Coordinates: 51°19′16″N 0°08′19″W / 51.3211°N 0.1386°W / 51.3211; -0.1386

Coulsdon in 1983.jpg
Coulsdon in 1983
Coulsdon is located in Greater London

 Coulsdon shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ298596
London borough Croydon
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town COULSDON
Postcode district CR5
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Croydon South
London Assembly Croydon and Sutton
List of places: UK • England • London

Coulsdon (pronounced /ˈkuːlzdən/ by the majority of its inhabitants now, although well into the 20th century the local pronunciation was 'Colesdon') is a town on the southernmost boundary of the London Borough of Croydon. It is surrounded by the Metropolitan Green Belt of the Farthing Down, Coulsdon Common and Kenley Common. The modern area designated Coulsdon comprises Old Coulsdon, which was the older and first settlement, and Smitham Bottom, which grew substantially with the coming of the railways.



Coulsdon is a small suburban district in South London, England. It has a strong and vibrant local history, which includes Saxon burial mounds and an Iron Age Field System on Farthing Downs,[1] an ancient church recorded in the Domesday book, Marlpit, a former industrial chalk quarry, and the former Cane Hill Mental Hospital (a site currently under development). Appearing in the Domesday Book as Colesdone it boasted one church and rendered £7[2] to Chertsey Abbey. Its only other Domesday assets were 3½ hide, 7 ploughs, and woodland worth 3 hogs.

Prior to Domesday, the village's name appears to have gone through a number of changes. Originally it seems to have derived from Cuðrædsdun, i.e. Cuthred's down (or hill), via Curedesdone (675), subsequently elided to Curresdone and Cullesdune.[3]

The town later lay within the Anglo-Saxon administrative division of Wallington hundred, but is now firmly established as a locality in its own right. Indeed, Coulsdon now covers a multitude of geographical settlements - from Old Coulsdon, through Coulsdon Woods, the High Street (Brighton Road), properly Smitham Bottom, to the Mount (Clockhouse).

Coulsdon and Purley have a local history society called The Bourne Society. This takes its name from the seasonal bourne stream that runs in wet winters in the district.

Formerly within the administrative county of Surrey, as part of the Urban District of Coulsdon and Purley, boundary changes, London Government Act 1963, meant that in 1965 it became part of the Greater London Borough of Croydon. Coulsdon remains postally as 'Surrey'.

The area between Smitham and Old Coulsdon was filled by housing development in the later 19th and especially the 20th centuries. The two centres still, however, have separate characters, with the village green, parade of shops and mediaeval church giving a 'village' feel to Old Coulsdon, while the Brighton Road and the railway give the old Smitham Bottom a bustling, busier atmosphere.

Coulsdon has recently benefited from the long awaited bypass, a relief road called the Farthing Way, which opened in December 2006 as part of The Coulsdon Town Centre Improvement Scheme. Whilst mourning the loss of Woolworth's and the local bookstore in recent years, the pub The Pembroke and Café Nero opened in the past few years. Coulsdon also contains the head office of Jane's Information Group. Tesco have opened an 'Express' branch in the old Woolworths store.

Around Coulsdon are attractive and important open spaces, largely chalk downland which is on the northern edge of the North Downs. Farthing Down and Happy Valley are owned by the City of London Corporation and are popular with walkers. The London LOOP footpath around London passes through on the route between Hamsey Green and Banstead. The Coulsdon section was the first of the 24 to be opened.

Places of Religious interest

Places of worship in Coulsdon include:

  • St Mary and St Shenouda, a Coptic Orthodox church,
  • St Andrew's Anglican church[1],
  • St Aidan's Roman Catholic church [2],
  • The Brighton Road Methodist church,
  • CCF, Coulsdon Christian Felowship [3],
  • a Messianic Synagogue,
  • St John's Anglican church (Old Coulsdon),[4]
  • St Mary's Roman Catholic church (Old Coulsdon),[5]
  • Old Coulsdon Congregational Church (Old Coulsdon).[6]
  • Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses


Purley John Fisher Rugby Football Club[7] in the splendidly named Parsons Pightle in Old Coulsdon. Coulsdon United Football Club participate in the Combined Counties League Division One. Chipstead Rugby CLub [8] play locally at The Meads, Chipstead, offering mini, youth, adult social and adult league rugby.

Old Coulsdon once boasted one of the oldest cricket clubs in the world – founded in 1762. Old Coulsdon were one of the strongest teams in the country in the late 18th century / early 19th century and once boasted 8 Internationals (England) in their ranks, as well as a young Stuart Surridge. The club was quite possibly the first to use three stumps and two bails and frequently played matches on the most famous early Cricket grounds such as Mitcham, and later in Grange Park in the village. In 1995 falling player numbers forced the club to merge with the nearby Redhill Cricket Club and the newly formed club still exists to this day, playing at the Ring on Earlswood Common in Redhill as Redhill & Old Coulsdon Cricket Club.

The Coulsdon Martial Arts Club (also known as Yoshin Ryu) is long established and very popular with children and adults. Founded and led by Errol Field, 6th dan Judo, 4rd dan Karate, 6th dan Ju Jitsu.

Old Coulsdon Hash House Harriers [4] combine fitness with a post-run pub drink.

An eighteen hole golf course is available in the grounds of Coulsdon Manor Hotel [5]. Green bowls is available next door [9]!

There are several public parks which host a range of sporting activities. The Memorial Gardens has an adventure park, crazy golf, basketball, tennis, cricket and, in the summer, 'beach games' and events organised by the café. Grange Park (Old Coulsdon) has a playground, football pitches and is widely used for picnics. Rickman Hill Park hosts football, and has a children's playground, and tennis courts that (2009) are being refurbished.

Ten pin bowling,[10] Fitness First [11] and Fight Factory [6] are to be found in the locality, near Reedham rail station.

Walking, and horse riding are popular activities on the downs. And, of course, Coulsdon is a key vantage point from which to witness any of the London-Brighton rallies; .


Nearest places

Nearby stations

Smitham railway station on 3 June 2006 during construction of the Coulsdon Town Centre Improvement Scheme

The railway stations in the Coulsdon area are:

There was previously a station at Coulsdon North, adjacent to Smitham station.

See also


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Coulsdon Manor Hotel London (London) — Coulsdon Manor Hotel London country: United Kingdom, city: London (Croydon) Coulsdon Manor Hotel London The Coulsdon Manor Hotel has an enviable location, set in acres of beautiful parkland, with a large part of it is laid down as a challenging… …   International hotels

  • Coulsdon Cricket Club — was based at Coulsdon, Surrey, and was briefly a major cricket team. The club is believed to have been formed in the early 1760s and it had for a time a great rivalry with Chertsey Cricket Club. Major cricket Coulsdon is first recorded as a… …   Wikipedia

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