Inventory Site Record

Wettern Tree Garden

Wettern Tree Garden (Croydon)

Brief Description

Wettern Tree Garden was laid out from 1919 on by Eric Frank Wettern, whose family had moved to Sanderstead in the 1900s. He and his brother Herbert built houses and later purchased land to create gardens. Eric's garden at Roselands was a series of themed gardens, with specimen and rare trees grown from seed collected during business trips, and Herbert created a rose garden. A lifelong member of the RHS, Eric was a member and later President of the Sanderstead Horticultural Society, which in 1953 held its Summer Show in his garden at Roselands. When he conveyed his garden to Croydon Corporation for the benefit of the public in 1965 the name was changed to Wettern Tree Garden. The gardens now also include the Rose Trellis Garden created in 1967 and a Millennium Gazebo in 2000.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Site location:
Purley Oaks Road, Sanderstead
Type of site:
Public Gardens
Open to public?
Opening times:
8am Mon-Fri/9am weekends - dusk
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Rail: Sanderstead, Purley Oaks. Bus: 403

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.

Full Site Description

Wettern Tree Garden is a plantsman's garden and arboretum, and was laid out from 1919 onwards by Eric Frank Wettern, who later conveyed it to Croydon Corporation in 1965 by way of a Gift to Trustees for the benefit of the public. The name of the garden was changed from Roselands to Wettern Tree Garden when it was transferred to Croydon Corporation. As one of the Trustees Mr Wettern was able to maintain a keen interest in the gardens. The Wettern family were ship brokers and importers, and had moved to Sanderstead in the 1900s where the 2 elder brothers built houses. The firm of Wettern Brothers Ltd expanded into builders' merchants, pre-cast concrete manufacture and sand quarrying, and the head office moved to Croydon in 1940. Eric, the youngest of the 3 brothers, had purchased land in Purley Oaks Road to create a garden, which he began to develop after serving in WWI. In his garden at Roselands Eric Wettern planted many rare trees grown from seeds that he collected during business trips abroad; he created a series of themed gardens, built a summerhouse and collected specimen trees on his travels. His brother Herbert created a rose garden. Eric Wettern was a lifelong member of the Royal Horticultural Society and a member of the Sanderstead Horticultural Society, which was formed in 1941 and affiliated to the RHS in 1942. In 1954 Wettern was President of the Sanderstead Horticultural Society and the Summer Show the previous year was held in his garden at Roselands. When he presented his garden to Croydon Corporation he stipulated that the Society should be able to hold its annual show there if it so wished. Wettern was among the group of supporters who purchased land belonging to Purley Farm to add to Purley Beeches (q.v.) and save it from development in the 1930s.

Wettern Tree Garden now comprises a series of different enclosed gardens, terraced lawns, and a collection of many fine specimen trees, chiefly conifers, some of which are rare and unusual. The gardens include the Delphinium Border and the Rose Trellis Garden, which was built in 1967. A footpath leads from Wettern Tree Garden to Purley Beeches, which contains many large beech trees. Replacement trees have been planted following losses in the storms of October 1987. An ornamental concrete seat made by Mono Concrete Company that was once in the gardens has since been moved to Coombe Wood (q.v.). A Gazebo was erected in the gardens in 2000 to celebrate the Millennium along with new planting of the rose garden.

Sources consulted:

M A Winterman, Croydon's parks: an illustrated history (LB Croydon, 1988) p113; Joy Gadsby (ed.), Village Histories: 3 Sanderstead (The Bourne Society), 1998; LB Croydon, 'Local List of Historic Parks & Gardens', December 2008

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ328622 (532870,162244)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Croydon
Site management:
Parks and Open Spaces
Eric Wettern
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:
Yes - Archaeological Prioirty Zone (part by Beeches Avenue)
Other LA designation:
Local Open Land. Part in AP2

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