Tennis and squash players in Old Coulsdon will have to go further afield to practise their sport from the end of this month, when the leisure club at Coulsdon Manor closes.
The owners, Bespoke Hotels, say that the closure will not affect the operation of their hotel nor of Coulsdon Court Golf Club, and that they have plans for further investment in both.
“They very much see the future for the business in accommodation and golf, and the restaurant,” a company spokesman told Inside Croydon.
Some in Coulsdon had been concerned that the golf course – a pay-and-play 6,073-yard, downland par 70 – might be about to be sold off for housing. But the company spokesman firmly denied this.
It has been suggested that the leisure club has been under-used. Bespoke said that they have no plans for that part of the building as yet.
Coulsdon Court was built in the 1850s by Thomas Byron, a member of the “mad, bad and dangerous to know” Byron family which had acquired the estate in 1782. The golf course today is said to have 150 different species of trees planted around it, some of which had been brought back to the estate as saplings and seedlings by Lord Byron from his travels around Europe.
Coulsdon Court was constructed of the last bricks to be made locally at the Crossways brick works on Coulsdon Road.
Today, the building provides clubhouse and bar facilities as elegant as those found at many much grander golf clubs, and all for just 20 quid for a round – or £14 for OAPs, as it continues to operate almost as a public course. The hotel has 40 rooms, as well as function rooms for weddings and other events.
The golf course is a relatively recent addition to the estate, having been laid out in the 1920s. The Byrons’ Coulsdon estate had passed into the hands of the Cearn family around a century ago, and they commissioned the construction of a golf course, which had Leslie Cotton, brother of Open champion Henry Cotton, as its first professional.
But the privately run golf club did not prosper, and it was sold back to the Cearn family who in 1934 leased it to Croydon Council on the condition that it would always be used a golf course for the general public.
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