Purley Way Area Guide

Purley is an affluent district in South London close to Croydon and part of the London Borough of Croydon, formerly within the county of Surrey until it was amalgamated with Greater London in 1965.  It is 11 miles south of Charing Cross.(Estate agents in purley way)

The name, Purley, derives from Purley Farm which was part of the Benedon estates in the Middle Ages owned by the Huscarle and Carew families. The original meaning of the word, ‘Purley’, is riverside field inhabited by snipe or bittern.

Purley grew rapidly during the interwar years and is famous for providing spacious homes in a green environment. It was a pioneering garden suburb developed in the early years of the 20th century by an estate agent called William Webb.

One road that Webb was responsible for is called Promenade de Verdun, and it has a special connection with France. A line of Lombardy poplars was planted down one side in local soil mixed with French earth especially shipped for the purpose from Armentières to recognise the alliance between France and England during the First World War and to commemorate all the soldiers who died.(Estate agents in purley way)

To the east of the town is Kenley Aerodrome still the Ministry of Defence’s property and one of the key fighter stations together with the now-defunct Croydon Airport and Biggin Hill during World War II.

Purley became very well known in the 20th century following its appearance in the popular sitcom, ‘Terry and June’ and as the base for their home throughout the series.

In more recent times, one of the houses featured in the ITV network programme, ‘Footballers Wives’ is 7 Rose Walk in Purley owned by the former Crystal Palace FC Chairman, Ron Noades.(Estate agents in purley way)

Monty Python sketches regularly referenced Purley and the CBBC children’s sitcom, ‘Little Howard’s Big Question’ is based there.

The local historical society in Purley is called the Bourne Society named after the streams which can appear close to the A22 and the A23 after wet winters and which meet in Purley to flow northwards into the River Wandle. Bournes used to be called ‘woe waters’, and there are blue plaques referencing them displayed in Purley. In December 2000, the Caterham and Coulsdon Bournes caused chaos and flooded the A22 for several weeks.

Property Types in Purley

Purley is noted for its spacious family homes and apartments dating from the early years of the 20th century and is a leafy, garden suburb. The Webb Estate hit the headlines in 2002 in a survey that found that it had attracted the UK’s highest-earning residents. In that same year, Purley topped Britain’s rich list as the most affluent suburb with large houses, greenery and gated estates. The Webb Estate is one of Purley’s most exclusive housing areas set within a 260-acre conservation district and within walking distance of the town centre and the railway station.

Purley has a mix of Victorian, Edwardian and Twenties and Thirties houses plus modern flats located in the town centre. Purley is proving popular for buyers moving from south-west London. They can buy considerably more space for their money and are attracted by the easy commute and delightful surroundings.

Properties in Purley had an average price of £604,073* over the last year, and the majority of the sales in Purley were detached properties selling for an average price of £900,246*. Flats sold for an average of £339,688* with semi-detached properties fetching £566,900*. Overall, sold prices in Purley over the last year were 14% up on the previous year and 14% up on the 2017 peak of £529,812.

The average monthly rental price in Purley is £1,206**

Demographics in Purley

The 2011 Census gave the population of Purley as 14,607***. The average age in Purley is 39, and 74% of Purley residents were born in England. Those living in Purley are mostly families and professionals.(Estate agents in purley way)

Schools and Colleges in Purley

Purley has four notable Catholic schools across the state and private sector. The John Fisher School is a high-performing Catholic all-boys state school, formerly an independent school and then a highly selective state school. Laleham Lea School is a co-educational prep school and Oakwood School a co-educational Catholic primary. All the primary schools in Purley are rated either ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by OFSTED.

Apart from the John Fisher School, there are three other ‘Outstanding’ Secondary Schools in Purley. These are Riddlesdown Collegiate, Wilson’s School and Wallington County Grammar School. The latter two are located in Wallington.

Purley has one of the UK’s longest established language schools, Purley Language College, founded in 1928.

Local Attractions Near Purley

Enjoy the wide-open spaces of Farthing Downs, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and a scheduled ancient monument. Farthing Downs is a long strip of grassland with ancient woodland and is the most extensive semi-natural downland left in Greater London. The chalk grasslands are home to several rare herbs.

Croydon Airport is no longer functioning, but there is an interesting museum on-site at the Croydon Airport Visitor Centre. See the first departure area of an early modern airport and spend time in the original Control Tower.

For the energetic and those with children, visit Oxygen Freejumping. This trampoline park takes trampolining to the next level or try karting at TRAQ motor racing which welcomes children as young as five.

Shopping Facilities and Leisure in Purley

Purley used to have a relatively gentle, old school local high street with old-fashioned independents, but these are gradually fading away as they have done in so many other places. There is a Tesco superstore which opened in 1991, but the high street has shifted now towards a more leisure and dining offering with restaurants and bars.

All serious retail needs are catered for in nearby Croydon, soon to be home of the new £1.5 billion Westfield and Hammerson shopping and leisure development as part of Croydon’s multi-billion regeneration project. A new Westfield mall is planned to replace the current Whitgift and Centrale shopping complexes with a cinema, bowling alley, cafes and restaurants with all your retail and leisure needs catered for under one roof.

Purley has its own leisure centre located in the High Street which has a range of facilities including a 25-metre swimming pool and state-of-the-art gym.(Estate agents in purley way)

Pubs and Restaurants in Purley

Purley is perfectly located between the gastro delights of Croydon on the one hand which offers almost every type of cuisine, and the charming country pubs that occupy the area known as the North Downs on the other. However, there is some tempting fare to be had in Purley itself.

Try the hospitable Jolly Farmers, a pub with great food and friendly service, or if you fancy a good value Italian, then Zero Quattro is the must-go destination.

North Indian, Asian and Thai cuisine is available at Tulsi Dining but for something really out of the box, pay a visit to The Ludoquist, a hip board game cafe bar in Central Croydon.

Upcoming Developments in Purley

There is a proposed development of a derelict site in the centre of Purley owned by the local Baptist Church. The plan is to build a new church with community and leisure facilities and around 200 homes, including a 16-storey block.

HomeGroup Housing Association has a £5 million eco-friendly development at the junction of Purley Way with Foxley Lane. This will have 23 one, two and three-bedroom flats for affordable rent plus a ground floor retail unit.

Carriages is a retirement development of one and two-bedroom flats on the corner of Brighton Road built by the developer, Pegasus Life.

Travel Connections from Purley

Purley has excellent road links via Purley Cross, connecting routes to Grinstead and Eastbourne in the south-east, west to Epsom and Kingston and in the south to Redhill and Brighton. Head north to Croydon and Central London on the A23.


Purley is on the main London to Brighton railway line and has four stations, Purley and Purley Oaks, Riddlesdown and also Reedham station on the Tattenham Corner line. It is a 30-minute train ride into either Victoria or London Bridge.

Purley is 15 miles from Gatwick airport and its just a short hop into Croydon for access to Tramlink, a regular, easy access tram service serving Croydon and surrounding areas in South London.

There is a bus station next to the tram station with 25 different routes heading in all directions, including London and down to the South Coast towns.

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