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Beulah Hill Pond Croydon

Beulah Hill Pond

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Beulah Hill Pond had long existed as a watering place for cattle and horses, such as those pulling trams up Knights Hill. A railing across the middle prevented animals straying into the deeper water. Locally known as the Big Pond or Crown Pond, the name Beulah dates from the C19th and may derive from Bewlys Farm and Bewly Wood. The pond came under the auspices of Croydon Parks Department in 1954 and in the early 1960s it was a favourite place for skating in the winter.
Previous / Other name: Big Pond, Crown Pond
Site location: Beulah Hill, Upper Norwood
Postcode: SE19 3HQ
Type of site: Public Open Land 
Date(s): 1954
Listed structures:
Borough: Croydon
Site ownership: LB Croydon
Site management: Parks and Open Spaces. North Croydon Landwatch; Beulah Hill Pond Group
Open to public? Yes
Opening times: visible from exterior, only open 10am-1pm Saturdays for maintenance
Special conditions:
Public transport: Rail: West Norwood then bus. Bus: 196, 249, 468, X68
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.

Fuller information:

Beulah Hill Pond is on a sloping site with mature trees including holly and cypress, laurel and other shrubs, and some rockery planting, with reed beds in summer. The pond came under the auspices of Croydon Parks Department in 1954, but had long existed as a watering place for horses and cattle, and locally has been known as the Big Pond and Crown Pond. In the mid C19th a pub called The Conquering Hero (shown on the 1870 OS) was built next to the pond at a time when the area was still largely undeveloped, apparently so-called in defiance of the high-class residents of Beulah Hill who were horrified that a pub was to be built here. To the north stood a large house called Grecian Villa, whose name is echoed by the nearby Grecian Crescent. In 1868 there was correspondence in the Croydon Chronicle about draining the pond and the convent nearby were worried about dirty water seeping onto the convent lands. Horses pulling horse-drawn trams up Knights Hill watered here. A railing across the middle prevented animals straying into the deeper water.

In the early 1960s it was a favourite place for skating in the winter, with barrows alongside selling baked potatoes and roast chestnuts, and ironmongers offering to put skates on for a few coppers. In 1962 the perimeter fencing was replaced by 6ft iron railings to prevent risk of accidents, particularly by children gaining access, and seating was supplied along the roadway in front, at a cost of 1506. It remains railed, with gates to the south. The name may come from Bewlys Farm and Bewly Wood, transforming into Beulah in the C19th. North Croydon Landwatch undertakes maintenance and conservation of Beulah Hill Pond, which has importance as a site for wildlife conservation with 3-spined sticklebacks, frogs, smooth newts, water fleas and diverse aquatic invertebrate fauna found here.

Sources consulted:

M A Winterman, 'Croydon's parks: an illustrated history' (LB Croydon, 1988); Alan Warwick, 'The Phoenix Suburb', Blue Boar Press, 1983, pp2-6; John Coulter, 'Norwood', Sutton, 2002, p42; J B Wilson, 'The Story of Norwood', LB Lambeth 1973, p48; Croydon Chronicle, 10 October 1868, p5; Croydon Council Minutes, May 1960-1961 p664; Deidre Clenet et al, 'Nature Conservation in Croydon'. London Ecology Unit, 1988, pp46-7; Croydon Advertiser, 14 May 1993, p5 and 23 February 2001, p14; LB Croydon, 'Local List of Historic Parks & Gardens', December 2008.

LPGT Volunteer Research by Kristina Taylor, 2006
Grid ref: TQ318706
Size in hectares: 0.61
On EH National Register : No
EH grade :
Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
Registered common or village green
on Commons Registration Act 1965:
Protected under London Squares
Preservation Act 1931:
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: Yes
In Conservation Area: No
Conservation Area name:
Tree Preservation Order: No
Nature Conservation Area: Yes - Borough Importance I
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: No
Other LA designation: Local Open Land

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