A Selsdon & Sanderstead Walk

Route & what to see


Sanderstead was a farming community which still retains some historical buildings. At the beginning of the 19th century Selsdon Farm was converted to a country house and the farm moved to Addington Road. Much of the area was redeveloped by Costains between the wars. There are a number of green spaces open to the public including parks, woods and gardens. This walk is based on the Woodland Ramble published by Croydon Parks Department. It is attractive in May when there are bluebells in the woods and rhododendrons and azaleas at Heathfield. As sections of the walk are off-road a map is recommended.

A 6 mile walk beginning at Purley Oaks or Sanderstead Station and finishing at the Coombe Lane Tramstop (services from & to East Croydon). The terrain is varied, there are some uphill sections and the woods can be muddy. There are cafes and a Wetherspoons pub in Addington Road, Selsdon.
Note: More information is available on featues in UPPER CASE on the
additional information page.

From Purley Oaks Station (down side) go along Purley Oaks Road to just past the hall of St Mary's Church.

From Sanderstead Station (down side) go right at Mayfield Road and cross Sanderstead Road into St Mary's Road. At the end go left along Purley Oaks Road to just past the hall of St Mary's Church.

Go into the WETTERN TREE GARDEN on the right. Have a look around the garden and exit above the lawn terrace into Purley Beeches.
This area was purchased in 1907 for 5400. Replacement trees have been planted for those lost in the storm of October 1987.

Follow the path uphill then turn left along the main path. Just before the open area take the path off to the right (back through the woods). At the top of the wood go left and exit, taking the path between the houses of Tinsdale Close into Purley Downs Road. Go left along this road.
Golf was first played here in the 1890s amongst the sheep. A wooden clubhouse was replaced in 1903. Opposite are some large houses.

At the end of the road go right along Sanderstead Hill taking the raised path on the right hand side.
Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged, lived here.

At the end cross Sanderstead Hill and go around the roundabout into Addington Road. Cross to the church
All Saints was built in 1230 with the tower added in 1310. It has the original door of double oak planks, early 14th century wall paintings (restored in 1976) and a number of memorials. The clock was presented by George Smith of Selsdon House in 1844. The roof, originally wooden shingles, was lost in WWII. Behind the church Selsdon Park Golf Club uses the former stables of Selsdon Court as a clubhouse. The house itself was demolished in 1958.

Go through the churchyard (away from the church) and across to the pond.
This was dug to serve passers-by and livestock. As it depends on rainwater it needs constant maintenance.

Bear left across the grass (known as the 'Gruffy') and continue along Limpsfield Road.
This road passes old buildings of SANDERSTEAD

Opposite the Methodist Church go left into Sanderstead Court Avenue. Bear right into Lime Meadow Avenue. At the end go right into Kings Wood.
This area had been laid out for shooting in the 1870s with wide rides and a keeper's cottage. It was purchased in 1937 and much of the best timber was used by the army in WWII.

Where there is a long avenue to the left take this and follow this through into Kingswood Way.
To the left a Romano-British settlement was discovered.

Go left along Kingswood Way crossing Kersey Drive. At the end go left along Old Farleigh Road.
This road which originally led to Selsdon Farm was moved to the east when Selsdon Park was built in 1809 on the site of the 15th century farmhouse by William Coles. It was purchased soon after by George Smith a banker and director of the East India Company who altered and enlarged it. It was converted to a hotel in 1925 and the golf course was opened in 1929. The Flint Cottage (known as 'Cosy Corner') was one of the estate lodges and there are remains of stable buildings along Old Farleigh Road. At the top of the road the new Sainsburys development includes a new library for Selsdon.

At the traffic lights go right along Addington Road.
This area was developed by Costain between the wars when Selsdon Garage was also built and the road widened. Selsdon Park Farm was relocated here (on a site now occupied by a supermarket) in 1809. Selsdon Crescent opposite was a small orchard and Cowley Close a farm track. Numbers 240-2 are the only remaining farm workers cottages.

Go left into Foxearth Road and follow this around to the left. Opposite the Spinney go right into Littleheath Wood and take the path to the right.
The wood is a 64 acre group of former woods used for game shooting which was purchased in 1932. Its sandy soil suits badgers. There are some Croydon boundary markers of 1928.

Continue towards the water tower and go to the left of this. Follow the path down into the open area ('Fallen Oak Field'). Bear across to the right going up to join the London Loop. Follow the signs for this into Bramley Bank.
This area is managed by the London Wildlife Trust.

The Loop takes the upper path or alternatively the path off to the left goes to a pond. From the pond the path goes up to exit the wood with the Loop route. Follow the Loop signs into HEATHFIELD. These will take you through this park or you may prefer to explore. Exit at the lodge into Coombe Lane.
This was one of three lodges built by Henry Goschen

Cross and follow the signs left to the Tramstop.

london-footprints.co.uk 2004

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