Duppas Hill

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Duppas Hill Recreation Ground between Duppas Hill Road (A232) and Cooper Road

Duppas Hill is a park, road and surrounding residential area in Waddon, near Croydon in Greater London (and historically in Surrey).

Duppas Hill has a long history of sport and recreation. It is said that jousting took place there in medieval times and the story goes that Lord William de Warenne was treacherously slain there during a joust in 1286.

Cricket[edit]

Duppas Hill cricket ground
Location Croydon, Surrey
Home club Croydon Cricket Club
County club Surrey (pre-county club)
Establishment by 1707
Last used 1767

Duppas Hill was a major cricket venue in the 18th century and is believed to have been used for major matches by the Croydon Cricket Club as early as 1707 when Croydon played the London Club.

Its use in 1731 is mentioned in H T Waghorn's Cricket Scores 1730-1773, and in two subsequent matches between Croydon and London.

The last mention as a major venue is in 1767[1] when the nearby Caterham club, managed by Henry Rowett, played against Hambledon.

Workhouse[edit]

Duppas Hill was the site of the Croydon workhouse. In 1726 the Vestry of Croydon resolved to erect the town's first workhouse at a site on what was then 'Dubber's Hill'. The establishment was open by the end of the following year and governed by a committee of Trustees. In 1836 it became the Croydon Poor Law Union workhouse. The workhouse moved to Thornton Heath in 1866 but the infirmary remained in the Duppas Hill buildings until 1885 and the founding of what became Mayday Hospital close to the new workhouse.

Public recreation[edit]

There has been a public park at Duppas Hill since 1865, when the Croydon Board of Health bought land from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for £2,000 to create Croydon's first recreation ground. It was laid out with paths, a bandstand, pavilion and an ornate drinking fountain. The Board of Health had to deal with cattle trespassing, drinking booths and other problems. The Board had proposed enclosing it with iron posts and railings intending to turn the area into a park rather than a recreation ground for all to enjoy sports and games freely, and in particular aimed to restrict horse-riding. Some of the Board wanted to ban horse-riding completely on the public open space, others to ban grooms exercising horses but not the general public riding for pleasure. Sir Francis Head, a famous soldier who lived at Duppas Hall overlooking the park, chaired a large public meeting to prevent the enclosure, wrote letters and memoranda to the press and headed a memorial of 3,500 people protesting against enclosure. He argued that the horse riders protected defenceless ladies, but he was eventually satisfied with notices forbidding people from exercising their horses, with Duppas Hill becoming the space for recreation it still is today.

The ground was used for public celebrations and firework displays. On the eve of the 1926 General Strike, it was the venue of a mass rally of trade unionists and workers. In World War II it hosted a baseball match between American and Canadian soldiers.

Today the park is still a recreation ground and cricket is still played there. Part of the site was used as the Heath Clark school, later part of Croydon College, which has now been developed into housing.

Duppas Hill Road and Duppas Hill Lane[edit]

Duppas Hill Road/Lane
Other name(s) A232 A232 road
Length 0.5 mi[2] (0.8 km)
Postal code CR0 4BG
west end Epsom Road
east end A236 A236 road

The road is a section of the Ewell to Orpington A232 road, preceded by Stafford Road to the west and succeeded by the Croydon Flyover to the east. It is a no-stopping Red Route for its entire length (except slip roads).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ H T Waghorn, Cricket Scores, Notes, etc. (1730-1773), Blackwood, 1899
  2. ^ "Driving directions to Duppas Hill Ln". Google. Retrieved 6 October 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°22′2″N 0°6′35″W / 51.36722°N 0.10972°W / 51.36722; -0.10972