An artist from Purley has collaborated with a business support group and Network Rail to produce a new mural that pays homage to how the town first got its name.

Artist Lionel Stanhope worked with Purley's Business Improvement District (BID) for the street art project that highlight's Purley's Anglo-Saxon origins in a beautifully simple way.

Painted under a section of the railway on Godstone Road, the mural depicts a pear tree next to bold graphic letters spelling out Purley's name.

Purley gets its name from the Anglo-Saxon word “Pirige“ meaning pear tree and the word “Leah” meaning woodland clearing.

Your Local Guardian: Lionel Stanhope and Catherine Garrad with the newly unveiled mural. Lionel Stanhope and Catherine Garrad with the newly unveiled mural.

The towns name means “A woodland clearing where pear trees grow” which was altered and recorded at the start of the twelfth century as “Pirlee”.

“I’m really happy with this mural and the pear tree is a nice touch which reflects the Ango-Saxon roots of the town," Stanhope said.

The artist has worked extensively in South London and recently showcased work in Dulwich, Eltham and for Millwall Football Club.

"I hope the locals appreciate it – I received positive comments from people passing by when I was working on it," he added.

Purley became a sought after place to live after the new railway made quick access possible, and many houses were built during the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century.

Catherine Garrad, engagement manager at Purley Business Improvement District described her delight at the project's completion:

“We are really proud of the art that Lionel Stanhope has created and the ties of Purley with the railway," she said.

"Even more impressive is that Purley still has the remains of the original Surrey Iron Railway dating back to 1802.”

Eddie Burton, community engagement manager at Network Rail added:

“The wall in Purley looks great and I’m glad we could highlight the wonderful heritage of the town.

"We own bridges and other structures across the South East and not only do these murals make them much nicer to look at, but they also encourage people to respect and look after them."