Southern stations art trail
Across our network we’ve worked with local artists and community groups to help make your stations more attractive. Our Southern Stations Art Trail visits five stations in Croydon, conveniently linked by frequent Southern train services.
Start either end, at Thornton Heath or Purley. You could view the art at all five in around two hours or, at a more leisurely pace, include a lunch stop and a stroll around central Croydon to take in more of the Borough’s exciting street art. With more time still to spare, why not add North Dulwich (21 minutes from Thornton Heath) to your tour? And the community art collections at Denmark Hill and Gipsy Hill, each about 35 minutes from Croydon with one change of trains, are worth a visit in their own right. All Croydon stations on the Trail, except South Croydon, have step-free access between street and platforms. Find out more about booking assisted travel.
Mosaic mural by Maud Milton of Artyface
Location: Platform 1
Maud Milton is the founder of Artyface Community Art, which has been delivering successful community art projects across London for over 20 years. Artyface specialise in bespoke public mosaics with the community at their heart - made for local people, and involving local people in the making.
Maud’s station-name murals at Thornton Heath and Selhurst include tiles shaped and stamped with words by people in the local community. Both mosaics have a richness of detail, full of stories in the patterns in each tile, pressed in when soft by someone local. The words throughout the mosaics are special to each station, celebrating local history, people, places, events and wildlife, as well as encapsulating the time the mosaic was made.
From here it’s just 3 minutes on Southern to Selhurst
Mosaic mural by Maud Milton of Artyface
Location: On front of station building
Maud’s station-name murals at Thornton Heath and Selhurst include tiles shaped and stamped with words by people in the local community.
From here it’s just 3 minutes on Southern to East Croydon
Mural by Joe Rashbrook
Location: On road bridge opposite main station entrance
This stunning 35m-long mural, suggested by local passengers and residents, and funded by us, involved collaboration with the London Borough of Croydon and Network Rail. Signwriter Joe Rashbrook was awarded the commission for his vibrant street-art style.
From here it’s just 2 minutes on Southern to South Croydon
Prints and paintings by several members of the art and mental health charity Studio Upstairs
Locations: Platform 1 waiting room; Platform 1 north end (view from Platform 2); waiting shelters on Platforms 2/3 and 4/5; Platform 4/5 south end; underpass and stairways
Studio Upstairs provide creative community hubs and positive, life-changing interventions for people with mental or emotional difficulties. The 23 pieces of station art, by people they have helped, aim to raise awareness of mental health issues and the importance of support and compassion for everyone’s wellbeing.
Please note that South Croydon doesn’t have step-free access between platforms.
From here it’s just 6 minutes on Southern to Purley
Paintings by Kevin Zuchowski-Morrison, Dan Cimmermann, Morgan Davy
Location: Platform 6
Commissioned by Purley Business Improvement District (BID), these three striking panels commemorate famous people with local associations to provide an eye-catching welcome with motivational messages to train travellers arriving at Purley. The panels depict Amy Johnson, the famed and daring female pilot who was the first woman to fly solo from Croydon airport to Sydney in 1930; Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, the renowned 19th Century composer and conductor who hails from Croydon; and William Jessop, the exceptional civil engineer, mastermind behind the Surrey Iron Railway - the world’s first passenger railway - that ran through Croydon.
And for art explorers with more time to spend in South London
Sculpture by students at William Penn School and artist Stephen Duncan
“The Journey Up” is a dramatic ceramic sculpture designed and produced by students at William Penn School, working with artist-in-residence Stephen Duncan and their art teachers, for the 1994 Dulwich Festival. The sculpture depicts a train passing Dulwich landmarks. The students are named on a nearby plaque. North Dulwich is just 21 minutes from Thornton Heath.
35-45 minutes from Thornton Heath, change at Peckham Rye or Clapham Junction
Denmark Hill’s new north entrance features sculptures and decorated tiles by British-Ghanaian artist Godfried Donkor, based on traditional Ghanaian adinkra motifs representing proverbs and aspects of life.
On the south side, GTR’s station improvement programme built a plinth with power and lighting for community artwork displays, which are sourced, managed, and often created by the Camberwell Society. The artworks featured on the plinth are changed roughly every 6 weeks. Some past items are moved to other sites nearby, for longer-term or permanent display. These include the "chaos water wheel" made of buckets and a penny-farthing front wheel; and an optical illusion sculpture that spells out "YES" in one direction and "NO" in the opposite direction.
As little as 28 minutes on Southern from Thornton Heath, changing at Tulse Hill; or 31 minutes from East Croydon: Tramlink to West Croydon, then change for Southern
Place-name mural by Lionel Stanhope on road bridge (east side of Gipsy Hill opposite station entrance); vintage station name board in the station’s community garden can be seen from Platform 1 or Sainsbury Road
Gipsy Hill’s 15-metre-long place-name mural was designed by the Friends of Gipsy Hill, funded by Network Rail and painted on their bridge by street artist and sign-writer Lionel Stanhope. The Friends continue to maintain the work. In the community garden stands an original 1948 British Rail name board, discovered in Devon by the Friends after a 40-year absence, brought back and restored with the help of a crowdfunding campaign. The station also displays the Gipsy Hill Tavern sign, salvaged when the Tavern was refurbished and renamed The Great Southern in 2019.