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Croydon Area

Briefly Croydon

Croydon is a large town in South London, sitting  over London Clay formations to the north and upper chalk in the south, and which lies 12 miles south of London near the junction of several dry valleys where the Roman Road from London to Portslade bisected a gap in the North Downs, on  a transport corridor between central London and the south coast of England.

The name was Crogedene in 962 AD and Croendene in 1086 AD. The name may be derived from Crocus Sativus: saffron was grown for dyeing and pharmaceutical purposes.  At the time of Domesday and subsequently, the Archbishops of Canterbury were Lords of the Manor. The ancient parish of Croydon comprised over 9000 acres including Norbury, Upper Norwood, Shirley, Purley and Waddon. Croydon became the largest town in East Surrey partly due to good communication via railways and canals and a plentiful water supply.

There are sixteen modern settlements that define the borough of Croydon each with their separate and distinct characteristics. The north of the borough is characterised by relatively dense housing and limited open spaces, whereas the south of the Borough is characterised by attractive wooded steep sided valleys with suburban residential areas on the hillsides. The hills and valleys of the east of the borough are dominated by 20th century suburbs with a wide range of open spaces, and is more rural towards the south eastern borough boundary.

Croydon Metropolitan Centre is a highly connected commercial entity, in terms of vehicular transport with current plans for extensive regeneration.   There are a large number rails stations and bus routes servicing the various districts and the Tramlink service connecting the town centre with Wimbledon, New Addington and Elmers End. The tram line loops one-way around the centre providing good accessibility throughout the area.

The London Borough of Croydon is one of the boroughs in London with the most schools and offers a wide range of state primary and secondary schools in addition to very good independent schools such as Trinity, Whitgift and Old Palace.

Bromley Area

Briefly Bromley

The first definite reference to Bromley, the manor of Bromley, is in the charter of 862AD. Named ‘Bromleag’, it is believed to mean the clearing where the broom bushes grow.   The town’s significance was the result of its early link with the Bishops of Rochester who established a residence in the area at an early date. In 1205, it was the Bishop who was responsible for the establishing of a weekly market in the town. This continues to the present day.  The growth of the railway system turned the northern half of the borough into a dormitory for London.  Most of the southern half remains open countryside.  The archaeological heritage of the Borough includes historic centres and ancient monuments, and archaeological sites, as well as areas of geology and topography attractive to early settlers.

Bromley covers an area of about 59 square miles and is the largest of the London boroughs.  Bromley is the largest town or district in southeast London. It is located 9.3 miles (15 km) south east of Charing Cross and is one of the major metropolitan centres identified in the London Plan.

Many areas of the Borough are characterised by spacious suburban-style development interspersed with varied and attractive open spaces; other areas are more densely developed. Each part has its own character and qualities. Although some of the Borough’s town centres and villages have existed for several hundred years, large parts of the Borough took shape during the late 19th and early 20th centuries during London’s suburban expansion. The Borough has a fine heritage of historic buildings, all of which make an important contribution to its character. Many such buildings are in areas of architectural or historic interest, which add to the attractiveness of the Borough and give a sense of continuity with the past.

The excellent transport links attract many to Bromley. There are two overland stations – Bromley South where trains to London Victoria take just over 15 minutes and Bromley North with shuttle trains to Grove Park where there are onward connections to London Bridge, Charing Cross and Cannon Street. There are no daytime direct buses into central London. Local bus routes service Orpington, Lewisham and Croydon. From Charing Cross there is a night bus to Bromley, the N47.

Bromley offers an extensive range of primary, secondary and independent schools.  There are two selective schools in Orpington (within the London Borough of Bromley) with an 11+ exam. They are Newstead Wood School and St Olave's and St Saviour's Grammar School. For many, schooling in Bromley is considered to be a very well-kept secret.

Lambeth Area

Briefly Lambeth

The name is recorded in 1062 as Lambehitha, meaning 'landing place for lambs'.  The name refers to a harbour where lambs were shipped. It is formed from the Old English 'lamb' and 'hythe. South Lambeth is recorded as Sutlamehethe in 1241. North Lambeth is recorded in 1319 as North Lamhuth. The manor of Lambeth belonged to the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1190. Lambeth Palace sat opposite the Palace of Westminster.  The two were linked by a horse ferry across the Thames. Until the middle of the 18th century the north was marshland, crossed by a few roads raised against floods. The south was dominated by woods and commons with a few villages and settlements, notably at Clapham and Streatham on the old Roman roads to the south coast.  This marshland area, known as Lambeth Marshe, was drained in the 18th century but remembered in the Lower Marsh street name. Sometime after the opening of Waterloo railway station in 1848 the locality around the station and Lower Marsh became known as Waterloo. Industry was concentrated in the north along the riverside.  Westminster Bridge was opened in 1750 and marked the beginning of any major development in Lambeth. The new bridges (Blackfriars and Vauxhall followed) gave people a chance to escape the noises and smells of the city. The laying out of major thoroughfares such as Westminster Bridge Road, Kennington Road and Camberwell New Road generated ribbon development of houses and shops. Suburban expansion was beginning in the south. Brixton, Herne Hill, Clapham, Streatham and Norwood had railway stations and became attractive propositions for the lower middle classes who worked in the City and the West End. In Norwood the population grew in 50 years from 600 to 6000. In 1965 the old parishes of Lambeth, Streatham and Clapham were combined to make the London Borough of Lambeth

Lambeth is a district in Central London, England, located in the London Borough of Lambeth. It is situated 1 mile (1.6 km) southeast of Charing Cross. The London Borough of Lambeth stretches in a long thin line from the Thames to the Surrey hills. The boundaries of the manor and the parish of Lambeth are largely the same as the present borough but with the addition of the old parishes of Streatham and Clapham.

Lambeth is a borough of inner southwest London complete with contradictions.  On the one hand there is vibrant artistic life such as the South Bank complex (location of the Royal Festival Hall, the National Theatre and the National Film Theatre), London Waterloo station and surrounds (the Old Vic and Young Vic Theatres and the BFI IMAX Cinema), seats of authority such as the official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace, a world renowned medical facility in St. Thomas' Hospital, mixed with areas of deprivation that have not all benefited from gentrification, although many have.

Lambeth has a wide range of transport alternatives including a number of underground stations such Brixton, Stockwell, Vauxhall and Clapham together with a large mainline rail station at Waterloo and an extensive Bus network.

There is a wide range of state funded primary and secondary schools together with a smaller range of independent schools.

Southwark Area

Briefly Southwark

Southwark is on a previously marshy area south of the River Thames, originally a series of islands in the River, which formed the best place to bridge the Thames. The area became important to Londinium due to its position as the endpoint of the Roman London Bridge. Two Roman roads, Stane Street and Watling Street, met at Southwark in Borough High Street. Southwark forms one of the oldest parts of London and fronts the River Thames to the north. It historically formed an ancient borough in the county of Surrey, made up of a number of parishes, which increasingly came under the jurisdiction of the City of London. The name Suthriganaweorc or Suthringa geweorche is recorded for the area in the 10th century Anglo-Saxon document known as the Burghal Hidage and means "fort of the men of Surrey" or "the defensive work of the men of Surrey". Southwark is recorded in the Domesday Book as Sudweca. The name means "southern defensive work" and is formed from the Old English sūth and weorc. The southern location is in reference to the City of London to the north, Southwark being at the southern end of London Bridge.

Southwark is a district of Central London, situated 1.5 miles (2.4 km) east of Charing Cross.  The Borough has seen extensive regeneration with residential development, shops, galleries, restaurants, bars and major office developments along London Bridge, the City and between Tooley Street and the riverside. The area is in walking distance of the City and the West End. It has become a major business centre with national and international corporations locating to the area. The skyscraper, London Bridge Tower (The Shard)  is next to London Bridge Station. To the north is the River Thames, London Bridge station and Southwark Cathedral. Borough High Street runs roughly north to south from London Bridge towards Elephant and Castle. The Borough runs further to the south with St George's Cathedral and the Imperial War Museum within the ancient boundaries, which border nearby Lambeth.

The Borough is rich in historical sites and references including the reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre at Bankside, and generally an area of mixed development, with council estates, major office developments, social housing and high value residential gated communities side by side with each other.

There is an extensive overground rail network servicing the borough from Peckham and Dulwich in the South East to London Bridge in the North.  Southwark is well connected to the London Underground network most notably by Southwark tube station on the Jubilee line at the corner of Blackfriars Road and The Cut, lying between Waterloo and London Bridge stations. The station is west of historic Southwark, which is served by Borough tube station and London Bridge station.

There is a wide range of state maintained primary and secondary schools in the borough together with a small number of well know independent schools, most notably Dulwich College, Alleyns School and James Allen’s Girls School (JAGS).

Sutton Area

Briefly Sutton

Sutton derives its name from the Saxon Sudtuna meaning Saxon farmstead and was probably a 6th or 7th century settlement.  Throughout the Middle Ages it was an agricultural settlement.  The turnpike road from London to Brighton was constructed through it in 1755. (Turnpike roads were a network of well-maintained highways and one of the major achievements of 18th century England facilitating the rapid and efficient transportation of goods and passengers throughout the Kingdom).  Sutton’s real expansion came in the period 1850 – 1880 after the construction of the railway from London to Epsom in 1847.  Sutton is mainly the product of the railway and although it existed as a village in the horse and carriage era, most of the town's earliest architecture is consequently Victorian or Edwardian.

The London Borough of Sutton, occupies a total land area of 4,385 hectares (ha), and lies within the South West London Sub-Region along with the neighbouring Boroughs of Croydon, Merton, Kingston-upon-Thames, Richmond, Lambeth and Wandsworth. The Borough forms an important part of the Wandle Valley.    Sutton is a large town on the lower slopes of the North Downs which contains the administrative headquarters of the London Borough of Sutton. It is located 16.5km south-south-west of Westminster and 7.5km south-west-west of Croydon and one of London’s major metropolitan centres.  Sutton is one of several towns located on a narrow bed of Thanet sands which extends from Croydon in the east, to Epsom in the west. To the south of this belt is chalk of the North Downs, and to the north is clay. The Borough includes the ancient parishes of Beddington, Carshalton, Sutton and Cheam as well as the hamlet of Wallington. Also contained within the boundaries are small areas of the ancient parishes of Cuddington and Woodmansterne.

Sutton was formerly a collection of rural villages, linked to feudal and royal estates. The ‘village feel’ remains, and people still refer to locations such as Carshalton, Cheam and Belmont as villages. The quality and historic development of the Borough is reflected in the number of high quality heritage areas designated as Conservation Areas and Areas of Special Local Character. There are extensive areas of low-density housing, mainly in the south of the Borough, which were built in the 1920s and 1930s, characterised by large, detached houses with well landscaped gardens in tree lined roads with wide grass verges. These remain largely unchanged.  There extensive areas of green open space, most notably Nonsuch Park and Cheam Park.

The Borough’s road network (380 km) includes three strategic ‘Red’ Routes (17.5 km) which link central London to the M25 (A24 and A217) and provide an east-west route across the Borough (A232). These roads are managed by Transport for London (TfL). The Borough is well-served by a number of suburban rail services, with termini at Victoria, London Bridge and Waterloo as well as Thameslink, which provides a cross-London service to St Pancras and Luton. Tramlink links Croydon and Wimbledon, with two stops in the north east corner of the Borough.

Sutton has an excellent range of state funded primary and secondary schools, and independent schools and is noted for its high achieving grammar schools: Wallington County Grammar School, Sutton Grammar School, Wallington High School for Girls, Nonsuch High School and Wilson’s Grammar School.

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