Croydon is a town in south London, England, 9.5 miles (15.3 km) south of Charing Cross. The principal settlement in the London Borough of Croydon, it is one of the largest commercial districts outside Central London, with an extensive shopping, nightlife and restaurant scene. Its population of 52,104 at the 2011 census includes the wards of Addiscombe, Broad Green and Fairfield. Click over here now.

Historically part of the hundred of Wallington in the county of Surrey, at the time of the Norman Conquest it was held by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The area had been a large manor since the time of the Saxons, and had been owned by the church since the Confessor. Following the Norman Conquest, Croydon passed to the Bishop of Winchester, and then to the Earl of Surrey.

Croydon appears in Domesday Book (1086) as Croindene, held by Archbishop Lanfranc. Its Domesday assets were: 16 hides; 1 church, 1 mill worth 5s, 38 ploughs, 8 acres (3.2 ha) of meadow, woodland worth 200 hogs. It had a population of 60 cattle, 12 hogs, 1 sheep.

Out of the original 16 hides, a sixth was taken to create the new manor of Ashtead. What is left of the original Domesday manor house is now the oldest part of Croydon Palace, which was constructed in 1385.

The church and the mill have gone, and the number of ploughs has increased to about 100. In the early 13th century, a charter granted the town the right to hold a weekly market and annual fair. In 1414, the Archbishop of Canterbury Henry Chichele, bought the manor of Croydon from Sir Richard Wallington and granted it to the college of his newly founded All Souls College, Oxford.

There was much building in the town in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, including the Church of the Holy Trinity, which was rebuilt in stone in about 1510. The palace was rebuilt in brick and stone in about 1530.

In 1640, the College of Arms moved from London to Croydon Palace. This meant that Croydon became the unofficial heraldic capital of England, a position it held until the College moved out in 1784.

In 1766, the Surrey Iron Railway from Croydon to Wandsworth was opened. In the early 19th century, Croydon became a favoured residence for many wealthy Londoners, and several grand villas were built in the town.

The town was further developed in the early 20th century with the coming of the tramways and the opening of East Croydon station in 1906, which spurred on further growth.

Today, Croydon is a bustling town with a lot to offer tourists. Here are 10 great things to see and do in Croydon:

1. Visit Croydon Palace

Croydon Palace was the summer residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury for over 500 years. The original manor house dates back to the Domesday Book, and the current building was constructed in the early 16th century. The Palace is now a grade I listed building, and is open to the public for guided tours. Learn more about Croydon Palace here.

2. See the College of Arms

The College of Arms is the official heraldic authority for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It was founded in 1484, and moved to Croydon Palace in 1640. The College is open to the public for guided tours, and you can see the heraldic collections and artworks on display.

3. Ride the Tram

Croydon has the only surviving tram system in London. The trams run from East Croydon station to New Addington, and are a great way to see the town. You can buy a day ticket which allows you unlimited travel on the tram system.

4. Visit the Museum of Croydon

The Museum of Croydon is housed in a grade II listed building, and tells the story of the town from its prehistoric past to the present day. The museum has a range of permanent and temporary exhibitions, and also hosts regular events and activities.

5. Shop at the Whitgift Centre

The Whitgift Centre is the largest shopping centre in Croydon, and is home to over 200 shops, restaurants and cafes. The Centre also has a multi-storey car park, and is served by the Tramlink.

6. Eat at the Boxpark

Boxpark is a food court with a difference, as all of the eateries are housed in shipping containers. There are a range of cuisines on offer, and you can eat inside or out. Boxpark also has a bar, and is a great place to people watch.

7. Drink at the Cronx Brewery

The Cronx Brewery is a microbrewery based in Croydon, and produces a range of beers which are available to buy in the Brewery Taproom. The Taproom is open Wednesday to Sunday, and you can also buy beer to take away.

8. See a show at the Fairfield Halls

The Fairfield Halls is a grade II listed building, and is one of the largest arts venues in London. The Halls host a variety of shows and events, including music, dance, comedy and theatre.

9. Go for a walk in Lloyd Park

Lloyd Park is a large park in Croydon, and is home to a boating lake, a café, a children’s playground and a skate park. The Park also hosts regular events and activities, including an outdoor cinema in the summer.

10. Visit the Croydon Clocktower

The Croydon Clocktower is a grade II listed building, and was opened to the public in 1994. The Clocktower houses the Museum of Croydon, the Croydon Central Library, an art gallery and a cafe. You can also take a tour of the Clocktower, and see the views from the top.