Later nineteenth century railway building facilitated Croydon's growth as a commuter town for London.
The will of John de Croydon, fishmonger, dated 6 December 1347, includes a bequest to "the church of S John de Croydon", the earliest clear record of its dedication.The church still bears the arms of Archbishop Courtenay and Archbishop Chichele, believed to have been its benefactors.Its population of 52,104 at the 2011 census includes the wards of Addiscombe, Broad Green and Fairfield.Historically part of the hundred of Wallington in the county of Surrey, at the time of the Norman conquest of England Croydon had a church, a mill, and around 365 inhabitants, as recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086.In this Anglo-Saxon document the name is spelt (here he uses original script) Crogdaene.
Crog was, and still is, the Norse or Danish word for crooked, which is expressed in Anglo-Saxon by crumb, a totally different word. This term accurately describes the locality; it is a crooked or winding valley; in reference to the valley that runs in an oblique and serpentine course from Godstone to Croydon." Anderson refuted a claim, originally cited by Andrew Coltee Ducarel, that the name came from the Old French for "chalk hill", because the name was in use at least a century before the French language would have been commonly used following the Norman Invasion.Many of the buildings of the original Croydon Palace survive, and are in use today as Old Palace School.The Parish Church (now Croydon Minster) is a Perpendicular-style church, which was remodelled in 1849 but destroyed in a great fire in 1867, following which only the tower, south porch, and outer walls remained.In the mid 20th century these sectors were replaced by retailing and the service economy, brought about by massive redevelopment which saw the rise of office blocks and the Whitgift Centre, the largest shopping centre in London until 2008.Croydon was amalgamated into Greater London in 1965.Croydon is a large town in south London, England, 9.5 miles (15.3 km) south of Charing Cross.