The town grew up from Anglo-Saxon times around a palace belonging to the Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1276 the archbishop allowed a weekly market to take place nearby and this date is taken as the founding of the town. The town grew in the eighteenth century as a stage coach stop on the way to the popular seaside town of Brighton from London. In the nineteenth century railways put the town only 15 minutes from London by fast train and it grew 23 times in terms of the number of people living there between 1801 and 1901.
Things to do
Croydon is well known for having many places to go shopping, which includes two shopping centres called Centrale and the Whitgift Centre. A third one called Park Place is planned. Croydon has been rated the 20th best shopping area in the UK. It is also well known for holding a lot of offices for companies to let. The council wants to keep Croydon a big town by building more offices and entertainment facilities so a new place called the Croydon Gateway is planned. Purley Way, just west of Croydon, is a large retail park area which has many shops like Comet (which went in admin in 2012), Sainsbury's, McDonald's, IKEA, Argos, M&S, Boots along with a cinema and bowling alley.
Croydon is also served by Tramlink, a tram system, the only tram system in all of Greater London. It is the place where all four routes meet. They go to places like Elmers End and Beckenham in Bromley to the east, Wimbledon and Mitcham in Merton to the west, and Addington and Addiscombe to the south.
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