Tram on Addiscombe Road
Addiscombe shown within Greater London
|OS grid reference|
|- Charing Cross||9.1 mi (14.6 km) NNW|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Croydon Central|
|London Assembly||Croydon and Sutton|
It is situated just to the northeast of central Croydon, and is home to a high proportion of people who commute to Central London, owing to its proximity to the busy East Croydon railway station and Tramlink, linking Addiscombe with other parts of Croydon and Wimbledon, as well as extensive bus routes into Central Croydon and surrounding areas.
Three hundred years ago Addiscombe was a rural area. Its main industries were farming and brick-making. Clay deposits at Woodside provided the raw materials for the latter.
In 1702, 'Addiscombe Place' was built to John Vanbrugh's design. He was best known for Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard and was a prime exponent of the English Baroque style. The house was built on a site which is now the corner of Outram Road and Mulberry Lane. It replaced a fine Elizabethan mansion. Which was once the seat of Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool.
Sir John Evelyn recorded in his Diary "I went to Adscomb on 11 July 1703 to see my son-in-law’s new house. It has excellent brickwork and Portland stone features, that I pronounced it good solid architecture, and one of the very best gentlemen's houses in Surrey." Distinguished guests who stayed at the mansion include George III, William Pitt[disambiguation needed] and Peter the Great of Russia. Peter the Great was reputed to have planted a cedar tree in Mulberry Lane to record his visit.
This was one of three great houses which once stood in the area, the others being 'Ashburton House' (see later notes) and 'Stroud Green House'.
In 1809, Emelius Ratcliffe sold Addiscombe Place to the British East India Company, whereupon it became a military academy - the Addiscombe Military Seminary. The company dealt in the importation of tea, coffee, silk, cotton and spices, and maintained its own private army. The officers of this army were trained at Addiscombe before setting off for India. In 1858, after the Indian Rebellion of 1857 (also called the First War of Indian Independence), the British East India Company went out of existence.
The college closed in 1861 and was sold to developers in 1863 for £33,600. They razed it to the ground with dynamite. All that is left are the two buildings 'Ashleigh' and 'India' on the corner of Clyde Road/Addiscombe Road and the former gymnasium on Havelock Road, now private apartments.
Five parallel roads were laid out, to the south of the former college site – Outram, Havelock, Elgin, Clyde and Canning Roads. They were all named after individuals who were prominent in either the military or civil governance of British India.
- Lt General Sir James Outram, 1st Baronet Outram
- Major General Henry Havelock
- James Bruce, 8th_Earl of Elgin - Viceroy of India 1861-1863
- Field Marshal Colin Campbell, 1st Baron Clyde
- Charles Canning, 1st Earl Canning - Governor General of India 1856-1862 and first Viceroy 1858-1862
In addition many roads in the vicinity haves names of similar relevance. Nearby Nicholson Road was presumably named after Brigadier General John Nicholson, who played a prominent part in the storming of Delhi. Grant Road is probably named after General Sir James Hope Grant who commanded a cavalry division at the relief of Lucknow, but a Private P Grant and a Sergeant R Grant both won VCs in the mutiny, as did a Lieutenant C Grant, so further research is needed. Inglis Road is almost certainly named after Colonel John Inglis who played a major part in the relief of Lucknow, as did James Outram and Henry Havelock. Hastings Road and its neighbour Warren Road are named after Warren Hastings the first Governor-General of India. Academy Gardens commemorates the Academy itself.
In 1870, the church of St Paul’s (built by E. Buckton Lamb) was opened and then rededicated in 1874 to St Mary Magdalene.
The parish of Addiscombe was formed in 1879. Literary figures such as Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Thomas Carlyle and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow were entertained by Lady Ashburton at Ashburton House. This was later demolished in 1910. The site of Ashburton School (Oasis Academy), was once a race course  Woodside Rail station, had sloped exits and high gateways to allow horses to arrive. It even having its own "bay" platform. - now a tramlink stop, Woodside tram stop.
The area today
Since early 2006 several parts of Addiscombe have been in the process of extensive regeneration, notably the addition of housing to the site of the former Black Horse Pub (which is thought by some to be the oldest site of a pub in the borough) and the demolition of former Church Halls and a small garden centre in Bingham Road allowing a new Church Hall and community complex to be built and provide luxury retirement apartments on adjoining land. The old Bingham Road railway station along with two low height railway bridges were demolished several years ago and has subsequently made way for the new tramlink line with Addiscombe Tram Stop. The former rail station achieved fame in the opening scenes of the 1960 Tony Hancock film "The Rebel". The addition of Addiscombe Railway Park along the site of Addiscombe terminus station and the Addiscombe Line disused railway line close by Blackhorse Lane tram stop, Morland Road and Lower Addiscombe Road will further regenerate the area. Regretably three former railway bridges have been declared only fit for light traffic, causing road major diversions, for other than light vehicles.
R. F. Delderfield (1912–1972), author, lived in Addiscombe between 1918 and 1923. The area later inspired him to write his Avenue series of novels.
D. H. Lawrence (1885–1930), author, lived at 12 Colworth Road, Addiscombe from 1908 to 1912 and was a teacher at Davidson Road School for some time.
In 1974 supermodel Kate Moss was born in Addiscombe.
Ethel Le Neve, mistress to Dr Crippen, lived out her days in Addiscombe, being a resident of 11 Parkview Road.
Paul Nihill was Addiscombe and Croydon's first-ever Olympic medallist. In 1964 he won a silver medal in Tokyo for the 50 km walk.
Another local walker, Phil Goddard (1958- ), completed a 3,091-mile walk from New York to Los Angeles on May 6, 2007. He lived in Addiscombe for the first 23 years of his life.
Matthew Fisher of Procol Harum was born in Addiscombe
||This section is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. (May 2011)|
- Addiscombe Hockey Club, Field Hockey Club based in Addiscombe
- Addiscombe Cricket Club est. 1866
- Addiscombe Cycling Club est. 1929
- East Croydon station
- Lebanon Road tram stop
- Sandilands tram stop
- Addiscombe tram stop
- Blackhorse Lane tram stop
Addiscombe railway station - about 500 metres west of Addiscombe's main parade and the present tram station - was demolished following the withdrawal of services from Elmers End. Part of the section between Woodside and Addiscombe railway stations is now Addiscombe Railway Park and part, the former Station area, has been redeveloped for housing as East India Way.
- "Ashburton Park". www.londongardensonline.org.uk. Retrieved 5 December 2012.