Croydon – St John the Evangelist

About this Churchyard

Whilst the site St John’s is not an ancient one, with the first chapel on the site originating in 1836, the churchyard was formed when Croydon was a rural area.  The creation of the churchyard encapsulated a pocket of countryside at that time and the churchyard continues to be home to plant species that would have been common outside its boundaries 150+ years ago before it became enveloped in the growing city.  This includes species  such as meadow saxifrage, lady’s bedstraw, yellow oat grass, crested dog’s tail and meadow buttercup.

The diversity of the plants in the churchyard is down to careful management and collaboration between the verger, grounds maintenance contractors, a local botanist and acceptance by the church/local community.  It is often tricky to manage such a successful working relationship so it’s success here is worthy of note.

The development of the Shirley Poppy is closely related to this churchyard as it’s instigator was the Reverend William Wilkes of this Parish for more information on the hybrid poppy that has become a symbol of the area please visit

St John’s species list

Key Features
  • Wildflower area
  • Wildlife haven
  • Peaceful space for quiet reflection
  • Good accessibility
  • Stones with stories
  • Memorials with famous or infamous connections



St John’s the Evangelist
Shirley Church Rd

Visitor Information
Opening Times

The churchyard is always open, please visit the church website for church opening times.

There is a weekly St John’s Tea Room on Sunday afternoons 3.00 – 5.00pm
Pop in for a tea, a cake and a chat in the Tamberlin Room at the back of the church.

Contact details

Please visit the church website 


The churchyard is largely level with a variety of path surfaces including paving stones and gravel.


There are toilets in the church community room open when the church is open.


There are several benches for seating around the churchyard.

Parking & Transport

There are several bus stops within 10 mins walk from the churchyard.  The closest is on Upper Shirley Road, a 5min walk from the churchyard and is served by 130 and 466 for more information please visit


There is a variety of places to eat on Wickham Road within a 10 min walk from the churchyard.

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