams run through the park. The park preserved the wetland habitat of the former Sewage Farm and new meadowlands have been developed on previously tipped areas. The active Friends Group works closely with the Park Wardens; projects include work on Chaffinch Brook, a wildlife garden, a tree nursery, and access improvements especially for people with disabilities. A new children's playground was provided in late 2008.

Sources consulted:

Winterman, M A, Croydon's parks: an illustrated history (LB Croydon, 1988)

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ350681 (535068,168164)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Croydon
Site management:
Parks and Open Spaces. Friends of South Norwood Country Park
Mary Ann Winterman
Listed structures:
SAM: moated site
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:
Not known
Nature Conservation Area:
Yes - Metropolitan Importance
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Yes - Archaeological Priority Zone (small part)
Other LA designation:
Local Nature Reserve; Archaeological Site of National Importance (small area in north east)

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.