Not named after a forest but after a 14thCentury farmer, one Roger de Wood. In 1312 his son John inherited the property but it was seized by King Edward III on the grounds of John’s idiocy, at the time a new word to English, meaning mentally deficient. But when John died the inheritance was given to his sister Lucy. In 1357 it was still in the hands of the Wood family, with Peter Atte Wood being given a licence for an oratory in his house at Coulsdon. By the dawn of a new century it had changed hands and by the start of the 17thCentury it had passed into the Lambert family and so continued until 1685, when Alexander Lambert died, leaving seven sisters, among whom it was divided. Most of the land ending up with the Roffey family, who also held land in Chaldon and Caterham and by which time it was known as Wood Place Farm. This was part of the area known as The Dutch Village which as well as this road includes Wilhelmina Avenue and The Netherlands. The village is so-called because the first part of the estate was designed and built during the 1920s to 1930s by a Dutch firm who used Dutch workers and materials. It was described by its Dutch architect Wouter Hamdorff as a “modern Dutch garden village”. Construction stopped in 1937 and the remaining section of the estate and its buildings designed and completed after World War Two by a different architect and building firm.
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