Vermont Road

This short wide road runs steeply downhill, connecting Harold Road to Orleans Road. The group of 8 regularly spaced attractive red brick villas built in the 1880s share characteristics with those nearby on Harold Road. All the villas are locally listed, and are considered to be of special local or historic significance. Croydon Council built flats in 1958 after three villas were demolished following World War Two bomb damage.

Maps and Land Ownership
Refer to Maps and Land Ownership Section on Rockmount Road for further information.

1874 OS Map showing area where Vermont Road would be built

1898 OS Map Showing Properties Built in Vermont Road

1915 OS Map showing location of properties in Vermont Road

1946 OS Map Showing location of properties in Vermont Road


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Building of the street
The Building of Vermont Road

House Numbers Original House Name Builder Plans First Submitted First Listed in Rate Books
1 Glenisla William Drown Unknown 1885
2 Caerleon William Drown 1883 1885
3 Fernbrae William Drown Unknown 1885
4 St Olive William Drown 1883 1885
5 Oakdene William Drown 1883 1885
6 Lynwood William Drown 1883 1884
7 Haroldene William Drown 1883 1885
8 Corlatt, then Portland, then Esperanza William Drown 1885 1884
10 Cleveland William Drown Unknown 1884 (demolished after 2WW bomb damage)
12 Bernina William Drown Unknown 1884 (demolished after 2WW bomb damage)
14 Hillside William Drown Unknown 1884 (demolished after 2WW bomb damage)

The Builder

William Drown (1839 -1932)

William Drown was the only  builder of Vermont Road when houses were first built. William Drown was born in Brentor in September 1839, on the edge of Dartmoor, the son of a blacksmith. At 21 his profession was listed as a joiner and he moved to London on marrying Britannia Eliza Willmott on 17 October 1864 at St Martins in the Field. The family lived in north London before moving to Brixton where he was living when Rockmount Road was developed. The family by 1911 had moved to Carshalton and Drown was still employing people at the age of 71. He died in Epsom in 1932.

Ownership of 1 Vermont Road

Land Registry Document dated 1979 for 1 Vermont Road, Upper Norwood

No. Date Nature of Document Name of Parties
1 8.8.1884 Lease i/ii Earle Bird/William Drown
2 10.12.1884 Conveyance i/ii Earle Bird/William Drown
3 18.12.1884 Mortgage i/ii William Drown/Sawyer & anon
4 10.6.1887 Transfer of mortgage i/ii Sawyer & anon/W.H. Booty
5 9.4.1895 Transfer of mortgage i/ii W.H. Booty/W.H. Booty & anon
6 20.1.1904 Conveyance i/ii W.H. Booty & anon/C.J. Garland
7 14.6.1931 Probate of will i/ii C.J. Garland
8 14.9.1931 Assent i/ii C.J. Garland & anon/C.J. Garland & anon


Numbers 10 to 14 Vermont Road were unoccupied after the high explosive bomb fell in March 1944 so Croydon Council purchased this area and in 1958 two blocks of flats and two new houses were built.

Key Architectural Features and Building Materials used to build houses in Vermont Road

  1. Street-facing gablesRe
  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 and 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

This short street runs steeply downhill, connecting Harold Road to Orleans Road.

The group of regularly spaced square red brick houses with elaborate timber porches share characteristics with those nearby on Harold Road. Vermont Road was
first mentioned in 1878 and therefore laid out prior to Harold Road.

Houses built from1878 onwards in Vermont Road

External decorative features

Post-war Housing following bomb damage from World War Two

Post war housing

Significant Street Buildings

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Social History
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    Harrison Bird Brown

    Brown, Harrison Bird (1831-1915)

    Harrison Bird Brown was recognised for his nineteenth century marine and landscape painting. An orphan at an early age he was apprenticed to a house and ship painting firm.  He opened a business as a “sign and fancy painter”.  He was encouraged by Port …

    Evans, General Horace Moule (1841 to 1923)

    Lived at 6 Vermont Road in 1901 and 1911 Enjoyed a military career serving in the 104th Regiment of Foot (Bengal Fusiliers) in the Indian Army and then became Deputy Assistant Adjutant General of the Bengal Army.    He went on to be General Officer Com …

    Seaverns, Joel Herbert (1860-1923)

    Lived at 8 Vermont Road He was the only son of Dr. Joel Seaverns and Jane Swain of Boston, Masachusetts.  He graduated with ‘magna cum laude’ from Harvard University with a BA degree in the Arts in 1881. He became a partner in the firm of Messrs Henry …

    Towgood, James

    Lived at 1 Vermont Road in 1901 James Towgood of the Banking Family.  His Great Uncle was Samuel Rogers to whom “The Old Curiosity Shop” was dedicated and who was a possibly a model for various characters in Charles Dickens’ work.  

    Wesleyan Ministers Vermont Road (1838-1921)

    Wesleyan Ministers Living in Vermont Road Minister Residency in Vermont Road House Number Rev. Joseph Cornelius Wright (1838-1912) 1883-1885 10 Rev. George Charter (1843-) 1883-1891 12   Rev. Charles Edwin Wansborough (1848-1908) 1892-1894 12 Rev. …

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The Second World War 1939 -1945

The bomb damage was some of the worst in the Upper Norwood area.  Bomb damage – some of worst in area.  A high explosive bomb fell on March 2nd, 1944.  The crater in the garden of 12 Vermont Road led to the house being demolished.  Numbers 10 and 12 were reported as being unstable.