Shirley is a residential area in Croydon, South London, managed by London Borough of Croydon Council. Until early 1930’s area was dominated by large farmhouses, estates and few hamlets. Houses called Spring Park, Monks Orchard, Shirley Park, Shirley Lodge and Ham, names which are reflected in the names of neighbourhoods in Shirley today. Over 15 000 people live in Shirley, which is surrounded by historic buildings with excellent transport links and parks.
Monks Orchard is one of the areas in Shirley. Historical place, but nothing religious about it! Munke family named the Monks Orchard Estate in Addington, who owned the estate in the 1550s. When Lewis Lloyd purchased the estate, Monks House was the most substantial building in Croydon area, with 19 bedrooms, library, billiard room, dining hall the size of 36 by 21 ft. Monks Orchard estates and gardens covered a huge area of 1540 acres, including some grand residences like Spring Park, Eden Park, Shirley Farm, Ham Farm, Oak Lodge Farm. The estate was sold in parts in the 1920s, the primary buyer of lands was the City of London Corporation, which also built the Bethlem Royal Hospital.
Shirley Windmill is located in Postmill Close in Shirley. Currently operated by the volunteering group called Friends of Shirley Windmill, they organise open days to allow the public into the windmill, learn about the history, working methods and secrets, it is a lovely activity for children and families. The Shirley Windmill was built by William Alwen in 1808 and operated until 1854 when the fire sadly destroyed it. It was later rebuilt in locally made bricks, but the mill and it’s owner struggled to keep up with the newly introduced steam mills, which were independent of the weather and produced finer flour.
Shirley Park Golf Club was opened on 18th July 1914 by the London Mayor Sir Thomas Vansittart Bowater. Even some superstar golf professionals played golf on the opening round, including J H Taylor and Sandy Herd. Two weeks after Shirley Park golf course was opened, the First World War was declared on 28th July 1914. With the resultant ‘distraction’ of the war, the golf club developed fairly slowly as a Members Club until peace was declared in 1918. Members of Shirley Park Golf Club enjoy a club that’s full of activity both on and off the course. Members participate in over 50 Club competitions, golf events, monthly and midweek medals, matches, league golf and when they’re not playing golf, the club has a full programme of Social Events for them and their partners.