Category Archives: History

Minster bells have been ringing the changes for four centuries

Church bells rang out yesterday to mark the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, and they will surely toll again during the coming week of mourning. Here DAVID MORGAN peals away at the history of a Croydon tradition that goes … Continue reading

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£200,000 grant gets historic Minster ready for its future

At least there’s one building in Croydon that gets its repairs done in a timely manner. DAVID MORGAN explains the reasons for the scaffolding around the former Parish Church which has a history going back a thousand years If your … Continue reading

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Wondering wanders: our thought-provoking covid walks

CROYDON COMMENTARY: Getting out and about has taken on added importance during lockdown, and given RICHARD PACITTI cause for thoughts… For me, an unexpected pleasure brought about by the coronavirus restrictions has been the walks I have been taking with … Continue reading

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The Miller’s tale of Mendelssohn’s visit and a lifetime of music

Croydon’s Parish Church in the early 19th century attracted some of the finest musical talents of the time, thanks to the role played by one influential parishioner, writes DAVID MORGAN On June 17, 1832, Felix Mendelssohn wrote in his diary: … Continue reading

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Park life: Shawcross has plenty of appeal in her new role

EXCLUSIVE: Val Shawcross, the former leader of Croydon Council and Deputy Mayor of London, spoke to CLARA MURRAY about her new role as chair of the Crystal Palace Park Trust and the excitement over their latest projects Crystal Palace Park … Continue reading

Posted in Charity, Community associations, Croydon parks, Crystal Palace and Upper Norwood, Crystal Palace Park, Crystal Palace Park Trust, Friends of Crystal Palace Park, History, Ken Livingstone, London-wide issues, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, Val Shawcross | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Wool, perriwigs and rotten boroughs: the Gorgeous Georgians

MARVELS OF THE MINSTER: Many old memorials for rich, influential families placed in the Parish Church were destroyed by fire 150 years ago. But DAVID MORGAN has managed to track down the story of one of the lost tombs of … Continue reading

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Londoners’ Twitter sarcasm quickly becomes a museum piece

Social media may in essence be ephemeral, but curators at the Museum of London appear determined to use people’s throwaway one-liners and lockdown tweets to provide a historical context for the coronavirus pandemic. The Museum has pulled together 13 tweets … Continue reading

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Church story that is full of artists, reformers and educators

By the mid-19th Century, Croydon was growing at such a rate that it needed a new church, specifically for the servants of those who formed the congregation at what we know today as the Minster. DAVID MORGAN charts the history … Continue reading

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New book relates women’s secret work at Bletchley Park

“What would it be like to keep a secret for 50 years? Never telling your parents, your children, or even your husband?” Codebreaker Girls: A Secret Life at Bletchley Park tells the true story of Daisy Lawrence, a young woman … Continue reading

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Bellway reveals plan for 168 homes around lido diving board

A housing developer wants to build nearly 170 homes around a Grade II-listed Art Deco diving board. The site of the former Purley Way Lido has been disused since the end of 2018, after the garden centre that had been … Continue reading

Posted in Business, History, Housing, Planning, Property, Purley Way, Purley Way Lido, Waddon | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Addington’s ancient church has a place in nation’s history

MARVELS OF THE MINSTER: From the Norman Conquest to the Victorian age, Croydon buildings have been important to the Archbishops of Canterbury, as DAVID MORGAN explains Much is made of the fact that Croydon Minster has six Archbishops of Canterbury … Continue reading

Posted in Addington, Addington Palace, Church and religions, Croydon Minster, David Morgan, History | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Grand designs: Wake’s daughter and her Yorkshire pile

MARVELS OF THE MINSTER: The last resting place of six Archbishops, what used to be known as Croydon Parish Church was also the burial site of members of the church leaders’ families, as DAVID MORGAN’s latest research has discovered For … Continue reading

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Ecclesiastical family who thrived on prayer, poetry and Croydon

Using Croydon Minster’s archive, DAVID MORGAN researches the family history of John Unwin Esq, and discovers more of the wealth of local history to be found laying at our feet One of the gravestones making up the path on the … Continue reading

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Hard labour: the Croydon Mayor, dodgy deals and bankruptcy

Town Hall reporter KEN LEE on a tale from Katharine Street’s history which resonates strongly today New Year may be a time for looking forward, but it can also be most useful for taking a backward glance, perhaps to learn … Continue reading

Posted in Brick by Brick, Business, Croydon Council, History, Jo Negrini, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

200-year-old documents reveal story behind the graves

MARVELS OF THE MINSTER: Local historian DAVID MORGAN has discovered some real treasure at the National Archives: three wills from one Croydon family Finding a last will and testament that was written by someone who was living 200 years ago … Continue reading

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Cleric who faced court at time of Pepys, plague and puritans

MARVELS OF THE MINSTER: From the records of the old Parish Church and other accounts, DAVID MORGAN uncovers the history of a Croydon vicar who was hauled up in court at the Old Bailey on charges of kidnapping, was confronted … Continue reading

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How Croydon’s pandemic priests survived the Black Death

MARVELS OF THE MINSTER: Coronavirus is not the first pandemic that priests have had to cope with while ministering to the congregation at Croydon’s Parish Church, which has a history going back a thousand years. By DAVID MORGAN The year … Continue reading

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Friends group raises jaw-dropping amount for dinosaur repair

The Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs (yes, it’s a thing) have been successful in raising almost £25,000 towards the cost of restoring one of Crystal Palace Park’s Grade I-listed dinosaur models. The Megalosaurus sculpture is about 170 years old and … Continue reading

Posted in Community associations, Croydon parks, Crystal Palace and Upper Norwood, Crystal Palace Park, Friends of Crystal Palace Park, History | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The double tragedy in war suffered by a wife and mother

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM: Remembrance Sunday is given over for the public to reflect on the sacrifices made by others. Here, from the roll of honour at the Minster, DAVID MORGAN recalls the lives, and deaths, of two generations of … Continue reading

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‘For gallantry’: Croydon hero who died at Passchendaele

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM: On November 11, it will be the centenary of the burial of The Unknown Soldier at Westminster Abbey, an event full of symbolism about the loss of so many during the Great War. At Croydon Minster, … Continue reading

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The brothers in arms who lost their lives at Ypres and Gallipoli

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM: Ahead of Remembrance Sunday, Minster historian DAVID MORGAN has been going through the roll of honour to recall some of the Croydon fallen from World War I One brother fell at Passchendaele, the other was killed … Continue reading

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The tale of a Croydon private’s life, and death, on the Somme

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM: The names on the roll of honour at Croydon Minster provide a glimpse into the lives, and deaths, of Croydon men killed in the Great War. As we approach Remembrance Day, DAVID MORGAN has been finding … Continue reading

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How ‘chums’ and Contemptibles set standards at the Minster

Over the coming days, as we head into November and towards  Remembrance Sunday, DAVID MORGAN will be relating some of the stories of the fallen who are commemorated at Croydon Minster In the “old days” – which is now any … Continue reading

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Cane Hill Park unveils sundial artwork to honour its history

Residents of Cane Hill Park have been enjoying a new public artwork, which pays homage to the history of Cane Hill Hospital. Croydon-based Artist Holly Graham has created a sundial artwork entitled While The Piled Cumuli Sail Galleon-Like Above – … Continue reading

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Cry God for Chichele, the patron who prayed for Agincourt

DAVID MORGAN explores how Henry V’s Archbishop came to lend his name to a street in Croydon Residents of Chichele Gardens, part of the Park Hill estate in Croydon, might be in for a surprise when they discover the story … Continue reading

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