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Hall Grange and The Old Vicarage (also known as Shirley Common)9201

Brief Description

Revd William Wilks' house, The Wilderness, was renamed Hall Grange after 1958 when it became a home for the elderly; a bungalow, also called The Wilderness, was built in its grounds. The garden remained one unit, the part belonging to the bungalow occupants demarcated by a short row of azalea bushes.


The gardens of Hall Grange and The Old Vicarage, now the site of a home for the elderly, the current vicarage and other houses, are important for their connection with Revd William Wilks. He was vicar of St John’s Church Shirley, Secretary of the RHS and a well-respected horticulturalist, ahead of his time in his ecological approach to gardening. The habitats he developed here contained numerous plant experiments and introductions, such as his selective breeding of the Shirley Poppy.

Access & Directions


Rail: East Croydon then bus


  • Early 20th Century (1901-1932)


  • London Parks and Gardens Trust