Ashburton is a small neighbourhood in the London Borough of Croydon neighbouring South Norwood, Shirley, Addiscombe and Woodside. The area is mostly home to residential houses and flats. Most in the area would describe themselves as living in Shirley or Addiscombe.
Ashburton was named after Ashburton House, one of the three big houses in the Addiscombe area. Ashburton Park was opened on the site of Stroud Green House, which was later developed into a boys’ home and convent. The former Ashburton Library was housed in the convent’s chapel and dormitory buildings. The library is part of the new Ashburton Learning Village round the corner.
The area’s only claim to national fame came in 1866 when part of Stroud Green Farm was leased as a race course and for some years crowds flocked to the area on race days. Woodside railway station, opened in 1871, owes its existence to these crowds. It was so constructed that horses could be brought by rail to the course. The race course closed in 1890 but the station continued in service until the arrival of tram services.
A new state-of-the-art centre, the Ashburton Learning Village, was opened in Ashburton on the old A Block of a secondary school in 2005. This includes the Ashburton Library, Oasis Academy Shirley Park and rooms used for adult learning and public and private clubs. The centre also has a car park and large sport facilities. The design has been described as eco-friendly and shaped as if it holds a swimming pool.
Ashburton is the name of a ward for Croydon Council electoral purposes, covering most of Addiscombe's retail area, the Longheath Gardens, Tollgate and Stroud Green estates, and the lower end of Shirley around the Glade and Addiscombe Road.