Harold Road Conservation Area


Layout and Plan Form

The Conservation Area has an irregular layout, focussed on Harold Road which meanders uphill to meet Central Hill, running along the top of the ridge. Street width is consistent throughout the area at approximately 6 metres, with the exception of South Vale, which is much narrower (approximately 3 metres). The ratio of building footprint to plot size is approximately 1:5. The large open space of Upper Norwood Recreation Ground is located at the southern end of Harold Road, and contributes to the spacious character. The north eastern end of the conservation area is less spacious in layout, with smaller plot sizes on Central Hill, South Vale, Gatestone Road, Bedwardine Road, Rockmount Road and Troy Road, with narrower frontages, shallower front and rear gardens and a high ratio of building footprint (1:3) compared to Harold Road. Most plots are rectangular in shape, with a narrow frontage facing the street. The depth of front gardens is much greater towards the south-western end of Harold Road. Some buildings such as those on Central Hill and Rockmount Road have no front gardens at all. Several cul-de-sacs and mews developments are exceptions to the predominant street-facing layout of buildings including 20-26 South Vale. Land uses in the conservation area are predominantly residential, with the exception of Central Hill to the west of the junction with Harold Road where there are several commercial premises.

Street Furniture

The area is relatively uncluttered with street furniture which is limited to lamp posts, telecommunication cabinets, telephone cables, road signage, street name plates, post boxes and street furnishings.

Architectural Character

This is defined by strikingly well preserved late Victorian houses designed as a mix of Queen Anne, Classical, Domestic Revival styles, developed from the Gothic Revival, and Arts and Crafts styles. There are two main periods of architecture represented by groupings of buildings – mid-19th century buildings on Central Hill and South Vale, and the prominent collection of villas from the 1880s and 1890s on Harold Road, High View Road, Vermont Road, Rockmount Road, Troy Road, Bedwardine Road and Gatestone Road. These streets consist of groups of identical or similar buildings constructed by the same developers.

The side and rear elevations of buildings are often visible from streets within the conservation area and are often carefully designed with distinctive detailing and features. There are many buildings that are on Croydon’s Local List of Buildings of Architectural Interest (see individual street histories)

Key Architectural Features and Building Materials Used

Key Architectural Features and Building Materials for Central Hill, South Vale, Bedwardine Road and Gatestone Road

  1. Street -facing gables
  2. Chimney stacks
  3. Recessed decorative stone/stucco porches
  4. Half timbering
  5. Hardwood timber doors with glazing panels
  6. Decorative brickwork detailing, including soldier courses
  7. Timber sash windows
  8. Intricate window frames of bespoke designs
  9. London stock/red bricks
  10. Stone/stucco rendering
  11. Stone cladding
  12. Hanging clay tiles
  13. Barge boards
  14. Shallow pitched roofs

Key Architectural Features and Building Materials for Harold Road,Vermont Road, High View Road, Rockmount Road and Troy Road

  1. Street-facing gables
  2. Dutch gables
  3. London stock brick/Red Brick
  4. Prominent decorative chimney stacks with clay pots
  5. Prominent recessed arched doorways
  6. Hardwood timber doors with glazing panels
  7. Feature dormer windows
  8. Turrets
  9. Decorative brickwork detailing, including soldier courses
  10. Bay windows
  11. Timber sash windows
  12. Intricate window frames of bespoke designs
  13. Stone/stucco detailing
  14. Stucco/terracotta decorative panels integrated into elevations
  15. Natural slate roofs