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Riddlesdown Road
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Riddlesdown is a hillside of meadows and woodland that is open to the public all year round. Over a third of a million people live near to the Common - for many around Croydon it is the nearest stretch of rolling countryside they can visit.

Explore Riddlesdown any time of the year and you will not be disappointed. In the spring and summer it is alive with different birds and insects, and you can see many rare wild flowers.
On a crisp autumn morning, the colours of the changing trees are spectacular, especially the sentinel beeches ofthe ancient Coombes Wood. With the free-draining chalk soils underfoot, Riddlesdown is accessible in winter, when the landscape becomes moody,tranquil and reflective.
The wildlife enthusiast will find the Common teeming, and rarities abound; the walker can set a steady pace across the Downs for a good few hours; the curious stroller will enter into a land of resplendent views and peace.

The first use of the name "Ridelsdoune" - meaning cleared woodland on a hill - dates back to the 14th century. The main Riddlesdown Road track (built by the Romans) provided an important dry and elevated trade link betweenthe coast, the corn-growing South Downs and the iron works of Wealden Kent.
Neolithic axes, a series of parallel old track ways on the hillside, (excavated) depressions and possible traces of Iron Age fields prove a history ofhuman activity going back many thousands of years. The large ditch to the north of the site, known as the "Newe Ditch", is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, although of indeterminate age.



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