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Fox Green?


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#1 IanW

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 01:03 PM

Just wondering what everyone calls the bit of land with trees at the bottom of Fox Hill/Belvedere/Auckland Rd? We call it Fox Green but that's just because it's at the foot of Fox Hill.

Also why is it there? What was it's original use? I know that the Croydon/Bromley borough boundary runs through the middle so did this prevent anyone building a house there. I'm guessing the tree's are 60-80(ish) years old so what was there before. There is a circle in the centre so we like to think there was maybe a bandstand or something in the middle but that's just a wild guess. Perhaps it's where a bomb fell during WWII??????

Any info people can share would be great.

Cheers,
Ian.
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#2 Axean

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 02:29 PM

The Croydon Bromley boundary doesn't run through the green. There is a line of posts running across the green which a lot of people think marks the boundary, but its actually there to stops vehicles cutting across the green when they find their route blocked by the road width restriction. I uploaded a map of our local boundaries so they could be viewed on Google Maps and the following link shows the boundary at 'Fox Hill Green'
Link to boundary on Google Maps

I've also wondered why it was there. Houses mainly dont face onto it, a common reason for creating a square.

I've seen old maps of the area but cant remember where, but from memory I think the 'Green' was created when the roads where layed out.

#3 IanW

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 01:08 PM

Thanks for the info, I was totally wrong about the borough boundaries, it had never occurred to me that the wooden posts were for enforcing the width restriction!

I've got hold of an old o/s map from 1894 (London sheet 145) and it shows the green with trees. All of the surrounding houses are still there today and it's amazing to see how much empty space (fields?) there are in the Croydon part. I guess unlike today, there was less pressure to build on every available space and so why not keep a small patch like this to add character to the area.
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#4 gekko

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 01:47 PM

I call that area 'the bit of land with trees at the bottom of Fox Hill/Belvedere/Auckland Rd' but I like Fox Green so will use that in future.

I love this little oasis at the junction of the roads. I've always thought it was interesting how it escaped being built on but I'm glad it did. It makes the place look less built up and for me helps to give the area more character and a peaceful feel. I always make a point of walking through it when I'm headed for Auckland Road - went through there last night in fact. My parents were down this weekend and my mum commented on how green the area was. That's praise indeed given that they live on the edge of the countryside and overlook moorland. I think people get surprised at how much greenery there can be in London.
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#5 Rikaitch

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 12:13 AM

That square is a vivid memory of my childhood, following the great storm in 1987. It was devastated, and to see so many trees on the gorund there highlighted how badly damaged the area was. I still remember the sound of the chainsaws as they tried to clear at least one of the roads there.
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#6 andreas

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 07:15 AM

It's quite an interesting story:

- In the early 1860s, the lower part of what is now Belvedere Road was still wooded, it is likely to be a remnant of Gravelly Hill Coppice (itself a relic of the Great North Wood).

- Fox Lane (now Fox Hill) joined Belvedere Road by way of a small lane to the north west of these woods.

- By 1868, two further lanes had been added to the south and east, enclosing this square patch of woodland (am not sure why...).

- In the 1870s, the square was leased to the tenants of No.89 Belvedere Road.

- Auckland Road originally joined up with Fox Hill at what are now Fox Hill Gardens, probably running through the land where Lime Kiln Place now stands.

- Between 1880 and 1885, this dusty country lane was developed and connected with Belvedere Green (or Fox Green) at its south west corner.

- Early in the 20th century, photographs show the green as enclosed by railings. Despite the great storm, some of trees in the photographs are still recognisable today.

So, a wonderful piece of history in our midst - very much agree with your thoughts IanW and gekko.
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#7 morwena

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 09:03 AM

I think I read somewhere that the enclosure of Fox Green was something to do with being able to herd livestock - not sure and will try to check up in some of my local history books, but maybe somebody else might be able to confirm?

Morwena