Anerley Hill

In 1875, the name of Anerley Hill was abolished and the hill was included as part of Anerley Road. Officially in 1915, this section reverted back from Anerley Road to be known as Anerley Hill. The change of name therefore led to both Anerley Road and Anerley Hill being quoted, sometimes within the same newspaper article.

An article in the Norwood News on Saturday, 24 April 1875, states: -
The attention of the Board was called to the inconvenience occasioned by ‘Anerley’ and ‘Upper Norwood’ being the postal names of different parts of the hamlet of Penge, the name ‘Penge’ not being recognised by the postal authorities. The Board decided on the following alterations in the names of the streets in the hamlet:- the name of Anerley Hill to be abolished, the hill to be included as part of Anerley Road.


Norwood News Friday, 1 October 1915
The committee reported: A vote of the ratepayers in the portion of Anerley Road situate between the top of the hill and Crystal Palace Station Road having been taken, and found to be almost unanimously in favour of altering the name of such part of Anerley Road to Anerley Hill, the committee recommended that such portion of Anerley Road be renamed to the occupiers of the houses on the north east side of such road between Ledrington Road and Crystal Palace Station Road, requiring them to number their houses 1 to 27 odd numbers inclusive. No 1 to be Carlton Lodge at the corner of Ledrington Road.

Maps and Land Ownership
Royal Crystal Palace Hotel – the Ballroom until 1896 ​

* Source//​

Courtesy of John Prideaux 2023

1745 & 1775 John Rocque’s Maps

1745 Barnards Farm​

1775 Three Gate Lane​

Source: Bromley Local Studies

Penge Common – a Detached Part of Battersea

Source: Modern overlay by Ken Kiss​

1837: Map Field Boundary

2023 Clues

2023 Google Map​

Dell at the bottom of Harefield garden​ – courtesy of John Prideaux


Anerley Hill: Introduction:

Anerley Hill / Road was a product of the 1827 Penge Common Enclosure which specified its construction, width and route from the Vicar’s Oak to Clay Lane (now known as Elmers End Road).  It was situated roughly halfway between  two existing routes running  east off the Norwood ridge – Old Cople Lane and Three Gate Lane (now known as Fox Hill). It clearly took advantage of a more gently sloping spur to avoid the steep drop offs running either side of it, along the ridge, and opened up the enclosure allotments to development.

The 1844 Hamlet of Penge Tithe Map, available in the Bromley Library archives, shows just six houses between what is now Hamlet Road and the top of Anerley Hill. Three of them still exist today, Harefield (No14), The Cottage (No 6) and St.Katherine’s (No4). The missing houses occupied the sites of what is now Pleydell Gardens, Grosvenor Court (No16) and the corner plot with Church Rd (i.e. the site that was to become The Royal Crystal Palace Hotel)

(Suggest inserting photos of tram and trolleybus on the hill)


2, Anerley Hill: RCPH – Suggest link to Buildings of Special Interest and insert Stephen’s excellent article about the RCPH, from Norwood Review 225.

“At this point upon a clear day could easily see the Thames from the principle entrance. Extensive views from the two acres of grounds. “(Picturesque  Norwood 1899)

2A Anerley Hill: Cadence: The former ball room of the RCPH and Robin Wood garage. Suggest link to Stephen’s article on Robin Wood (NS 225) in buildings of Special Interest section.

4, Anerley Hill (Nos 1 & 2 St.Katerine’s) & 6, Anerley Hill (The Cottage):

The existence of these houses, either side of an entrance drive into the large house known as Cintra, would imply that they were originally intended as gate houses -they would have stood opposite the gatehouse to Penge Place. However, the census of 1851 indicates that St.Katherine’s was a private school, run by three sisters, with eight boarding pupils aged 3-11 and The Cottage was occupied by a Laundress with a 13 year old son, who was a gardener, and three younger sons who were scholars. Perhaps the mother and eldest son worked at Cintra?


In the 1861 census Frederick Strange was resident at St.Katherine’s – he held the Crystal Palace catering contract from 1859-1866.

The Cottage:

The 1861 census shows a George Hantler  (Contractor, Builder and Property Proprietor) as resident

8-12 Anerley Hill (Formerly known as 1-3 Tower Terrace): This terrace must have been constructed between 1854 and 1861 as it is not visible in a photo of the Crystal Palace South Tower, under construction, and it exists in the 1861 census. A lease for Harefield, dated 31st Jan 1881 shows its uphill neighbour as “land demised to George Hantler “ – it must therefore be likely that the Mr Hantler actually built Tower Terrace.


14, Anerley Hill (Harefield House): See Buildings of Special Interest entry.

16, Anerley Hill (Grosvenor Court): (Site formerly occupied by The Hermitage Villa).

The Hermitage Villa was a near mirror image of Harefield, around the semi-detached stables/coach houses. It must have been built at the same time as Harefield (see Buildings of Special Interest). According to the 1861 census it was occupied by Thomas Jones (Jnr) whose father owned Cintra. Thomas Jones (Jnr) and his wife were owners of neighbouring Harefield House (via a trust). Census returns and street directories place various members of the Bertram family living at The Hermitage from at least 1867 to at least 1886. Members of the Bertram family held the Crystal Palace catering contract from 1866-1872 and 1878-1898.

18, Anerley Hill (Regency Court) – (Formerly The Tower; Star & Garter; Star Hotel)

1861 Census: William Westbrooke (Hotel Keeper of Star Hotel) + 5 relatives + 12 Boarders and 3 servants.

1867: Green & Co Directory- E. Westbrooke, Star Hotel

1871: Census: Elizabeth Westhead (Westbrooke?)  (Hotel Keeper-Star Hotel) + 2 relatives+1 boarder+4 servants

1880: P Dunn

1884: J.C.Turrall

1886 Burdette Upper Norwood –Star & Garter (Unoccupied)

1887: Sat 27th August Front Page of Norwood Review: Star & Garter Hotel furniture and fittings for auction. Bar fittings 7 pull beer engines.

1924-29 Crystal Palace School of Practical Engineering

20, Anerley Hill (formerly Cornwall Lodge)

22, Anerley Hill (formerly Home Lodge)

24, Anerley Hill (formerly Cintra Park Cottage)

26, Anerley Hill? (Could be current 28)  Cintra Park House



Building of the street
The Croydon Railway opened in 1839. A station was built on land owned by a Scotsman, William Sanderson- a silk merchant. Anerlie” is in the Scottish National Dictionary meaning “only” or “solitary”

Source: c1937 Penge & Anerley Official Guide​

1513 – Great Oaks for Henry VIII’s Navy

In 1513 Henry VIII built the naval dockyard at Deptford to exploit the convenient supply of mature Sessile oaks in the North Wood .Each ship needed c600 trees. Over 450 ships were built = 270,000 trees!​. It seems inconceivable that some of these great oaks were not on the path of Anerley Hill. In particular we are aware that the Vicar’s Oak marked the boundary at the top of Anerley Hill.

Vicar’s Oak


It was known as CP Roundabout. Should we suggest a new name of Vicar’s Oak Junction?​

1815 – Windmill Hill

Lambeth Online Archives:

A windmill stood on Westow Hill from 1812* to c1854 – behind current Royal Albert 

1827: Penge Common Enclosure Act

Directed that Anerley Hill & Road be built*

*Not named in 1827 Act. Named Westow Hill Rd on 1837 Allocation Map

Source: Battersea Archives

Farm Field Names -1802-1845 Records

Anerley Hill – Old Inclosures 

1844 – Hamlet of Penge Tithe Map

The 1841 census, for the whole of the Hamlet of Penge, identifies only 5 potentially wealthy residents –three merchants, a surgeon and a broker but it does not give their addresses so cannot match to the 6/7 potential properties. The bulk of the 270 residents were agricultural labourers

1851 Rates Book shows four of them owned by J. Vere. His father, Edward Vere, was a prolific builder so there must be a strong likelihood that they were all speculative builds by him.

Penge Place Lodge

Penge Place – location

1844 – Oxford &Cambridge House

Hermitage Villa

Harefield House

When were the 1844 map houses built?

The Cottage
Possible Previous Name: St.Katherine’s Lodge

*The census does not specify the Cottage but seems most likely option.

Driveway to Cintra House & Estate?

Oxford House was initial Crystal Palace Office

It is highly likely that Edward Milner, who implemented Paxton’s Crystal Palace garden designs, subsequently lived here.

St. Katherine’s

Possible Mystery House – 1852 Map

Map from “Closing of Thicket Lane” Act of Parliament 1852 –indicates a carriage drive for a possible substantial house on the site of the RCPH. If correct it had a very short life – cut short by the arrival of the CP.

…….and then came the Crystal Palace
   – constructed 1852-54

Oxford House was initial Crystal Palace Office

Walkway from station to the Palace

1853 – Royal Crystal Palace Hotel

Star Hotel (18 Anerley Hill)

Paxton Arms – built between 1854 & 1857

The South Tower

The South Tower was both a chimney….​   …..and a high water tank for the fountains

South Tower – the first attempt

Royal Crystal Palace Hotel – the Ballroom until 1896  

Distant view of Anerley Hill – (almost definitely from the North Surrey District School)

1856 – Rail Tunnel to Gipsy Hill

1862 – An Anerley Hill Romance

William Henry Howes Jnr (Harefield)  married Aimee Anne Milner (of Oxford House) on 24th September 1862 ​. Aimee was the daughter of Edward Milner who was responsible for implementing many of Joseph Paxton’s garden designs and undertook many commissions of his own:most notably the Pavilion and Gardens in Buxton in 1871 – now a listed landmark and major tourist attraction​.

Grade 2 Listed Buxton Pavilion​

1868 -Timekeeper’s Hut & Workshop

1868 – Crystal Palace Workshop – Ground Floor

There were about 30 skilled workmen in the workshop​. Carpenters would be able to make patterns for iron casting as well as undertaking repairs to the Crystal Palace​. Foundry workers would produce cast iron products

Diagram courtesy of Ken Kiss​

1868 – Crystal Palace Workshop – First Floor

Diagram courtesy of Ken Kiss​

1875 – Station Ticket Hall

Although the station opened on 10th June 1854 the ticket hall that we recognise today did not open until 1875​. Adjacent booking hall 1986 -2012 

1-6 Paxton Terrace – now 42-50 Anerley Hill

1872-77 Royal Normal College for the Blind: “It is intended to receive from institutions in all part of the kingdom, pupils who may have displayed talent and capabilities for acquiring a higher education than the institution they belong to can afford them.”

Paxton Terrace c1900​

1-3 Tower Terrace (now 8-12 Anerley Hill)

1861 Census:

No 8: Three Bower siblings aged 18-33 all born in East Indies​. 4 servants

No 10: Robert St. John (Major General in the Indian Army) & sister and three children (born Bombay)​.1 servant

No 12: Ann Shaw (Land & House proprietor) & spinster daughter aged 34 (fundholder),  and visitor​. 3 servants

Most likely built by George Hantler (Contractor builder) who lived next door at The Cottage, in 1861 census, as Harefield lease of 1881 said the adjoining boundary was land demised to George Hantler​

1870s – 20 to 30 Anerley Hill

House Names in 1881

No 20: Cromwell Lodge

No 22: Home Villa

No 24: Cintra Park Cottage

No 26: Cintra Park Villa

CPSPE – founded in South Tower in 1873

Lowest three floors of the tower initially used by the school – increased to five but 40 step spiral staircase proved impractical

Horse Drawn Vehicles

2023 Clue: Coach House and stables

Personal Memory: The Coalman’s and Rag & Bone man’s horse and cart on Anerley Hill

Drawing Office added to CPSPE in 1891


  • Geoffrey De Havilland 1900-1903
  • Harry Morgan c1900


1880s 1- 33 Anerley Hill

1-33 Anerley Hill Built 1881-1883

Excess land sold by the Crystal Palace Company

2023 Clues: 1881 & 1883

1894/95 to 1913/14 – twenty FA Cup Finals and one Replay

The view from the White Swan: FA Cup Final day – 21 April 1900​ Bury 4 v Southampton 0​

Record crowds at the Crystal Palace: 1912/13 Aston Villa v Sunderland 120,081

Manchester City Winners 1903/04​

Bury 1900 & Manchester City 1904 stayed at RC  – Both teams won!

1880/90s the area declined


  • 1881: Harefield was a boarding house
  • 1887: Star & Garter closes as contents are sold at auction:

Norwood Review – August 27 1887: Star & Garter Hotel Furniture and Fittings for auction Bar Fittings 7 Pull Beer Engines​. 1897: Seven bedrooms, 3 reception rooms.  Tower House had become a school;

1899 – Cintra Estate Auction

Rushworth & Stevens Auction Map​

Estate sold on death of Vere Jones Vere.​. Anerley Hill properties were included:​. The Hermitage   £1,160​. Harefield            £1,150

Norwood News 9th June 1877​:

THE CINTRA ESTATE – The various properties of the late Mr Vere Jones Vere, forming the above estate, were keenly competed for at the Auction Mart on Wednesday, where they were offered for sale by Messrs Rushwood and Stevens.   The attractive residence with its eight and half acres of beautiful grounds and beautiful frontages, realised £14,300 and we have reason to believe that it has been bought as a building estate.  Spring Grove House, held by Dr. Houghton under a 42 years’ lease from 1880 was sold for £1,140; Harefield House brought £1,150 and “The Hermitage”£1,600.  Freehold ground rents of the total value of £561 10s on houses in Cintra-park, Anerley-road, and Belvedere-road, were sold in several lots at an average of 30 years purchase.

1906 –  Tram service introduced

This c1908 photo incorporates:​ 1. The Paxton Arms Hotel​ 2. An Electric Tram​ 3. Horse drawn carriages​ 4. The South Tower​ 5. The Crystal Palace​ 6. Anerley Post Office

1916 & 1933 CPSPE  – new locations

1930s – Logie Baird transmitted TV from the South Tower

Baird broadcast TV from the south tower from 1933-39​. The BBC chose the alternative EMI system after a period of trying the two systems.Baird had TV studios in the main CP building.

19 February1936 – Trolleybuses Replace Trams

Trolleybus outside St.Katherine’s, Anerley Hill​

Lifting the tram lines in 1936​

Personal Comment: I remember getting the trolleybus to school for a 1d fare.​.My grandmother still called them trams up to her death in 1962!​  Courtesy of John Prideaux.

30 November 1936 – Crystal Palace destroyed

Anerley Hll residents were evacuated

1939: Outbreak of WW2

“Crystal Palace” blacked out just leaving “School of Engineering”​. CPSE closed as students join the war effort.Did the Principal work on the design of the Mulberry Harbour?

“Crystal Palace” blacked out just leaving “School of Engineering”​

1940 South Tower is demolished​

September 1940: The Blitz saw the front blown off the Royal Crystal Palace Hotel

Personal Comment: My mother (Aged 20) was in the RCPH air-raid shelter, with her parents, when it was bombed​.  John Prideaux.

1944: V-1(Doodlebug) Bombing

The Paxton bombing of 11th July 1944 – one of the many V1s that landed in the area​

Today – end of terrace wall and 1950s houses​

1950s & 1960s

Bomb site infill, by 1959, as trolleybuses replaced by motor buses​

Grosvenor Court built mid-1960s by Tamworth Park Construction Company​. Personal Memory: Adult’s saying “Who would pay £3,000 for a flat in there?”​

Pleydell Gardens: 1960s?​

October 1950: The South Wing of the Crystal Palace destroyed by fire

1964: CPNSRC

Original Entrance was from Ledrington Rd but Anerley Hill drive-in opened in 1980s 

Personal Memory: Being kept awake at night by lorries arriving with pre-cast concrete trusses;Zola Budd protests in mid-1980s ​ John Prideaux

1969-72: Pop Music

Bands Played at the Crystal Palace Hotel on Anerley Hill in 1969:

  • The Original Drifters​ Fleetwood Mac​ Chicken Shack​ Ben E King​ The Tymes​

    Garden Parties (’69-72) in the Concert Bowl had Anerley Hill pubs heaving​

    1988: Crystal Palace Park Conservation Area

    Anerley Hill, above Cintra Park, is included in the Crystal Palace Park Conservation Area

  • Grade 2 Listed Buildings on Anerley Hill:
  • Harefield – in 1973 less than 10 years after planning permission granted for its demolition!
  • The South Tower base –  in 2020

1988: New Entrance to Park & Railings

New park in previously closed area

1990 – Crystal Palace Museum opens in the former CPSPE Drawing Office & Motor Circuit Office

2012 Olympic Torch

London to Brighton – Annual Mini-Rallies & HCVC*

May 2017

May 2014​


2020-22: Covid Testing Station, off Anerley Hill, in the park

BLM​ June 2020​

2 June 2022 – part of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee Flypast​

Feb 2022:Ukraine War Graffiti​

1 July 2022 – Rihanna visits Star Fade on Anerley Hill

The Future?

New electric buses to run on the 358 route​ – work has started at the bus station​

This information relates to Harefield House on Anerley Hill only

Attempt to identify owners and occupiers of 1850s Penge Common properties on Anerley Hill & Church Rd from the current Cintra Park to Belvedere Rd
The 1844 Tithe map shows the following properties on the Cintra Estate and along the current Church Rd to The Alma
1 Cintra House, with a small building on Church Rd, that is identified as stabling in later maps.
2 A building on the site subsequently occupied by the RCPH. Plot size c1 acre
3 St.Katherines
4 The Cottage
5 Harefield (Known to occupy 2 Roods and 8 Perches (.55 of an acre)
6 The Hermitage (Grounds marginally larger than Harefield).
7? Spring Grove Lodge is on the 1844 map and was part of The Cintra Estate auction in 1899 but may or may not have been owned by J Vere in 1851!

Two properties between Spring Grove Lodge and Belvedere Rd
Properties owned by J Vere included in the Hamlet of Penge Rates Book 1st June 1850 (Almost definitely J=Joseph)
Assessment No Name of occupier Description Name of Situation Estimated Extent Gross Estimated Rental £ Rateable Value £ Observations/Comments
55 Westrow(?) House & Garden Westow Hill* 01:01:16 110 85 Presumably this relates to Cintra House given the size of the rates. It may also include The Cottage and St.Katherine’s, as gate houses, as these do not appear elsewhere. However, this would be inconsistent with the Penge Place entries that are very detailed.
56    ”   (Empty) Land 11:03:02 25 25 Grounds of Cintra?
57 Thomas Jones Land 04:01:00 9 9 Grounds of Cintra?
58 Rowlands House & Garden Anerley Hill 03:03:34 85 70 Presume that this could be the property that was on the site of the RCPH
59 Howes 00:00:36 65 50 This must be Harefield but extent should be 2 Roods 8 perch! However, Rate is same as The Hermitage as would be expected. Vere was not really the owner at this point as he put it in trust for his daughter Ellen and nephew (Thomas Jones) when they married in 1848.
60 Maitland 00:02:09 65 50 Known to be at The Hermitage (Area is correct)
Total 22:00:17
NB Only Howes & Maitland appear in the 1851 census
The total acreage crudely looks similar to the 1899 Rushworth auction map of Cintra estate
Other Rate Book Assessments in Westow Hill* (all beloning to G. Amott)
NB There are two properties shown on the 1844 Penge Tithe Map between Spring Grove Lodge and the corner of Belvedere Rd.
52 G. Amott Gravel Pit Westow Hill* 00:02:32 10/- 7/-
53 Broomfield House & Garden     “ 00:01:20 30 20 A John Broomfield is shown in the 1851 census. There are a further seven one/two person households, in low grade jobs, in the census between Harvey (below) and the Belvedere Rd entries. Could Broomfield (an unmarried clerk at Phoenix Insurance with a housekeeper) also run the house as a boarding house.
54 Harvey 00:02:10 40 32 Robert Harvey, a Customs House Agent with a wife and two servants, appears in the 1851 census. The area seems compatible with Spring Grove Lodge which, although included in the 1899 Cintra park auction may not have been owned by Vere at the time.
*Presumably Westow Hill was the name given to the Penge side of what is now Church Road
Direct extract from the 1850 Rate Book held at Wandswoth Archives in Clapham Library




Significant Street Buildings

Social History
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The Second World War 1939 to 1945

No known bomb damage to this parade of shops, although Palace Road, Palace Square, nearby premises on Anerley Road (Hanover Parade and Brunswick Parade), Anerley Vale and Crystal Palace Station Road, suffered severely during WW2, on 10 & 11 July 1944.


Thane’s Cash Bazaar, shopkeeper John Walter Herbert and Fanny’s son Ralph John Thane (Bn 1883) married Ann Elizabeth Gardner (Bn 1879 D1944) in 1913.  He had been a Glove Warehouseman (1911 Census).

He joined the East Surrey Regiment, 9th Battalion (Private 22237) and was Killed in Action in Flanders on 21 March 1918, aged 34.

He is buried at Bellicourt British Cemetery, Bellicourt, Departement de l’Aisne, Picardie, France.

Hero: Ralph John Thane East Surrey Regiment 21 March 1918 Age 34 [Photo Credit:]