• Sustrans Portrait Bench: Samuel Coleridge Taylor

    66 Charles St, Croydon 2013 Creative

    Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875–1912)  commemorates by cycling charity Sustrans.

    Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, South Norwood composer and resident is celebrated in this cut-out, silhouette steel portrait.

    On either side of Coleridge-Taylor are silhouettes of Dame Peggy Ashcroft (1907–1991) and Ronnie Corbett (1930–2016).

    These portraits were made in 2013 and can be found on Charles Street, near Church Street Market.


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  • Stanley Halls

    South Norwood Hill 1903 Architectural

    Stanley Halls (now known as Stanley Arts) were designed by the inventor and philanthropist William Ford Stanley.

    He added several technical design features, designed to improve comfort and safety, including fire-proofing features in metal and teak wood, and a central heating system using various metals (with brass gratings).

    Take a look at a 360 degree scan of the building here, generously funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund or read more about it below.


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  • The South Norwood Brutalist Library

    Lawrence Rd 1968 Architectural

    This library was built in the Brutalist style adding an architectural gem to the high street.

    Architect Hugh Lea, who had just completed work on the infamous Taberner house, first began working on the design of the modernist library in South Norwood in 1967.
    When it was completed in 1968, it was clear to see that the simple structure and concrete block facade were inspired by the Brutalist architecture popular in 1950’s Britain.
    Understandably Bridget Cherry (former editor of the ‘Pevsner Architectural’ guides) remembers fondly it causing “quite an impact in the street”. The building interior inhabits three levels with floor to ceiling windows which flood the space with natural light.

    Reference: https://brutalistlibraryse25.org/heritage

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  • South Norwood Clocktower

    Station Road 1907 Architectural

    This clocktower has helped local people tell the time for the last 100 years.

    This clock tower was created in 1907 by Gillett & Johnston of Croydon (although one could argue that this company is really located in Selhurst) and is a replica of Little Ben which is found in Victoria.

    The Little Ben clock pre-dates our South Norwood clock by 15 years. The clock design was registered although there are only a small number of copies, one of them being the South Norwood Clock Tower.

    The reason there is a clock tower in South Norwood was that local people raised money to mark the golden wedding anniversary of William and Eliza Stanley who had done so much for the area including employing many local people and creating Stanley Halls and Stanley Technical School.

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  • Stanley Technical School

    South Norwood Hill 1907 Architectural

    Stanley Technical Trade School was founded by William Ford Stanley in March 1907. It was located on the site of the Stanley Halls. The School was built for £50,000 and was endowed with £25,000 in local property.

    It was not the first trade school in the UK however it is often referred to as ‘the first of [its] kind’. This is perhaps in reference to Stanley’s particular vision for the operation of a trade school, laid out in his essay Technical Trade Schools.

    The school consisted of five ‘divisions’ for general learning, including a science class with raised seats and library, and a workshop, fitted for wood work and metal work. The instructors were experienced mechanics e.g. engineers, joiners and the general instructions were given by qualified teachers.

    The School’s purpose was to ‘educate the sons of mechanics from the age of 12 to 15 years, to form the ground work of knowledge for scientific, artistic workman’. The main objective was to teach the elements of mechanics, science and applied art and manual skills and dexterity using workshop practice before entering apprenticeship programmes.

    Stanley was compelled to found the school by what he saw as the declining fortunes of Britain and its working men. The steam engine and the factory had done away with the need for specialised skills. But without skilled workers, Britain could not achieve the excellence in manufacturing. As a result, Britain had lost “the important position we once possessed in being able to carry to ideas and inventions”.

    William Ford Stanley was born in Hertfordshire on the 2nd February, 1829. In 1853 he set up a business as a maker of drawing office equipment. He died on 14th August 1909 in South Norwood.

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