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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.

By the time of the Norman invasion Croydon had a church, a mill and around 365 inhabitants as recorded in the Doomsday Book.

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 I.

So 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.

Croydon 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).

Into 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.

In 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 today.



  • Ashgate
    Leading international publishers of academic research across the arts, humanities and social sciences.
  • British Association For Local History
    Our purpose is to encourage and assist the study of Local History as an academic discipline and as a rewarding leisure pursuit for both individuals and groups.
  • The Bourne Society
    Local history of Warlingham Whyteleafe Purley Kenley Caterham Coulsdon and Woldingham. We are a UK registered charity which fosters the study of local history in the area drained by the Bourne streams.
  • Croydon Airport
    Croydon Airport and Imperial Airways were synonymous with each other. Both epitomised the golden age of commercial aviation
  • Croydon Airport Society
    With 700 members dedicated to preserving the story of London's major airport from 1920 until being phased out in favour of Heathrow during the forties and fifties.
  • The Croydon Canal
    ...Today if you take the stopping train from London Bridge to West Croydon you will follow the route, for much of the way, of the Croydon Canal...
  • Croydon Natural History & Scientific Society
    Founded in 1870, the Society has much in the way of printed matter and museum specimens that is relevant to the district and the archives may help your studies.
  • Croydon's Coat of Arms
    Where did it come from and how old is it?  You'd be surprised.
  • The Crystal Palace Foundation
    is concerned to preserve and develop Crystal Palace, from the Great Exhibition onwards.
  • Disused Underground
    Not in Croydon, we don't have the underground yet, but irresistibly fascinating photos and reports on parts of London's tube that would otherwise be forgotten....
    If you would like to see around this charming and historic old building, a home of the Archbishops of Canterbury for over five centuries and regular haunt of monarchs such as Henry III and Elizabeth I, you are welcome to come on a guided tour.
  • Overbeyond
    Wandering from Portlaoise to Mayo, Croydon and Elsewhere. THE HOMEPAGE OF THOMAS DUNNE. OLD PALACE SCHOOL.
  • The Norris Story
    A joiner tells the story of one of Britain's most famous woodworking names
  • Sainsbury's Museum Page - Croydon
    In 1882 John James Sainsbury bought a shop at 11 London Road, Croydon and converted it into a showpiece branch.....
  • Skylighters
    Did you know the biggest searchlights in the world were made here in Croydon during the Second World War?  You do now...
  • Transport of Delight
    Various modes of transport here, many involving steam trains and many involving lines through Croydon.
  • Trolleybus
    The trolleybuses replaced former tram routes in the mid 1930's but were themselves ousted by the diesel bus in the early 1960's. Before disappearing into obscurity, a small photographic record was captured by me, and is presented on this site.
  • Weird Croydon
    Although not strictly speaking a history web-site, Weird Croydon does have several references to strange phenomena which are linked to Croydon's sometimes mysterious past.
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