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James Alexander

Pollards Hill

Pollards Hill

Pollards Hill, Norbury, SW16, is rich in history and here is a flavour of its prestigious past.

The Hill was formerly part of the North Wood and the name "Pollard" derives from this connection. The height of the hill over the surrounding land would have given clear views to early man and therefore it may have been used as an early observation post.

The road layout of Pollards Hill is clearly shown on the 1868 map of the area and is marked by two avenues of trees.

Going back as far as 1391, Edward III obtained a grant of free warren for all his land including the Manor Of Norbury. The estate remained in the possession of the Carews until the execution of Sir Nicholas Carew in 1539. 
The Manor was then annexed by Henry VIII to the ‘honour of Hampton Court’. Edward VI granted it to the Archbishop Of Canterbury in exchange for other land.  Queen Mary gave the estate to Sir Francis Carew and the land was passed onto Admiral Sir Benjamin Carew and then to Charles Carew. Charles fell heavily into debt and the estate was sold to William Goldsmith. He was the tenant of the property known as ‘Norbury Hall’. 
Between 1700 and 1800, it was mostly farmland and due to its geographical location being at the time fairly desolate, highway robbery was often a problem locally.
Towards the end of the 19th century we saw the beginning of Norbury as we now know it. Houses appeared in Pollards Hill, built around 1866 and the area was then farmland known as Pollards Hill Farm. 
Norbury Lodge was in existence in 1866 and though its function is not certain it appeared to mark the entrance to Pollards Hill. 
In 1897 a huge bonfire was lit on Pollards Hill and a large party was held in celebration of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. In 1902 Pollards Hill South at that time was known as Bluebell Woods. Pollards Hill Park was opened in 1913 and marked by a fountain which can still be seen today.  
St Phillip's Church was dedicated in 1902 and in 1912 became a parish in its own right. 
Most of Pollards Hill as we know it today was built between 1908 and 1935. 
Pollards Hill once housed two golf courses! One had its club house just near what is now Cranbourne Close and the other was nearer the top of the hill. These have sadly both now been lost to house building by 1947. 
Today Pollards Hill is known as the jewel in Norbury’s crown, offering the most expensive homes in the local area and is regularly requested specifically by buyers hearing of its strong residents' association and prestigious homes.

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