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Roundshaw Community Centre - - 1599282.jpg
The Phoenix Centre, Roundshaw
Roundshaw is located in Greater London
 Roundshaw shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ302633
London borough Sutton
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district SM6
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
London Assembly Croydon and Sutton
List of places

Coordinates: 51°21′12″N 0°07′36″W / 51.353318°N 0.126708°W / 51.353318; -0.126708

Roundshaw is a housing estate and park in south Wallington on the eastern edge of the London Borough of Sutton. Grid Ref TQ302633.


Roundshaw was built on the site of the former Croydon Airport, and occupies the area which once stood the buildings of the first Croydon Aerodrome (originally named the 'Plough Lane' aerodrome) which was demolished in 1928. The history of the site is commemorated in various ways; the naming of roads after aircraft, personalities, and firms linked with aviation. The name comes from Roundshaw Park on the edge of the site, itself named from a round 'shaw' or grove of trees.[1]

The estate accommodates approximately 8,000 people. Construction began in 1965 with the first tenants moving in during August 1967. Dwellings on the estate were heated from a communal boiler house, which is now demolished.


During the mid 1980s and throughout the 1990s, major refurbishments on the concrete dwellings were carried out by contracted specialists[2] commissioned by the London Borough of Sutton, as the 1960s construction and build deterioated. The layout of the estate, including underground garages and balcony passageways, provided the opportunity for anti-social behaviour.

After consultation with the residents, building contractors and social housing groups, the London Borough of Sutton addressed the problems of the original estate, resulting in a regeneration programme at a cost of £30m, which commenced in 1998.[3]

Over a ten-year period, 1,000 high-rise pre-cast concrete flats and maisonnettes were demolished. The demolition and clearance was commissioned to Gregory Demolition; the first areas regenerated were Roe Way (street level) demolished by grabbers, and Instone Close (high-rise) which was imploded in November 2000; this followed a roll-out of the rest of the estate being replaced with a number of low-rise houses and brick-built flats. A further 674 low rise homes were retained and refurbished.[4]

The final phase of the demolition and regeneration was Shaw Way in 2007. The project was completed in 2010.[5]

Local Amenities[edit]

Wilson's School, Mollison Drive, Roundshaw

St Paul's Church was constructed and opened in 1981, which was also rebuilt and extended during the regeneration, and is used by the Church of England and the Free Churches. Before it was built, it collaborated in a churchless religious venture known as the 'Roundshaw Experiment'. A cross was set up outside the church which is made from a four-bladed propeller, or airscrew, obtained through the Croydon Airport Society.

The primary school was named after the famous aviator, Amy Johnson, the first woman to fly solo to Australia, from Croydon Airport in May 1930. Wilson's School was moved from Camberwell to Roundshaw in 1975.

Roundshaw Fields hosts the Croydon Pirates baseball team, one of the most successful teams in the British Baseball Federation. The fields have 2 of the best baseball diamonds in the U.K. which Croydon are often the hosts of the London Tournament and National Finals.[6]

There are a range of shops and take-aways based in Mollison Square.

The Phoenix Centre is the hub of the local community; in addition to the sporting and recreation activities, the centre has a library and IT Centre, Local Access Point, Youth Centre, Sensory Room and the Beehive Cafe. Charities such as Mencap run sporting sessions and community groups have access to the facilities.

The Phoenix Centre provides the following resources and activities:

  • Freedom Fitness Centre
  • Group Exercise Studio
  • Full Sized Sports Hall
  • Women's Morning
  • Saturday Morning Family Fun Sessions
  • Sutton Evergreens 50+ Sport Activities and Exercise Classes[7]

Popular Culture[edit]

Mollison Drive, Roundshaw, April 1981
  • Paralympic athlete David Weir lives locally in the area. The postbox in Mollison Square was painted gold in honour of the multiple medal winning performances he achieved at the 2012 Paralympics.[8]
  • Roundshaw was used as a filming location for the ITV drama, The Bill.[9]
  • Sir Alan Cobham, pioneer aviator of Far Eastern and other routes, was a pupil at Wilson's School.
  • The main estate road, Mollison Drive, is named after the Scottish aviator, Jim Mollison.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The history of Roundshaw in Sutton, Sutton Borough Council; 2015;
  2. ^ Roundshaw Estate Project - Master Scaffolding Ltd; 2015;
  3. ^ Hidden London - Roundshaw, Sutton; 2015;
  4. ^ Roundshaw Residents Celebrate Estates Tenth Anniversary - Sutton Guardian; Tuesday 5 January 2010;
  5. ^ Last Tower Set to Come Down - Sutton Guardian; Friday 18 May 2007;
  6. ^ The history of Roundshaw in Sutton, Sutton Borough Council; 2015;
  7. ^ The Phoenix Leisure Centre, Sutton Borough Council; 2015;
  8. ^ Hidden London - Roundshaw, Sutton; 2015;
  9. ^ 'Virtual Reality',; 8 April 2005

External links[edit]