A Norwood Pub Walk

Route & what to see


A circular walk from the bus station at the southern end of Crystal Palace Parade. Gipsy Hill Station is just off the route - walk to the right up the hill to join the walk where indicated in the text. When Westow Park is closed stay on Church Road to the junction then continue along Westow Street.

From the bus station go left to the road junction
This was the site of the Vicar's Oak until about 1825 which served as a boundary marker. It is still the point where the boroughs of Croydon, Bromley, Lambeth and Southwark meet. THE PALACE (1) pub stands on the site of the war-damaged Royal Crystal Palace Hotel.

Cross to WESTOW HOUSE (2)
This was formerly the White Swan pub. On the opposite corner is the CAMBRIDGE (3) of 1880 with decorative glazed tiles.

Go along Westow Hill
The offices (previously a Nat West Bank) next to the pub have a plaque to the artist Camille Pissarro. Plumbase was built as Burton's Tailors in Art Deco style. Joannas is on the site of the old Woodman pub (built c1800) with an adjacent cobbled lane that would have led to stables. Beyond this numbers 34-40 are pre-1850 cottages converted to shops. At Beardall Street there are views towards London. The library of 1899 is situated on the corner of this road.

Opposite this road go into the cobbled lane alongside the ROYAL ALBERT(4) pub built in the 1930s.
This was the site of an early 19th century windmill and Mill Cottages, demolished in 1980. Beyond was an area of cottages and workshops known as the Paddock - now developed with housing.

Beyond the barrier go left then right through the estate and then right as signposted into Carberry Road
At the end are former dairy premises.

At the end go left along Westow Street
The former post office building is now a restaurant and the adjacent sorting office has been converted to a Wetherspoons pub THE POSTAL ORDER (5). The Norwood Heights complex was built on the site of Barker's Piano Store & factory and a Salvation Army citadel. The 'Picture Palace' has a well-preserved attractive frontage. The Presbyterian Church of 1878 has now become a Greek Orthodox church dedicated to St Helen & St Constantine. Number 71 was formerly a meeting hall, part of the original White Hart built around 1800.

Go around to the left into Church Road
The present WHITE HART (6) was built in 1868 by Sextus Dyball in a Tyrolean style. The original was a wooden building with a tea garden opposite entered through the jaw bone of a whale. From this road you can view the weatherboarded rear of the Meeting Hall. Opposite is THE ALMA (7).

Return to the junction and go left into Belvedere Road
There is a row of former almshouses on the left.

Go right along Tudor Road and right at Fox Hill
This was a track leading to Fox Farm which still stood in 1827. Pissarro painted a picture of Fox Hill that is in the National Gallery.

This road comes out opposite Westow Park.
This was enlarged in 1970 with addition of the grounds of two large houses and part of a former pre-fab estate.

Go right along Church Road then into the park on the left (see note above). At the bottom of the hill go left and follow the path around to the right (signposted as the Capital Ring). Cut across towards the green-roofed building and exit the park via the tarmac roadway into Bedwardine Road. Go right along this road.
Gatestone Road to the left has some houses with stone facades.

At the top go left and then right through Haynes Lane to Westow Street.
Opposite is the Foresters Hall with a prominent clock, at one time used as one of Croydon's Crown Courts.

Go left along Westow Street
The Hollybush Stores were originally 3 Victorian cottages. There are other early shops in this street but some were demolished to provide an entrance to Ovett Close. On the corner is the late Victorian HOLLYBUSH (8) pub.

Cross at the lights and continue along Gipsy Hill
After the nave of Christ Church (built in 1866) burnt down in 1982 the congregation moved to a purpose-built church next door. The remaining 120' tower was converted to a four bedroomed house in 1996 retaining some original stained glass and with views across to Hackney.

Go right at Cawnpore Street
NOTE: This is where you join the route from Gipsy Hill Station
There is an attractive Arts & Crafts style building on the corner site. A former dairy is now used by Auto Clinic. Opposite is the RAILWAY BELL (9) pub.

At the end go right along Woodland Road. Past number 82 go through Jasper Passage to the left, right into Jasper Road then first left to join Farquhar Road. Go right along this road.
This runs alongside the former track of the London, Chatham & Dover (High Level) railway, built to serve the Crystal Palace. It was closed in 1954 and the site has since been developed with housing. As the road turns to the left the grand station building by E M Barry would have been situated on the left. To the right the turntable area, now used for parking, is still visable.

Cross over to the bus station.

london-footprints.co.uk 2008