Why us?

We are a creative team with over 25 years of combined experience in the design and marketing industry. Click below to see what makes our websites unique:

Our Recent Projects

Features

Dynamic Design

Our experienced design team make use of the latest coding technology including CSS, HTML and JS.

Friendly Support

We’re readily available to point you in the right direction and to answer any questions.

Fast & Secure Hosting

Lightning fast reliable hosting, with SSL certification which provides both security and SEO benefits.

Other Ideas...

With our team of dedicated graphic designers we can build or adapt your corporate identity.

Price Guide

Like the businesses they represent, websites are not all created equal. Websites serve various purposes, feature different technology and display content in different ways and therefore differ considerably in price. As the level of design and functionality increases and becomes more complex to suit your business requirements, the price increases proportionally. The price guide below indicates an approximate cost for the design of a website with some starter plans, if you believe your site may exceed these, we can accommodate accordingly to match your wants and needs perfectly. We have a website design studio based in Croydon, London so make sure to come in and have a meeting to discuss plans and the future of your new website. Be sure to click "Get a Quote" to receive an accurate bespoke quotation.

STARTING FROM
Start Up Business
£1250
Our "Start Up" website allows you to advertise in more depth and detail your services, ideal for a new business. The package is an ideal entry level website and additional features can be added at any time.




what's Included

3-5 Pages
Adaptive to All Platforms
Matched Brand Styling
SEO and Metadata Completion
Google Friendly Build
SSL Certification
Non-Template Custom Design
Customer Contact Form & Map
Portfolio / Gallery / Video
Social Media Links

Starting from
Medium / Large Business
£1995
With our custom content management system, this website package provides you more control over the content of your website. The package contains all the standard features mentioned below as well as extra features that can be administered at any moment.


what's Included ▾

6 + Pages
Adaptive to All Platforms
Matched Brand Styling
SEO and Metadata Completion
Google Friendly Build
SSL Certification
Non-Template Custom Design
Customer Contact Form & Map
Portfolio / Gallery / Video
User Friendly CMS
Website Training
Unique CSS Animation

STARTING FROM
Large / Enterprise Business
£2995
This website package enables you to expand your site to maximize your internet revenues and enquiries. Ideal for well-established businesses seeking to advertise their services online through an eye-catching professional website. The package contains all the standard features listed below as well as additional features that can be added at any time.

what's Included ▾

10 + Pages
Adaptive to All Platforms
Matched Brand Styling
SEO and Metadata Completion
Google Friendly Build
SSL Certification
Non-Template Custom Design
Customer Contact Form & Map
Portfolio / Gallery / Video
User Friendly CMS
Website Training
High End CSS/JS Animation

Domain Name

We manage the purchase of your chosen domain name and this means:

A bonafide and reliable supplier is used during the purchasing procedure

Your domain name is securely stored on our secure servers

We take care of all the administration requirements whilst also ensuring your data is kept private

As a Google partnered domain name provider, your new website  will take priority over others in the search results

Hosting

When you purchase your website and hosting with us you receive:

Millisecond page loads with a global content distribution network powered by Fastly and Amazon Cloudfront

Enterprise-grade reliability so your site is always available

Our hosting foundations are built to handle even the most highly trafficked sites

SSL certificates for every site, providing the security and SEO benefits that today’s major search engines expect

Email

We manage the setup of your new email address:

Create up to 100 email aliases with your domain, such as help@yourdomain or sales@yourdomain, and have them forwarded to existing email accounts

Or use the award winning Google G Suite that lets you easily create email addresses for you and your team and includes helpful business tools like live shared email exchange as it happens on an device from anywhere in the world. Shared calendars are also beneficial for business use

Croydon Web Design - A Story

Leading Web Design

If a high quality and effective website is what you desire, be sure that The Premium Group can take you through every step of the journey with our leading web design team based in Croydon and London. We offer a multitude of services that will help your business take the forefront of its specialty area. Anything that requires digital assitance or design can all be done from one company to ensure everything from your website to your social media synergise and fits perfectly like a beautifully created puzzle. Despite being based in London and Croydon, we can accomodate to your digital needs from wherever you may be based, whether it be internationally or right next door to our web design studio in Croydon so come in and have a meeting to discuss the future of your new website. If you have no idea as to what you want your website to be or how you want it to look, let us take care of it all for you and use our expertise to create a visually stunning masterpiece that will be the center of all your future marketing.

The Origin of Web Design

Design adds clarity. Using colour, typography, hierarchy, contrast, and all the other tools at their disposal, designers can take an unordered jumble of information and turn it into something that’s easy to use and pleasurable to behold. Like life itself, design can win a small victory against the entropy of the universe, creating pockets of order from the raw materials of chaos.
The Book of Kells is a beautifully illustrated manuscript created over 1200 years ago. It’s tempting to call it a work of art, but it is a work of design. The purpose of the book is to communicate a message; the gospels of the Christian religion. Through the use of illustration and calligraphy, that message is conveyed in an inviting context, making it pleasing to behold.

Design works within constraints. The Columban monks who crafted the Book of Kells worked with four inks on vellum, a material made of calfskin. The materials were simple but clearly defined. The cenobitic designers knew the hues of the inks, the weight of the vellum, and crucially, they knew the dimensions of each page.

Revolution of Print

Materials and processes have changed and evolved over the past millennium or so. Gutenberg’s invention of movable type was a revolution in production. Whereas it would have taken just as long to create a second copy of the Book of Kells as it took to create the first, multiple copies of the Gutenberg bible could be produced with much less labour. Even so, many of the design patterns such as drop caps and columns were carried over from illuminated manuscripts. The fundamental design process remained the same: knowing the width and height of the page, designers created a pleasing arrangement of elements. The techniques of the print designer reached their zenith in the 20th century with the rise of the Swiss Style. Its structured layout and clear typography is exemplified in the work of designers like Josef Müller‐Brockmann and Jan Tschichold. They formulated grid systems and typographic scales based on the preceding centuries of design.
Knowing the ratio of the dimensions of a page, designers could position elements with maximum effect. The page is a constraint and the grid system is a way of imposing order on it.

Taking Design to The Web

When the web began to conquer the world in the 1990s, designers started migrating from paper to pixels. David Siegel’s Creating Killer Websites came along at just the right time. Its clever TABLE and GIF hacks allowed designers to replicate the same kind of layouts that they had previously created for the printed page.Those TABLE layouts later became CSS layouts, but the fundamental thinking remained the same: the browser window — like the page before it — was treated as a known constraint upon which designers imposed order.There’s a problem with this approach. Whereas a piece of paper or vellum has a fixed ratio, a browser window could be any size. There’s no way for a web designer to know in advance what size any particular person’s browser window will be.Designers had grown accustomed to knowing the dimensions of the rectangles they were designing within. The web removed that constraint.

Setting The Standards

The ratio of the browser window is just one example of a known unknown on the web. The simplest way to deal with this situation is to use flexible units for layout: percentages rather than pixels. Instead, designers chose to pretend that the browser dimensions were a known known. They created fixed‐width layouts for one specific window size.In the early days of the web, most monitors were 640 pixels wide. Web designers created layouts that were 640 pixels wide. As more and more people began using monitors that were 800 pixels wide, more and more designers began creating 800 pixel wide layouts. A few years later, that became 1024 pixels. At some point web designers settled on the magic number of 960 pixels as the ideal width.It was as though the web design community were participating in a shared consensual hallucination. Rather than acknowledge the flexible nature of the browser window, they chose to settle on one set width as the ideal …even if that meant changing the ideal every few years.Not everyone went along with this web‐wide memo.

Toolsets

It’s a poor craftsperson who always blames their tools. And yet every craftsperson is influenced by their choice of tools. As Marshall McLuhan’s colleague John Culkin put it, “we shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us.”When the discipline of web design was emerging, there was no software created specifically for visualising layouts on the web. Instead designers co‐opted existing tools.Adobe Photoshop was originally intended for image manipulation; touching up photos, applying filters, compositing layers, and so on. By the mid nineties it had become an indispensable tool for graphic designers. When those same designers began designing for the web, they continued using the software they were already familiar with.If you’ve ever used Photoshop then you’ll know what happens when you select “New” from the “File” menu: you will be asked to enter fixed dimensions for the canvas you are about to work within. Before adding a single pixel, a fundamental design decision has been made that reinforces the consensual hallucination of an inflexible web.Photoshop alone can’t take the blame for fixed‐width thinking. After all, it was never intended for designing web pages. Eventually, software was released with the specific goal of creating web pages. Macromedia’s Dreamweaver was an early example of a web design tool. Unfortunately it operated according to the idea of WYSIWYG: What You See Is What You Get.While it’s true that when designing with Dreamweaver, what you see is what you get, on the web there is no guarantee that what you see is what everyone else will get. Once again, web designers were encouraged to embrace the illusion of control rather than face the inherent uncertainty of their medium.It’s possible to overcome the built‐in biases of tools like Photoshop and Dreamweaver, but it isn’t easy. We might like to think that we are in control of our tools, that we bend them to our will, but the truth is that all software is opinionated software. As futurist Jamais Cascio put it, “software, like all technologies, is inherently political”. Small wonder then that designers working with the grain of their tools produced websites that mirrored the assumptions baked into those tools — assumptions around the ability to control and tame the known unknowns of the World Wide Web.

Rise of Reality

By the middle of the first decade of the twenty‐first century, the field of web design was propped up by multiple assumptions:that everyone was browsing with a screen large enough to view a 960 pixel wide layout;that everyone had broadband internet access, mitigating the need to optimise the number and file size of images on web pages;that everyone was using a modern web browser with the latest plug‐ins installed.A minority of web designers were still pleading for fluid layouts. I counted myself amongst their number. We were tolerated in much the same manner as a prophet of doom on the street corner wearing a sandwich board reading “The End Is Nigh” — an inconvenient but harmless distraction.There were even designers suggesting that Photoshop might not be the best tool for the web, and that we could consider designing directly in the browser using CSS and HTML. That approach was criticised as being too constraining. As we’ve seen, Photoshop has its own constraints but those had been internalised by designers so comfortable in using the tool that they no longer recognised its shortcomings.This debate around the merits of designing Photoshop comps and designing in the browser would have remained largely academic if it weren’t for an event that would shake up the world of web design forever.

Mobile Masses

Web‐capable mobile devices existed before the iPhone, but they were mostly limited to displaying a specialised mobile‐friendly file format called WML. Very few devices could render HTML. With the introduction of the iPhone and its competitors, handheld devices were shipping with modern web browsers capable of being first‐class citizens on the web. This threw the field of web design into turmoil.Assumptions that had formed the basis for an entire industry were now being called into question:How do we know if people are using wide desktop screens or narrow handheld screens?How do we know if people are browsing with a fast broadband connection at home or with a slow mobile network?How do we know if a device even supports a particular technology or plug‐in?The rise of mobile devices was confronting web designers with the true nature of the web as a flexible medium filled with unknowns.The initial reaction to this newly‐exposed reality involved segmentation. Rather than rethink the existing desktop‐optimised website, what if mobile devices could be shunted off to a separate silo? This mobile ghetto was often at a separate subdomain to the “real” site: m.example.com or mobile.example.com.This segmented approach was bolstered by the use of the term “the mobile web” instead of the more accurate term “the web as experienced on mobile.” In the tradition of their earlier consensual hallucinations, web designers were thinking of mobile and desktop not just as separate classes of device, but as entirely separate websites.Determining which devices were sent to which subdomain required checking the browser’s user‐agent string against an ever‐expanding list of known browsers. It was a Red Queen’s race just to stay up to date. As well as being error‐prone, it was also fairly arbitrary. While it might have once been easy to classify, say, an iPhone as a mobile device, that distinction grew more difficult over time. With the introduction of tablets such as the iPad, it was no longer clear which devices should be redirected to the mobile URL. Perhaps a new subdomain was called for — t.example.com or tablet.example.com — along with a new term like “the tablet web”. But what about the “TV web” or the “internet‐enabled fridge web?”

Scaling Issues

The practice of creating different sites for different devices just didn’t scale. It also ran counter to a long‐held ideal called One Web. But this doesn’t mean that small‐screen devices should be served page layouts that were designed for larger dimensions. If web designers wished to remain true to the spirit of One Web, they needed to provide the same core content at the same URL to everyone regardless of their device. At the same time, they needed to be able to create different layouts depending on the screen real‐estate available.The shared illusion of a one‐size‐fits‐all approach to web design began to evaporate. It was gradually replaced by an acceptance of the ever‐changing fluid nature of the web.

Reformation of Responsiveness

In April of 2010 Ethan Marcotte stood on stage at An Event Apart in Seattle, a gathering for people who make websites. He spoke about an interesting school of thought in the world of architecture: responsive design, the idea that buildings could change and adapt according to the needs of the people using the building. This, he explained, could be a way to approach making websites.One month later he expanded on this idea in an article called Responsive Web Design. It was published on A List Apart, the same website that had published John Allsopp’s A Dao Of Web Design ten years earlier. Ethan’s article shared the same spirit as John’s earlier rallying cry. In fact, Ethan begins his article by referencing A Dao Of Web Design.Both articles called on web designers to embrace the idea of One Web. But whereas A Dao Of Web Design was largely rejected by designers comfortable with their WYSIWYG tools, Responsive Web Design found an audience of designers desperate to resolve the mobile conundrum.

The Adjacent Possible

Writer Steven Johnson has documented the history of invention and innovation. In his book Where Good Ideas Come From, he explores an idea called “the adjacent possible”:At every moment in the timeline of an expanding biosphere, there are doors that cannot be unlocked yet. In human culture, we like to think of breakthrough ideas as sudden accelerations on the timeline, where a genius jumps ahead fifty years and invents something that normal minds, trapped in the present moment, couldn’t possibly have come up with. But the truth is that technological (and scientific) advances rarely break out of the adjacent possible; the history of cultural progress is, almost without exception, a story of one door leading to another door, exploring the palace one room at a time.This is why the microwave oven could not have been invented in medieval France; there are too many preceding steps required — manufacturing, energy, theory — to make that kind of leap. Facebook could not exist without the World Wide Web, which could not exist without the internet, which could not exist without computers, and so on. Each step depends upon the accumulated layers below.By the time Ethan coined the term Responsive Web Design a number of technological advances had fallen into place. As I wrote in the foreword to Ethan’s subsequent book on the topic:The technologies existed already: fluid grids, flexible images, and media queries. But Ethan united these techniques under a single banner, and in so doing changed the way we think about web design.Fluid grids. The option to use percentages instead of pixels has been with us since the days of TABLE layouts.Flexible images. Research carried out by Richard Rutter showed that browsers were becoming increasingly adept at resizing images. The intrinsic dimensions of an image need not be a limiting factor.Media queries. Thanks to the error‐handling model of CSS, browsers had been adding feature upon feature over time. One of those features was CSS media queries — the ability to define styles according to certain parameters, such as the dimensions of the browser window.The layers were in place. A desire for change — driven by the relentless rise of mobile — was also in place. What was needed was a slogan under which these could be united. That’s what Ethan gave us with Responsive Web Design.

A New Mindset

The first experiments in responsive design involved retrofitting existing desktop‐centric websites: converting pixels to percentages, and adding media queries to remove the grid layout on smaller screens. But this reactive approach didn’t provide a firm foundation to build upon. Fortunately another slogan was able to encapsulate a more resilient approach.Luke Wroblewski coined the term Mobile First in response to the ascendency of mobile devices:Losing 80% of your screen space forces you to focus. You need to make sure that what stays on the screen is the most important set of features for your customers and your business. There simply isn’t room for any interface debris or content of questionable value. You need to know what matters most.If you can prioritise your content and make it work within the confined space of a small screen, then you will have created a robust, resilient design that you can build upon for larger screen sizes.Stephanie and Bryan Rieger encapsulated the mobile‐first responsive design approach:The lack of a media query is your first media query.In this context, Mobile First is less about mobile devices per se, and instead focuses on prioritising content and tasks regardless of the device. It discourages assumptions. In the past, web designers had fallen foul of unfounded assumptions about desktop devices. Now it was equally important to avoid making assumptions about mobile devices.Web designers could no longer make assumptions about screen sizes, bandwidth, or browser capabilities. They were left with the one aspect of the website that was genuinely under their control: the content.Echoing A Dao Of Web Design, designer Mark Boulton put this new approach into a historical context:Embrace the fluidity of the web. Design layouts and systems that can cope to whatever environment they may find themselves in. But the only way we can do any of this is to shed ways of thinking that have been shackles around our necks. They’re holding us back. Start designing from the content out, rather than the canvas in.This content‐out way of thinking is fundamentally different to the canvas‐in approach that dates all the way back to the Book of Kells. It asks web designers to give up the illusion of control and create a materially‐honest discipline for the World Wide Web.Relinquishing control does not mean relinquishing quality. Quite the opposite. In acknowledging the many unknowns involved in designing for the web, designers can craft in a resilient flexible way that is true to the medium.Texan web designer Trent Walton was initially wary of responsive design, but soon realised that it was a more honest, authentic approach than creating fixed‐width Photoshop mock‐ups:My love for responsive centers around the idea that my website will meet you wherever you are — from mobile to full‐blown desktop and anywhere in between.For years, web design was dictated by the designer. The user had no choice but to accommodate the site’s demand for a screen of a certain size or a network connection of a certain speed. Now, web design can be a conversation between the designer and the user. Now, web design can reflect the underlying principles of the web itself.On the twentieth anniversary of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners‐Lee wrote an article for Scientific American in which he reiterated those underlying principles:The primary design principle underlying the Web’s usefulness and growth is universality. The Web should be usable by people with disabilities. It must work with any form of information, be it a document or a point of data, and information of any quality — from a silly tweet to a scholarly paper. And it should be accessible from any kind of hardware that can connect to the Internet: stationary or mobile, small screen or large.

Croydon

Croydon is a large town in south London, England, 9.4 miles (15.1 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 district and night-time economy. 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. Croydon expanded in the Middle Ages as a market town and a centre for charcoal production, leather tanning and brewing. The Surrey Iron Railway from Croydon to Wandsworth opened in 1803 and was the world's first public railway. Later nineteenth century railway building facilitated Croydon's growth as a commuter town for London. By the early 20th century, Croydon was an important industrial area, known for car manufacture, metal working and Croydon Airport. 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 Greater London until 2008. Croydon was amalgamated into Greater London in 1965. Croydon lies on a transport corridor between central London and the south coast of England, to the north of two high gaps in the North Downs, one taken by the A23 Brighton Road and the main railway line through Purley and Merstham 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. East Croydon is a major hub of the national railway transport system, with frequent fast services to central London, Brighton and the south coast. The town is unique in Greater London for its Tramlink light rail transport system.

History

As the vast majority of place names in the area are of Anglo-Saxon origin, the theory accepted by most philologists is that the name Croydon derives originally from the Anglo-Saxon croh, meaning "crocus", and denu, "valley", indicating that, like Saffron Walden in Essex, it was a centre for the cultivation of saffron. It has been argued that this cultivation is likely to have taken place in the Roman period, when the saffron crocus would have been grown to supply the London market, most probably for medicinal purposes, and particularly for the treatment of granulation of the eyelids. There is also a plausible Brittonic origin for Croydon in the form "Crai-din" meaning "settlement near fresh water" (Cf "Creuddyn" Ceredigion), the name Crai (variously spelled) being found in Kent at various places even as late as the Domesday Book. Alternative, although less probable, theories of the name's origin have been proposed. According to John Corbet Anderson: "The earliest mention of Croydon is in the joint will of Beorhtric and Aelfswth, dated about the year 962. In this Anglo-Saxon document the name is spelt [here he uses Old English characters] 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. From the Danish came our crook and crooked. 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 challenged a claim, originally made by Andrew Coltee Ducarel, that the name came from the Old French for "chalk hill", because it was in use at least a century before the French language would have been commonly used following the Norman conquest. However, there was no long-term Danish occupation (see Danelaw) in Surrey, which was part of Wessex, and Danish-derived nomenclature is also highly unlikely. More recently, David Bird has speculated that the name might derive from a personal name, Crocus: he suggests a family connection with the documented Chrocus, king of the Alemanni, who allegedly played a part in the proclamation of

Early History

The town lies on the line of the Roman road from London to Portslade, and there is some archaeological evidence for small-scale Roman settlement in the area: there may have been a mansio (staging-post) here. Later, in the 5th to 7th centuries, a large pagan Saxon cemetery was situated on what is now Park Lane, although the extent of any associated settlement is unknown.By the late Saxon period Croydon was the hub of an estate belonging to the Archbishops of Canterbury. The church and the archbishops' manor house occupied the area still known as "Old Town". The archbishops used the manor house as an occasional place of residence: as lords of the manor they dominated the life of the town well into the early modern period, and as local patrons they continue to have an influence. Croydon appears in Domesday Book (1086) as Croindene, held by Archbishop Lanfranc. Its Domesday assets included 16 hides and 1 virgate of land; a church; a mill worth 5s; 38 plough-teams; 8 acres (3.2 ha) of meadow; and woodland worth 200 hogs. It had a recorded population of 73 households (representing roughly 365 individuals); and its value in terms of taxes rendered was £37 10s 0d.
The church had been established in the middle Saxon period, and was probably a minster church, a base for a group of clergy living a communal life. 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. 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.
In 1276 Archbishop Robert Kilwardby acquired a charter for a weekly market, and this probably marks the foundation of Croydon as an urban centre. Croydon developed into one of the main market towns of north east Surrey. The market place was laid out on the higher ground to the east of the manor house in the triangle now bounded by High Street, Surrey Street and Crown Hill. 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. However, the palace gradually became dilapidated and surrounded by slums and stagnant ponds, and in 1781 the archbishops sold it, and in its place purchased a new residence at nearby Addington. Nevertheless, 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. A new church was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, one of the greatest architects of the Victorian age, and opened in 1870. His design loosely followed the previous layout, with knapped flint facing and many of the original features, including several important tombs. Croydon Parish Church is the burial place of six Archbishops of Canterbury: John Whitgift, Edmund Grindal, Gilbert Sheldon, William Wake, John Potter and Thomas Herring. Historically part of the Diocese of Canterbury, Croydon is now in the Diocese of Southwark. In addition to the suffragan Bishop of Croydon, the Vicar of Croydon is an important preferment.
Addington Palace is a Palladian-style mansion between Addington Village and Shirley, in the London Borough of Croydon. Six archbishops lived there between 1807 and 1898, when it was sold. Between 1953 and 1996 it was the home of the Royal School of Church Music. It is now a conference and banqueting venue.Croydon was a leisure destination in the mid 19th century. In 1831, one of England's most prominent architects, Decimus Burton, designed a spa and pleasure gardens below Beulah Hill and off what is now Spa Hill in a bowl of land on the south-facing side of the hill around a spring of chalybeate water. Burton was responsible for the Beulah Spa Hotel (demolished around 1935) and the layout of the grounds.[18] Its official title was The Royal Beulah Spa and Gardens. It became a popular society venue attracting crowds to its fêtes. One widely publicised event was a "Grand Scottish Fete" on 16 September 1834 "with a tightrope performance by Pablo Fanque, the black circus performer who would later dominate the Victorian circus and achieve immortality in The Beatles song, Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" The spa closed in 1856 soon after the opening nearby of The Crystal Palace which had been rebuilt on Sydenham Hill in 1854, following its success at the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park. It was destroyed in a spectacular fire in 1936.Horse racing in the area took place occasionally, notably during visits of Queen Elizabeth I to the archbishop. Regular meetings became established first on a course at Park Hill in 1860 and from 1866 at Woodside, where particularly good prizes were offered for the races run under National Hunt rules. In that sphere its prestige was second only to that of Aintree, home of the Grand National. Increasing local opposition to the presence of allegedly unruly racegoers coupled with the need to obtain a licence from the local authority led to it being closed down in 1890.The Elizabethan Whitgift Almshouses, the "Hospital of the Holy Trinity", in the centre of Croydon at the corner of North End and George Street, were erected by Archbishop John Whitgift. He petitioned for and received permission from Queen Elizabeth I to establish a hospital and school in Croydon for the "poor, needy and impotent people" from the parishes of Croydon and Lambeth. The foundation stone was laid in 1596 and the building was completed in 1599.The premises included the Hospital or Almshouses, providing accommodation for between 28 and 40 people, and a nearby schoolhouse and schoolmaster's house. There was a Warden in charge of the well-being of the almoners. The building takes the form of a courtyard surrounded by the chambers of the almoners and various offices.Threatened by various reconstruction plans and road-widening schemes, the Almshouses were saved in 1923 by intervention of the House of Lords. On 21 June 1983 Queen Elizabeth II visited the Almshouses and unveiled a plaque celebrating the recently completed reconstruction of the building. On 22 March each year the laying of the foundation stone is commemorated as Founder's Day.The Grade II listed West Croydon Baptist Church was built in 1873 by one J Theodore Barker. It is a red brick building with stone dressings. Its three bays are divided by paired Doric pilasters supporting a triglyph frieze and panelled parapet.The Parish Church of St Michael and All Angels by J L Pearson in West Croydon was built between 1880 and 1885, and is Grade I listed.

Industrial Revolution and The Railway

The development of Brighton as a fashionable resort in the 1780s increased the significance of Croydon's role as a halt for stage coaches on the road south of London. At the beginning of the 19th century, Croydon became the terminus of two pioneering commercial transport links with London. The first, opened in 1803, was the horse-drawn Surrey Iron Railway from Wandsworth, which in 1805 was extended to Merstham, as the Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Railway. The second, opened in 1809, was the Croydon Canal, which branched off the Grand Surrey Canal at Deptford. The London and Croydon Railway (an atmospheric and steam-powered railway) opened between London Bridge and West Croydon in 1839, using much of the route of the canal (which had closed in 1836). Other connections to London and the south followed.The arrival of the railways and other communications advances in the 19th century led to a 23-fold increase in Croydon's population between 1801 and 1901. This rapid expansion of the town led to considerable health problems, especially in the damp and overcrowded working class district of Old Town. In response to this, in 1849 Croydon became one of the first towns in the country to acquire a Local board of health. The Board constructed public health infrastructure including a reservoir, water supply network, sewers, a pumping station and sewage disposal works.The Surrey Street Pumping Station is Grade II listed; it was built in four phases. starting with the engine house in 1851, with a further engine house in 1862, a further extension in 1876-7 to house a compound horizontal engine and a further extension in 1912.

A Growing Town

In 1883 Croydon was incorporated as a borough. In 1889 it became a county borough, with a greater degree of autonomy. The new county borough council implemented the Croydon Improvement scheme in the early 1890s, which widened the High Street and cleared much of the "Middle Row" slum area. The remaining slums were cleared shortly after Second World War, with much of the population relocated to the isolated new settlement of New Addington. New stores opened and expanded in central Croydon, including Allders, Kennards and Grade II listed Grants, as well as the first Sainsbury's self-service shop in the country.There was a market on Surrey Street.Croydon was the location of London's main airport until the Second World War. During the war, much of central Croydon was devastated by German V-1 flying bombs and V-2 rockets, and for many years the town bore the scars of the destruction. After the war, Heathrow Airport superseded Croydon Airport as London's main airport, and Croydon Airport quickly went into a decline, finally closing in 1959.By the 1950s, with its continuing growth, the town was becoming congested, and the Council decided on another major redevelopment scheme. The Croydon Corporation Act was passed in 1956. This, coupled with national government incentives for office relocation out of Central London, led to the building of new offices and accompanying road schemes through the late 1950s and 1960s, and the town boomed as a business centre in the 1960s, with many multi-storey office blocks, an underpass, a flyover and multi-storey car parks.In 1960 Croydon celebrated its millennium with a pageant held at Lloyd Park and an exhibition held at the old Croydon Aerodrome.

Modern Croydon

The growing town attracted many new buildings. The Fairfield Halls arts centre and event venue opened in 1962. Croydon developed as an important centre for shopping, with the construction of the Whitgift Centre in 1969. No. 1 Croydon (formerly the NLA Tower)[26] designed by Richard Seifert & Partners was completed in 1970. The Warehouse Theatre opened in 1977.The 1990s saw further changes intended to give the town a more attractive image. These included the closure of North End to vehicles in 1989 and the opening of the Croydon Clocktower arts centre in 1994. An early success of the Centre was the "Picasso's Croydon Period" exhibition of March–May 1995.The Croydon Tramlink began operation in May 2000 (see Transport section below).The Prospect West office development was built in 1991 to 1992, and its remodelling planned in 2012[27] has now been completed. Renamed Interchange Croydon when it was reopened in 2014, the 180,000 square foot office development was the first new grade A office development of its size to open in Croydon for more than 20 years.Another large shopping centre, Centrale, opened in 2004 opposite the Whitgift Centre, and adjoining the smaller Drummond Centre. House of Fraser and Debenhams are the anchor stores in the combined centre. In addition, there are plans for a large, new one billion pound shopping centre, in the form of a new Westfield shopping mall to add to the two which the company currently has in Greater London; Westfield plans to work jointly with Hammersons and to incorporate the best aspects of the two companies' designs. In November 2017, Croydon Council gave permission for the new Westfield shopping centre to be built and in January 2018, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, approved the regeneration scheme. Work to demolish the existing Whitgift Centre will begin in 2018 and Westfield Croydon is currently expected to open by 2022. There are several other major plans for the town including the redevelopment of the Croydon Gateway site; and extensions of Tramlink to Purley Way, Streatham, Lewisham and Crystal Palace.Apart from its very large central shopping district, Croydon has a number of smaller shopping areas, especially towards the southern end of the town in which are many restaurants. Two of Croydon's restaurants are listed in The Good Food Guide.
Croydon has many tall buildings such as the former Nestlé Tower (St George's House). The London Borough of Croydon's strategic planning committee in February 2013 gave the go-ahead to property fund manager Legal and General Property's plans to convert the empty 24-storey St George's House office building, occupied by Nestlé until September 2012, into 288 flats.The Croydon area has several hospitals: the main one is Croydon University Hospital in London Road.The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has said he would support Croydon being granted city status and announced £23m of additional funding to help redevelop the town at the Develop Croydon Conference on 22 November 2011.Several apartment developments, for instance Altitude 25 (completed 2010), have been built in recent years, and several more are being built or planned. The construction of Saffron Square, which includes a 43-storey tower, began on Wellesley Road in 2011 and was completed in 2016. Other developments with towers over 50 floors high have been given planning approval. These include the 54-storey "Menta Tower" in Cherry Orchard Road near East Croydon station, and a 55-storey tower at One Lansdowne Road, on which construction was set to begin in early 2013. The latter is set to be Britain's tallest block of flats, including office space, a four-star hotel and a health club.In May 2012 it was announced that Croydon had been successful in its bid to become one of twelve "Portas Pilot" towns, and would receive a share of £1.2m funding to help rejuvenate its central shopping areas.
On 26 November 2013, Croydon Council approved a redevelopment of the Town Centre by The Croydon Partnership, a joint venture by The Westfield Group and Hammerson.London Mayor Boris Johnson approved the plan the following day. The Croydon Advertiser listed the approval as an "Historic Night for Croydon".At Ruskin Square, a Boxpark made of sea containers opened in 2016 as a temporary measure until new buildings are constructed for shops, offices and housing. The London Evening Standard said that this and other developments were reviving the town which was in the process of gentrification.

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