Ashburton Park

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Ashburton Park is a park located in Woodside, in the London Borough of Croydon, and takes its name from nearby Ashburton. The park is located next to Woodside tram stop, where Tramlink routes 1 and 2 service the park. It is on the junction of Lower Addiscombe Road and Spring Lane. The park covers an area of 18½ acres (7.49 hectares). The park includes a village green, pentanque terrain, bowling green, tennis and basketball courts and a café (derelict for several years).

The park is on the site of the Woodside Convent, however all that remains today is the chapel. The original mansion was built in 1788 and underwent several name changes, the estate was known as Byculla Park from 1855 after a suburb of Bombay (the Addiscombe area having connections with the East India Company). From 1869 to 1878 the mansion was called Stroud Green House after Stroud Green Common a 12 acre stretch of land on the other side of Lower Addiscombe Road.

The estate was also, at one point, owned by Henry Dorling, first clerk of the course at Epsom Downs Racecourse and Mrs Beeton's stepfather.[1]

In 1878 it became the property of Father Tooth, the founder of the Community of the Paraclete. He added a chapel and convent to the original house. Father Tooth brought with him St Michael's Home for Boys, which was for 'orphan boys and others of the upper classes in every kind of distress'. He founded a sisterhood to look after the children and this led to the house being known as The Convent. He also treated alcoholics at the house.

Croydon Corporation bought the house and grounds by Compulsory Purchase Order in 1924 and most of the mansion was demolished soon after, a putting green (no longer there) being laid on the site. The only remaining part of the house was the c. 1878 extension which became Ashburton Library. The library was relocated in 2006/7 to the nearby Ashburton School and the building is now in a state of disrepair.

Despite the neglect of the café and former library building the local council have spent some money on renovating the public toilets, improving the children's playing park and adding some features for joggers and fun runners on the perimeter paths.

The Park was the venue for the Croydon Summer Show which was held annually over two days and was open till midnight with illuminations and a ten piece dance band.

The Friends of Ashburton Park group, launched in September 2013, have come together to put to former library back into community use.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ashburton Park". Croydon Online. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°23′07″N 0°04′02″W / 51.38519°N 0.06709°W / 51.38519; -0.06709