Stanhope’s pear tree mural helps recall Purley’s ancient history

Purley has joined some of Croydon’s other railway stations by getting its name painted as a mural by noted artist, Lionel Stanhope.

Lionel Stanhope at work in Purley, the latest station in Croydon to get one of his murals

The mural, featuring traditional Southern Railways green and using heritage type font, was organised by Purley Business Improvement District (BID) and Network Rail, who worked closely with the artist on the design.

Purley’s name means: “A woodland clearing where Pear trees grow”, taken from the Anglo-Saxon Pirige, meaning pear tree, and Leah meaning woodland clearing.

By the time of the Domesday Book at the end of the 11th century, this had become “Pirlee”.

Simon Cripps, the CEO of Purley BID, said: “Over the years the town has significantly changed and will continue to improve but this addition of the superb new artwork and the reinstatement of the Pear Tree in the town is a reflection on the history of the area.”

The mural, located on the railway arch on Godstone Road, brightens up the area and is a celebration of Purley’s heritage that recognises the link with Purley to the railways. Purley still has the remains of the original Surrey Iron Railway dating back to 1802, located at the Rotary Field.

The finished artwork, complete with pear tree motif, helps to brighten up Purley town centre

Stanhope said, “I’m really happy with this mural and the pear tree is a nice touch which reflects the Anglo-Saxon roots of the town.

“I hope the locals appreciate it – I received positive comments from people passing by when I was working on it.”


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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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1 Response to Stanhope’s pear tree mural helps recall Purley’s ancient history

  1. Moya Gordon says:

    Hmm, so so, hopefully we won’t have any more of this kind of thing in Purley.

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