Croydon Local Information
Just a short drive in your car rental to the south of London and you’ll find the town of Croydon – it is a major commercial centre, and the principle settlement in the borough of Croydon.
The name Croydon is though to come from the Anglo-Saxon ‘croh’, for crocus, and ‘denu’for valley. Other schools of thought, however, hold that the name originates from the French for ‘croie dune’, or chalk hill. Yet another theory believes that the original spelling, Crogdaene; crog being Norse or Danish for crooked (where we get our word crooked from), so the name actually refers to the fact that the town lay in a crooked valley. This is thought to be more believable by some as the name came about after the area was invaded by the Normans, and before the use of French language in the area.
In any case, the first recorded mention of Croydon is in 962, and evidence has been found to suggest Roman settlement, and in the 400s to 500s, a pagan Saxon cemetery. Indeed, during the late Saxon period, the entire area belonged to the Archbishops of Canterbury, and they obtained a charter to hold a weekly market in 1276 – this more than likely was the beginnings of Croydon as a commercial centre.
If you take a drive to the market in your car rental, just think as you shop, that the market has been there for so long! Around that time, the manor house and church could still be found in that part of the village known as the Old Town. By the 1500s, the manor house had become a bit of a palace, used as the summer residence by the bishops and visited regularly by royalty and other important people. Tour the Croydon Palace in your car rental and explore the old world charm of the bishops’ home!