Croydon – The Basics

Central Croydon

The London Borough of Croydon is situated in the south of the capital, and forms part of Outer London. Croydon is approximately 33 square miles in area, and happens to be the largest of the boroughs in terms of population. Croydon is the southernmost borough of the British capital, and also one of the most populous areas on the fringe of London. The entity is governed by Croydon Council. The borough takes its name from the historic market town of Croydon which is still located in the centre of the district, it is also the civic centre of the borough. Croydon has seen some notable transformations during the decades. At the moment, the borough is one of the capital’s top locations for business, finance, culture and entertainment.

Borough formation and brief history

The current entity was formed in 1965 by merging the districts of Purley and the former County Borough of Croydon. The borough’s name originates from the 8th century Saxon name Crogdene or Croindone. First official records of settlement and trade in the area date back to the 7th century AD, however archaeologists have proven human habitation well into prehistoric times. The widely accepted etymology of the Saxon name refers to ‘valley of crocuses’.Central Croydon By the time of the Doomsday Book the town of Croydon was home to about three hundred and fifty people, had its own church and a mill. As development became a constant for the town, it was chosen as the place for one of the official royal residences – Croydon Palace, where a number of British monarchs have resided or holidayed throughout the centuries. Croydon Palace still stands today. Prosperity never left Croydon – the town became more established and generated wealth for its residents. The key economies in the district were leather making, charcoal making and brewing. In the early eighteen hundreds Croydon was connected to the Surrey Iron Railway – the first horse drawn railway in the world. About halfway through the nineteenth century Croydon was the largest town in Surrey and benefited from having its own proper train station on the London to Brighton line. During the twentieth century the borough was best known for its metal work and car building industries. Croydon Airport was also a significant player in the local economic and employment scene.  For a comprehensive timeline on the borough’s history and development click here.

Croydon’s modern day economy

It is fair to say the borough’s economic heart is located in Central Croydon. Most part of the local economy is represented by retail and enterprise. Many of the major local employers are national and international businesses and corporations. Traditionally one of the key employers in the borough has been IKEA who opened their store here in the early nineteen nineties. Purley Way is another important business providing lots of jobs, though higher skilled than those of IKEA. Besides these two, Croydon has branches and offices of all major UK and many international businesses. Since the start of the twenty first century Croydon has consistently scored high marks in retail expenditure figures. Small and medium size businesses also operate successfully across the borough, serving mostly local needs. A good example is the local property removals scene, represented by a number of established companies such as Beuser Group. Their professional man and van solutions in South Norwood and Upper Norwood are the preferred way to relocate for local residents and businesses. Quality man and van removals in Selhurst and Norbury are also available by Beuser Group.

Areas forming the borough

The London Borough of Croydon is currently made up of thirty four areas or suburbs, some better known than others.

  • At the centre of the borough, there is the historic town of Croydon which is now commonly known as Central Croydon. This is where the focus of local commerce, retail and services is.
  • One of the best known areas of Croydon (although shared between three other boroughs) is Crystal Palace – the original location of the famous Crystal Palace itself.
  • Addington, home to the magnificent Palladian mansion called Addington Palace is another of the ancient areas forming the borough. Addington dates back to at least the Anglo-Saxon Period.
  • Coulsdon is an area closely connected to the industrial development in the region. The Hall family have operated quarries in the area for generations.