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Unearthing Hidden Treasures at Thornton Heath Station

The railway arrived in Thornton Heath in 1862 when the line linking Croydon to Balham was opened. As the station was some distance from what was then known as Thornton Heath, the station was named Colliers Water lane.

The station achieved fame before it was opened when workmen digging the foundation for the building found a bag of Saxon coins. The bag contained around 250 silver pennies in good condition. Many of the coins dated from 871 to 901 in the reign of King Alfred the Great.

Access to the station was via a short path from Brigstock Road. Roads and terraced houses were soon constructed around the station for the middle classes who were attracted to the area by its then rural location. As the population increased the station was renamed in 1869 to New Thornton Heath. The new was used to indicate that it was some way from the existing station of Thornton Heath.

The station hit the headlines again in 1879 with suicide at the station. Early one morning the body of Martha Emily Hobbs or Parchmore Road was found on the railway tracks by the station. For many years she had been under supervision and was suffering from mental derangement, but on this morning had slipped out early.

In the 1890's the  New in the name was dropped. In the 20th century the station was widened from 2 to 4 tracks and the new station was built on the bridge. Again workmen made interesting discoveries. This time the remains of prehistoric animals where found, hat included mammoth teeth and teeth from an early horse.


Last modified: 14th January 2013 - Copyright Canning and Clyde Residents Association