Inventory Site Record

South Norwood Recreation Ground (Croydon)

Brief Description

South Norwood Recreation Ground is on a site purchased by Croydon Corporation in 1889, and its facilities included a bandstand, refreshment kiosk, drinking fountain, various sports pitches and a pavilion with changing rooms. A paddling pool and playground were provided in memory of journalist Mr Hall, and the annual village fair attracted crowds. In 1932 Croydon Council purchased adjacent land, some used for allotments until 1949. Today the layout is greatly simplified and there are no longer flower displays but some of the original trees remain.

Practical Information
Site location:
Tennison Road/Cargreen Road/Selhurst Road, South Norwood
SE25 5RZ
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Public Park
Open to public?
Opening times:
8am Mon-Fri/9am weekends - dusk
Special conditions:
clean after your dog
Children's playground, sports ground, football pitches, tennis court, toilets.
Public transport:
Rail/London Overground: Norwood Junction. Bus: 75, 157, 410
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 Recreation Ground is a traditional Victorian park, laid out on a site purchased by Croydon Corporation in 1889. The cost to lay it out was estimated by the Borough Road Surveyor as £1,326 19s 6d, over a quarter of which was to put land drainage, which suggests that the site was quite wet. It was laid out with sports facilities including cricket, football and hockey pitches, 2 grass netball pitches and a pavilion with changing rooms. A children's playground and paddling pool were donated by Mrs A C Hall in memory of her husband, a journalist. A refreshment kiosk and Victorian drinking fountain were located near the children's playground. Annual village fairs were held here, attracting large numbers of people.

In 1932 Croydon Council purchased 1.5 acres next to the recreation ground, some of which was used for allotments until 1949. Allotment gardens in the south and west were incorporated into the park after WWII following complaints about overcrowding on the ground in 1949/50. It is next to St Coloma School, and has ornamental gates at the Selhurst Road entrance, the gate piers rebuilt in the late 1980s. It formerly had a bandstand, now no longer in place. The old boundary trees remain with 2 mature plane trees at the entrance; to west and east are other original trees including two willows and the north/south and east/west paths are lined with trees from the original layout. However there are no longer floral displays and the layout is greatly simplified. A children's playground is in the south-west corner, with yew and four pine trees. A line of trees shows the old west boundary and along the south boundary is the railway. The bowling green is neglected and overgrown.

Sources consulted:

MA Winterman, 'Croydon's parks: an illustrated history' (LB Croydon, 1988) p97; W C Berwick Sayers, 'The Parks and Pleasure Grounds of Croydon', Croydon Council, 1938; Croydon Council Minutes November 1931-2 and 1949-50; LB Croydon, 'Local List of Historic Parks & Gardens', December 2008.

LPGT Volunteer Research by Kristina Taylor, 2006

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ338679 (533793,168008)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Croydon
Site management:
Parks and Open Spaces
Borough Road Surveyor
Listed structures:
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.