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Coulsdon Manor and Golf Club Croydon

Coulsdon Manor and Golf Club

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Coulsdon Court, now a hotel known as Coulsdon Manor, was built in 1850 by 'Squire' Thomas Byron, who had gardens laid out by the house, divided from the parkland by a ha-ha. Walled kitchen gardens provided food and a grove of trees was planted to the north-east. His son Edmund inherited in 1862 and lived here until 1921. The next owners, the Cearn family, had the golf course built, later leased to Croydon Council as a public course. In 1981 the Council bought the house and surrounding golf course, and it was leased to hoteliers. A fitness club and tennis courts are now on the site of the kitchen gardens but remnants of its old walls exist, as do other earlier features such as part of the ha-ha and numerous mature trees.
Previous / Other name: Coulsdon Court Estate
Site location: Coulsdon Court Road, Old Coulsdon
Postcode: CR5 2LL
Type of site: Private Open Land 
Date(s): 1850; 1920s (golf course)
Designer(s): Harry S Colt (golf course)
Listed structures:
Borough: Croydon
Site ownership: LB Croydon, leased to Oxford Hotels and Inns Group
Site management: Oxford Hotels and Inns Group
Open to public? No
Opening times: Hotel guests, golfers only
Special conditions:
Public transport: Rail: Smitham, Coulsdon South then bus.
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:

Coulsdon Court, now a hotel and known as Coulsdon Manor, was built in 1850 by 'Squire' Thomas Byron on the site of The Old Hartley Farm, first mentioned in the Court Roll for 1425 as Hartlees. Coulsdon Court became the home of the Byron family home when they moved from their previous residence, The Grange in Old Coulsdon. To keep the public at a distance Thomas Bryon had another road constructed in 1854, then known as 'Byrons New Road, now Hartley Down. In order to ensure Coulsdon Court was not overlooked he by-passed and created a drive at the head of Hartley Old Road. The house had a ha-ha dividing it from the animals grazing on the parkland, and gardens were laid out by the house with a circular pond. There were also walled kitchen gardens which provided food for the house including figs, grapes, apricots, quince and walnuts. An area of trees, marked as The Grove on the map dated 1868, were planted to the north-east of the house.

Edmund Byron inherited Coulsdon Court in 1862 when his father Thomas died and was the Squire for 58 years. He was a keen huntsman and Coulsdon Court was the venue for many shooting parties. To protect his privacy it is said that he had trees planted along the western skyline to obscure the new Cane Hill Sanatorium in 1882. Edmund employed a butler, footman, cook, two maids, a groom, three gardeners and three game keepers. He died in 1921 and was buried at St John the Evangelist, Old Coulsdon (q.v.). The estate was then sold to the developer Charles Cearn. The Cearns commissioned Harry S Colt to design a golf course next to Coulsdon Court. Colt was a famous golf course architect and known for his designs of short holes; his design principle was that the golf course must blend in with and not be imposed on its environment. The golf course was leased to Croydon Council in the 1930s on the proviso that it was always kept as a public course. The Coulsdon Court Golf Course was formed in 1938. Some of the holes have inevitably been altered from the original golf course design and additional tree planting has taken place with losses of other trees occurring since the golf course was first laid out.

In 1981 Croydon Council bought the house and surrounding golf course, and then leased it to hoteliers. The original house has been extensively extended, but the original flint walled ha-ha, partly rebuilt, remains to the south of the house, now with a timber pedestrian bridge. A fitness club and tennis courts are laid out on the site of the former kitchen gardens. There is one original boundary wall to the north and east corner of the tennis courts, partly rebuilt in places, which has a fig tree next to it that may have been part of the original planting of the kitchen gardens. There is also a terrace of four Council-owned houses close to the tennis courts with one part of the original gardenís flint wall, 2.5m high, remaining to the west and forming the boundary between the golf course and the houses. The ornamental gardens to the north east of the original house are now car park areas for the golf club, fitness centre and hotel.

There are mature trees, Cedars, Wellingtonia, Beech, Oak, Chestnut, Pines and Firs, which were part of the original tree planting, to the east of the hotel buildings, and to the north east, which once formed the Grove and now lie within the golf course.

Sources consulted:

LB Croydon Local List of Historic Parks and Gardens, December 2008
Grid ref: TQ308592
Size in hectares: c.56
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: Not known
Nature Conservation Area: Yes - Borough Imp (Coulsdon Court Woods)
Green Belt: Yes
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: No
Other LA designation:

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