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A little bit of Crawley history
Inhabited since the Stone Age and a centre of ironworking in Roman times, Crawley developed as a market town from the 13th century and was boosted in the 18th century by the construction of the road between London and Brighton. Three Bridges mainline station was opened in the summer of 1841 and Crawley station was built in 1848.
Gatwick Airport opened on the edge of the town in the 1940s encouraging commercial and industrial growth and after the Second World War the Government planned to move large numbers of people and jobs out of London and into new towns around South East England and Crawley was one of those areas. Rapid development greatly increased the size and population of the town in just a few decades and the town now comprises of 16 residential neighbourhoods separated by main roads and railway lines and has a population of approximately 100,000 residents.
In 2005 Crawley Leisure Centre was closed and replaced by the K2 Leisure Centre which has the only Olympic sized swimming pool in South East England and in 2008 an impressive new three storey library was opened in new buildings at Southgate Avenue, replacing the former library at County Buildings.
The shopping facilities are excellent and include Queens Square and the County Mall covered shopping centre, while the town neighbourhoods include a vast array of specialist shops with ample free parking, pubs, schools, doctors, dentists, churches, mosques and recreational areas.
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In addition to K2 Leisure Centre, local sporting facilities include fishing, tennis, rugby, bowls and golf. Further amenities include Crawley Leisure Park, restaurants, bars, Hawth Theatre, cinema and ten-pin bowling. Crawley Town FC is the town’s main football team, formed in 1896 and moving to Broadfield Stadium in 1997. Homes Partnership have been involved with the club for the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 seasons as the back of shorts sponsors, regularly attending the home games where attendance averages around 2,000 fans.
Public transport also includes the Fastway bus service, the smart choice of travel around Crawley, Horley and Gatwick. Operating along sections of guided busway and dedicated bus lanes, Fastway has been specially designed to speed past congestion hotspots and offers a comfortable, reliable and efficient alternative to travel by car.
Road links - The A23 links London and Brighton, the A220 leads to Horsham & East Grinstead and the M23 leads to the M25.
On travelling to Crawley on the M23 you can exit at the following junctions: Junction 10: Langley Green, Pound Hill, Town Centre, Three Bridges, Furnace Green, Gossops Green, West Green, Ifield and Northgate. Junction 10a: Maidenbower and Pound Hill. Junction 11: Tollgate Hill, Broadfield, Bewbush, Southgate and Tilgate.
"Upon request we can provide a local guide with contact details for some of the facilities offered in Crawley, including schools, doctors, dentists, hospitals, travel, leisure, eating, utilities & other services. In the meantime we hope you find the following information helpful."
Crawley Leisure Park incorporates Virgin Active, Cineworld, McDonalds. Frankie & Benny’s, Chiquito, TGI Fridays Pizza Hut, Bella Italia, Hollywood Bowl, Nando’s and Harvester! Tilgate Park includes Tilgate Nature Centre, Go Ape, Lakes & fishing, walled garden & Café, play area and Tilgate Forest Golf Centre.
The K2 Leisure Centre facilities include an Olympic sized 50m pool and leisure pool, 12 metre climbing wall, badminton courts, squash courts, fully equipped gym and much more. K2 Crawley has something for everyone, regardless of age, fitness level or ability.
Gatwick Airport is in close proximity to Crawley and is easily reached by car, bus and train. The railway station runs the Gatwick Express non-stop service to London Victoria in approximately 30 minutes.
Bewbush is located in south west Crawley with Bewbush Water Gardens creating a large pond with an impressive boardwalk across the southern pond. You can follow a route through the gardens onto Ifield Mill Pond. Developments within Bewbush include Bewbush West, Bewbush Manor and the recently finished Buchans Mead.
Broadfield has ease of access to the A264 and A23/M2 and Buchan Park, Tilgate Park and the K2 Leisure Centre are all close by. Broadfield has a mixture of property types, including private estates, self-build and social housing. Developments within Broadfield include Broadoak, Tollgate Hill and Cottesmore Green.
Tilgate construction began in 1955 and it is home to Tilgate Park; a large area of forest, nature reserve, recreational lake and golf course. Approximately 125 acres of woodland in the southwest corner of the area have been earmarked for a possible university campus.
Furnace Green boasts a number of amenities whilst also benefiting from the amenities of the adjacent neighbourhood of Tilgate. The Hawth Arts Centre and K2 Leisure Centre are near at hand as is Three Bridges mainline railway station. The Hawth Theatre offers a varied programme of events including theatre, dance, music, comedy, film, visual arts and the annual pantomime is a must see!
Kilnwood Vale is one of the first developments to benefit from the Government’s Get Britain Building programme. Built on land originally belonging to Horsham District Council, the modern development draws on the traditions of the Garden City Movement of the 19th century. The neighbourhood, which when finished will provide around 2,500 properties, is still in development and plans have been made for the neighbourhood to have its own schooling, businesses and even a new railway station.
Forge Wood is named after an area of ancient woodland within the neighbourhood. Built on former pastureland owned by Crawley Borough Council, the site which is still in development is due for completion in 2026 will provide up to 1,900 homes as well as schooling, a community centre and shopping facilities. Situated adjoining the ancient village of Tinsley Green and to the north of neighbourhood of Pound Hill; the area is also only a short distance from Gatwick Airport.
Gossops Green is off the A23 which was the main London to Brighton route before the M23 was opened in the 1970s. The area benefits from local facilities and just the other side of the A23 is Goffs Park, one of Crawley’s main parks with footpaths to Crawley Town Centre.
Ifield is a former village and offers a mix of modern and traditional housing. St Margarets Church was built in the 13th century and is situated in the conservation area. Ifield train station is located on the border with Gossops Green and Ifield Mill Pond is considered to be the most important wetland site in Crawley.
Langley Green is bordered by Manor Royal Industrial Estate and many of the streets are named after trees, plants, animals and birds. Perhaps the most famous resident from Langley Green is boxer Alan Minter who won an Olympic bronze in 1972 and went on to become World Middleweight Champion.
Maidenbower is located in the south east of Crawley and has good transport links being within easy reach of the M23 and Three Bridges mainline station. The 16th century Frogshole Farm building, from the Maidenbower farm that gave the area is name, is the local public house.
Northgate was the second neighbourhood to be built in the development of the New Town in the 1950’s. The town centre is located within Northgate including the main shopping area, rail and bus stations. Northgate is within the Hazelwick School catchment area.
Pound Hill was originally a hamlet within the parish of Worth. The area is served well by local amenities and bus services link to Manor Royal Industrial Estate and to Gatwick. Pound Hill is also within the local catchment area for Hazelwick School and most of the area is within walking distance of Three Bridges mainline station.
Southgate and Southgate West are primarily residential areas and home to two of the 100 listed buildings and structures in the borough of Crawley. The nearest railway station is Crawley and the town centre is considered to be walking distance from much of the area.
Three Bridges was once a tiny hamlet and is now at the intersection of the London to Brighton line. Hazelwick School is in Three Bridges and you may have heard of some former teachers and pupils including footballer Gareth Southgate, X-factor contestant Chico Slimani and comedian Romesh Ranganathan.
West Green is a roughly triangular area of 300 acres, adjacent to Crawley High Street; in 1841 it had only 20 houses! Crawley Hospital was built in West Green between 1959 and 1962 but since the 1990s many of the services have been moved to East Surrey Hospital in Redhill. You’ll also find Crawley’s ambulance and fire stations here.
Worth is famous for Worth Abbey and the church of St Nicholas in Worth stands out among the many Saxon and Norman churches in West Sussex. Worth Way follows the old railway line which ran from East Grinstead to Three Bridges but which was closed in the 1960s.