Croydon

History - Local

The Local History Group meets on the second Friday of the month (2.00 – 4.00 pm) in the home of one of our members – to research and discuss different aspects of Croydon’s history.

In 2020, our theme was to be the history of Croydon’s pubs – but of course we hadn’t expected that a pandemic would see them all closed down. In true u3a spirit, we haven't been deterred by difficulty and although our research has been more virtual than convivial, we have managed to find out some interesting information ...

How much do YOU know about our pubs?

  • Which pub was named for a swarm of rare butterflies which descended on Croydon in the mid-19th century?
  • Which pub was originally called the Mitre and Crozier?
  • Why was the Moon Under Water so called?
  • Which pub was frequented by Dick Turpin, the notorious highwayman?
  • How did the Ship get its name?
  • Where was there a Temperance pub in Croydon?

ANSWERS:

  • The Surprise Inn in Upper Shirley Road was so-named because of the surprise appearance of a swarm of Camberwell Beauty butterflies which attracted many visitors to the part of Upper Shirley, then known as Badger’s Hole.
  • The Swan and Sugar Loaf in Brighton Road (now sadly closed) was originally owned by the Church and called the Mitre and Crozier after items worn and carried by the Bishop. People thought that the mitre looked like a sugar loaf (sugar used to come in big hunks and was cut as needed) and the crozier looked like the neck of a swan – so they changed its name!
  • The Moon Under Water pub in Norbury got its name from a newspaper article written by George Orwell in the 1930s. He described what in his opinion would be an ideal pub and called it The Moon Under Water.
  • Dick Turpin sometimes stayed in his aunt’s cottage in Thornton Heath and is said to have hung out at the Three Tuns pub in Surrey Street and the Half Moon in Broad Green – both since demolished.
  • The Ship was named for the boats which used to ply the Croydon canal.
  • The Lord Roberts on the Green in Purley was founded as a temperance pub – serving soft drinks as an alternative to ‘the demon drink’!

If you find local history interesting, get in touch and we will let you know when we are meeting again and what we are doing next! Use the 'pigeon post' above right to contact the Group Leader.

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More Group Pages
Writing for Pleasure A Taste of World Cuisines
Architecture Art - Appreciating Masterpieces
Blues & Jazz Appreciation Chair Yoga
China Croydon Memories Lunch Club
Current Affairs Discussion Group Dance Exercise
Early Medieval History English Novel
Environment & Climate Change Friday Walks
Garden Design Garden Visits
Historic Visits History - Local
History Group 18th to 20th Centuries History of London (1)
History of London (3) International Dance
Italian - Conversation Line Dance
Looking at London, S Croydon Love Gardening
Maths Group MOTO (members on their own)
Play Reading (Croydon) Richness & Diversity in Poetry
Rubber Bridge Russian - Intermediate
Science & Technology Share A Good Read
Short walks (Ramblers 2) Singing for Pleasure
Spanish Beginners Conversation Table Tennis
Wild Flowers Wine ADMIRATION