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By the 16th century the manor house had become a substantial palace, used as the main summer home of the archbishops and visited by monarchs and other dignitaries.The original palace was sold in 1781, by then dilapidated and surrounded by slums and stagnant ponds, and a new residence, at nearby Addington, purchased in its place.Croydon appears in Domesday Book (1086) as Croindene, held by Archbishop Lanfranc.
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.Croydon lies on a transport corridor between central London and the south coast of England, to the north of two gaps in the North Downs, one followed by the A23 Brighton Road through Purley and Merstham and the main railway line and the other by the A22 from Purley to the M25 Godstone interchange.Road traffic is diverted away from a largely pedestrianised town centre, mostly consisting of North End.A charter issued by King Coenwulf of Mercia refers to a council that had taken place close to the monasterium (meaning minster) of Croydon.An Anglo-Saxon will made in about 960 is witnessed by Elfsies, priest of Croydon; and the church is also mentioned in Domesday Book.
Later nineteenth century railway building facilitated Croydon's growth as a commuter town for London.