Category Archives: History

Wilkes’s steam-powered history remains shrouded in mystery

MARVELS OF THE MINSTER: Among those buried in the churchyard of what was the Croydon Parish Church is a giant of the Industrial and Agricultural Revolutions that transformed Britain in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries. But as DAVID … Continue reading

Posted in Church and religions, Croydon Minster, David Morgan, History | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Stanley Halls receives £99,750 grant for High Street arts

South Norwood is one of four London high streets announced today as receiving tens of thousands of pounds in grants from Historic England to help create High Street Heritage Action Zones – or the snazzily abbreviated HSHAZ. Historic England say … Continue reading

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How Benjamin Franklin helped the inventor of the wheel

MARVELS OF THE MINSTER: Further research into the burial records of what was once known as Croydon Parish Church has revealed intriguing connections to Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Minster historian DAVID MORGAN takes up the story A … Continue reading

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Mayor’s relocation plans place City Hall on ‘at risk’ register

The 20th Century Society expresses fears for landmark building and for under-threat social housing at Cressingham Gardens On the eve of the sixth election for the Mayor of London, City Hall, the building which has been the home of the … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Environment, History, Housing, Lambeth Council, London Assembly, London-wide issues, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Eight walks to encompass Croydon’s boundaries and history

Over the course of lockdown, one intrepid geographer has managed to complete the ‘beating of the bounds’ and discover the fascinating history of our parish and civic boundaries, stretching back to Saxon times. Words, pictures and mapping by Dr BEN … Continue reading

Posted in Addington, Church and religions, City Commons, Coulsdon, Croydon parks, Environment, History, New Addington, Purley, Purley Oaks and Riddlesdown, Sanderstead, Selsdon & Ballards, Selsdon Vale and Forestdale, Surrey, Tandridge District Council, Walks | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Grinling Gibbons and saxifrage: hidden secrets of Lloyd Park

CROYDON COMMENTARY: The moving of sites between two Croydon private schools will create a misnomer for the building being used in Lloyd Park, according to ANTHONY MILLS, who provides some history and background to the site The transfer of the … Continue reading

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Crystal Palace Park dinosaur bridge swings into action

The architect-designed swing bridge for dinosaur island in Crystal Palace Park is now fully operational. Paid for out of grants from the Greater London Authority and £70,000 raised through a public crowdfunder, the bridge was designed by architects Tonkin Liu … Continue reading

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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

Posted in Church and religions, Croydon Minster, David Morgan, History | Tagged , | 2 Comments

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