|A Croydon Walk
North End buildngs
A photograph of c1860 shows North End as mainly residential with the Rising Sun pub. However by the end of the 19th century it had become one of Croydon's busiest shopping streets. Of several pubs only the Railway Bell (re-named Arkwright's Wheel) on the corner of Tamworth Road remains. There were also a number of cinemas but these have all gone.
Building marked with an asterisk (*) are locally listed
EAST SIDE (south - north)
The foundation stone of the Hospital of the Holy Trinity was laid by John Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury in 1596. The archbishops had their summer residence at Croydon and the almshouses were built at the medieval town crossroads on the site of the Chequers Inn. They were established to maintain 30 - 40 retired servants from Croydon and Lambeth and Whitgift had a set of rooms for his own use. The building came under several threats for road-widening schemes but was saved by the granting of Grade I listing. The chapel in the SE corner has its original panelling and a single-handed 16th century clock remains in the courtyard. The almshouses were up-graded in 1983 when they were visited by the Queen.
The SWAN pub stood adjacent to the almshouses - subsequently replaced by Allders store.
ALLDERS STORE 2-28
Built in 1926 with a classical facade and the store name on the parapet.
A neo Tudor group of brick and Portland Stone. WH Smith has coloured decorative panels. Dated 1926.
A curved building originally at the entrance to Whitgift School, demolished 1965 and replaced by Whitgift shopping centre. Built in 1926 with Portland Stone and metal windows in Burton's house style. The shop's name and date is carved into the parapet.
JJB SPORTS 38-40*
Built in 1910 the Arts & Crafts style facade features brick and Portland Stone chequerboard patterns and carved stone decoration. Number 58 is in a similar style.
The right hand section was built c1912 in brick and terracotta. The centre of the store incorporates the facade of the former Cinematograph Theatre (1910-30). An example of 'Wrennaissance' style it features Portland Stone details including cherubs on the capitals. The left hand section (no. 68) is of the 1990s.
The entrance to the shopping centre (Chapel Walk) replaced number 94 which was the site of the Empire Cinema 1930-59.
CENTRE/PRICELESS SHOES/CHELTENHAM & GLOUCESTER BUILDING
These buildings of the 1880s have richly modelled brick facades with oriel windows, cast iron balconies, leaded turrets & gables. The first Central Croydon Library was established in numbers 104-6 in 1890.
The refronting of this building marred the symmetry of the group described above. It had been the site of the Electric Cinema of 1909.
WEST SIDE (north - south)
The curious onion dome on this building dates from its time as the Prince's Picture House (1921-9). It became the Lido Dance Hall during WWII.
BURGER KING 87*
This occupies the former Rising Sun pub of 1906 in Arts & Crafts style. Leaded bay windows and black & white gables survive along with the rising sun motif betwen the first floor windows.
An inter-war building featuring white faience, metal infill panels & windows and decorative parapet with the letter 'W'.
An attractive brick facade with stone dressings and decorative ironwork.
PIZZA HUT/BARON JON
59-63* and Unoccupied 69*
A group of late 19th century buildings with Gothic & Romanesque details, Tudor chimneys, circular windows and carved heads.
NEW LOOK 65-7*
A classical interruption to the row described above.
This plain frontage occupies the site of the Queens Hall Cinema (1909-12).
A High Victorian group which uses a mixture of materials. It was at one time premises of C & H Fabrics as can be seen from the projecting clock.
DEBENHAMS occupies the site of Kennards Store
THE CROWN pub stood at the junction with Crown Hill (now Barclays Bank).
© london-footprints.co.uk 2009