The name Croydon
comes from Crogdene, named by the Saxons in
the 8th Century when they settled here, although the
area had been inhabited since pre-historic times.
the time of the Norman invasion Croydon had a church,
a mill and around 365 inhabitants as recorded in the
Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop Lanfranc lived
in Croydon at his palace which still stands today.
Visitors included Thomas Beckett (another Archbishop),
and celebrities such as King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth
Croydon was quite well-known with all these famous people
dropping in from time to time. In fact there are
other Archbishops of Canterbury buried at Croydon Parish
Church and Addington Palace as a result.
carried on through the ages as a prosperous market town,
they produced charcoal, tanned leather, and got into
brewing. Croydon saw the first railway (horse
drawn) in the world in 1803, and later became a vital
link in the London to Brighton rail link in the mid-1800s,
helping Croydon to become the largest town in Surrey,
which it remains to this day, (not Guildford).
the 1900's and Croydon became known for it's industry
such as metal working, car manufacture and it's aerodrome,
(London's airport before Gatwick and Heathrow).
It was partly due to this that Croydon suffered heavy
bomb damage during World War Two.
the late 50s and through the sixties the Council commercialised
the centre of Croydon with massive development of office
blocks and the Whitgift shopping centre. The original
Whitgift School there had to move to it's current site