It has a large green space which is the centre of a gyratory. Very close to the combined railway station and Tramlink terminus bearing its name is the old sewage farm. The remains of this industrial site can still be seen. The sewage works is thought to be contaminated with heavy metals and is therefore unfit for building houses.
There are two leading theories about where the name Elmers End originated. The more romantic of the two is that a famous highwayman, Elmer, was hung at the crossroads, making it ‘Elmer’s end’. The less romantic, but possibly more historically accurate, reason is that there were a lot of elm trees in the area. This would, of course, logically result in the location being called Elms End. However the original Victorian railway companies were notorious for both getting place names wrong when naming their stations and for trying to make station names grander than was really justified so this explanation is quite plausible had it not been for the fact that Elmers End as a name clearly predates the coming of the railway by at least ten years.
The sewage farm has been converted into a country park South Norwood Country Park, but many of the locals still know it as the sewage farm. The park falls within the boundaries of the London Borough of Croydon.
The old industrial estate which was on the south side of the railway track has mostly closed down. It is now a Tesco superstore. The former Bolloms paint factory site, on the opposite side of the road has been redeveloped into an industrial estate.
The main Beckenham Crematorium is situated between South Norwood Country Park and Birkbeck. Also known as Elmers End Cemetery, it contains the final resting places of such notable people as W.G. Grace, Frank Bourne, Thomas Crapper, Jerzy Wołkowicki, William Stanley and George Evans (VC) who won a Victoria Cross in 1916.