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The Foxley Hatch

The name Purley was only used for this area from the 1900s.

8–9 Russell Hill Parade, Russell Hill Road, Purley, London, CR8 2LE

This is named after the Foxleyhatch Turnpike which stood in this vicinity – a private road on which a toll was paid. The name ‘Foxley’ is from the Old English ‘fox and leah’ (meaning a clearing for foxes) and survives in nearby Foxley Lane.

Photographs and text about The Foxley Hatch.

The text reads: The name of this Wetherspoon pub recalls the Foxley Hatch turnpike (or toll road), which was situated close by. The name Foxley is from the Old English fox and leah, meaning a clearing for foxes, and survives in nearby Foxley Lane.

Main image: Looking up Russell Hill Road, towards this site, when this side of the road was still residential
Inset: The tram terminus at the bottom of Russell Hill Road.

Prints and text about John Horne.

The text reads: John Horne was a politician and philologist, who lived in Purley in the late 18th century. Horne became interested in politics in the late1760s, writing a defence of John Wilkes, whose journal, The North Briton, had upset King George III.

He went on to become a leading figure in the campaign for parliamentary reform. His opposition to the Enclosure Acts (which ‘privatised’ common land) brought him into contact with William Tooke, a wealthy land owner from Purley.

The two men became close friends. Horne adopted Tooke’s surname and moved to Purley. It was here that John Horne Tooke wrote the diversions of Purley, a major two volume work about the study of ancient texts and languages.

Top left: Horne Tooke in 1791
Top right: Frontispiece to Diversions of Purley
Left: Tooke’s daughters Mary and Charlotte, who lived with him in his last illness, with the bust of their father.

Illustrations, prints and text about the Surrey Iron Railway.

The text reads: A commemorative plaque at Purley Library (unveiled by the Bourne Society, on 24 July 1993) records that ‘Southern England’s first public railway ran across this site’.

Designed by William Jessop, the Surrey Iron Railway ran for nine miles, from the river Thames, at Wandsworth, southwards to Croydon. The line opened on 26 July 1803, and was the first horse-drawn public railway.

Two years later, the railway was extended through Purley and Coulsdon, to serve quarries near Merstham, and renamed the Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Iron Railway. However, the advent of steam Locomotives spelled the end of horse-drawn railways. The Iron Railway closed in 1846. It was re-opened in 1855, and much of the route remains in use today.

Top left: William Jessop
Top right: The Iron Railway crossing Chipstead valley road, 1823
Left: Toll sheet of the Surrey Iron Railways, 1804
Above: The S.I.R’s corporate seal, from the earliest known railway share certificate, dated 1802.

Photographs and text about villas in Purley.

The text reads: Purley hardly existed until a number of suburban villas were built in the 1880s. Some of the villas were replaced by shops in the early 1900s. The Cottage Hospital was built in 1909. Six years later Purley joined with Coulsdon to form an urban district.

Main image: The Tram Terminus at Purley showing the suburban villas that lined the road
Inset: The same view in the early 1900’s, showing how everything had changed, and a thriving centre for shopping had developed.

A drawing and text about the world’s first railway.

The text reads: The world’s first public railway opened in 1805. The Surrey Iron Railway consisted of a track with horse drawn wagons. It was for transporting goods, not passengers. The idea was for it to run from London to Portsmouth. The first stage from Wandsworth to Croydon, and an extension to Merstham were built under the engineer William Jessop, but that was as far as it got. Financially unsuccessful, it was bought by the London and Brighton Railway in 1837.

A drawing and text about Foxley Hatch.

The text reads: Foxley is an ancient name, first recorded in 1279, for the area south of Purley Cross. By 1729 it was known as Foxley Hatch, a name that gradually came to be applied to central Purley, and was also the name of the turnpike. The area did not revert to being called Purley until around 1900.

Foxley Hatch toll- house, 1877. The house was circular for all round vision. The large may be Psalm (Gospel) Oak.

Prints of Purley High Street and Purley Cross.

A print of Purley Crossroads, c1900.

A print of Purley, c1885.

External photograph of the building – main entrance.

If you have information on the history of this pub, then we’d like you to share it with us. Please e-mail all information to: pubhistories@jdwetherspoon.co.uk