A very pleasant bit of wildish woods in the middle of suburbia. If you need to escape the city and pretend it's actually 2009BCE then you'd do worse than Croham Hurst. The hill is made of layers of unusual geology and drops away very steeply to the south. Also you can get here in about a fifteen minute walk from South Croydon station. There is little to see of the barrow(s) but the place feels really old and self-sufficient. Nice.
I came up here to photograph the site two days before the Solstice as the light was good considering the time of year.
It is a very low barrow that does not come out well on camera, though is easy to make out while actually there. The setting is perfect for a bronze-age burial and it is still very easy to imagine what the view looked like before London existed.
On the Winter Solstice the Sun apparently sets along the Crooked Valley that apparently gives Croydon its name. This is the valley through Purley that the A23 now follows.
In the woods to the south east, along the ridge, there is a raised area of ground that looks like it MAY be another barrow, but I can't be certain. It isn't marked as such on the OS map. The established barrow is at TQ338632 and this other area is at TQ338631. The path divides either side of it and when I was there it was a distinct area of greenery (See picture)
You bugger jamie! I saw this a couple of months ago on the OS map and thought I'd visit it next time I was back in the croydon area (I used to live there) and add it to TMA, but when I went to add it today I noticed that you've already been there!
Anyway I visited yesterday, and agree with you. Great southerly views across posh Purley and Sanderstead, and a lovely wood with loads of birds and spooky tree formations. Almost all the paths from the south side (i.e. the Upper Selsdon Road) are very steep, but the Northern side is relatively gentle, spoilt only by one of worst games known to man - the dreaded golf!
Lucky there is a plaque there marking the round barrow, coz let's be honest, it's not much to look at is it? I did get a general sense of ancient use though - it would have been a great place to live and/or die, over looking all around.
This was a cleanup day around South London, visiting a few sites that I hadn't before. I had a good day for it and some pleasant company, so the day was an undoubted success. We did a loop from West to East, starting at Diana's Dyke, then Gally Hills, Croham Hurst and finally attempted to get onto Caesar's Camp.
Having done my list within the M25 and it was only 3pm, we headed outside to North Kent. First up was Squyerres Park but another nono, so we finished up at Oldbury again which is rapidly becoming a fav of mine.
All in all a nice productive day.
A quick word though, if you intend to do this South London wander, make sure you take in Morden Park at the start and Chislehurst Caves & Winn's Common at the end. Actually, depending on your start time, you might want to reverse the route as well. That way you can be first in to Chislehurst caves & set up the day nicely.
"The Croydon Natural History and Scientific Society has received part of a Bronze Age socketed axe said to have been found, with the aid of a metal detector, in 1986 somewhere on the top of Croham Hurst."