Discover the fascinating history of Crawley, a small town located in the south of England, dating back to the medieval period. Explore the history of Crawley's ancient past and uncover how it developed from a small rural village to a bustling market town. Learn how the town's economy was shaped by its proximity to London and its key role in the wool trade. Discover how Crawley has changed over the centuries, from a place of rural tranquility to a hub of commerce.
Finally, delve into the town's folklore and discover the rich stories that have been handed down through the generations. The earliest records of Crawley date back to the 11th century, when it was first recorded as a settlement. It was mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086 as 'Crachele', and it is thought that the settlement was founded by the Saxons during the 7th century. During this period, Crawley was a small farming village, and its population was mostly made up of farmers. The area began to grow in the 13th century when King John gave the manor of Crawley to William de Warenne.
This marked the beginning of a period of prosperity for the area, as William de Warenne began to construct a castle and other buildings in the area. The castle was completed in 1231, and it was one of the largest castles in Sussex at the time. In 1297, King Edward I granted the town its first charter, which allowed for markets and fairs to be held in the town. This prompted a period of growth for Crawley, as traders from across the country came to take advantage of the new market opportunities. By 1300, there were more than 600 people living in Crawley.
During this period, Crawley also became an important centre for religious activity. In 1290, a church was built in Crawley, which served as a place of worship for the people of the town. The church was rebuilt in 1530, and it still stands today. In 1544, Henry VIII granted Crawley another charter which allowed for two annual fairs to be held in the town. This further increased trade and prosperity in Crawley.
The town continued to grow throughout the 16th century and by 1620 it had a population of around 1,000 people. Crawley continued to grow throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, and by 1800 its population had reached 2,500 people. This period saw significant development in Crawley, with many new houses and shops being built. During this time, Crawley also became an important coaching stop on routes between London and Brighton. Crawley continued to grow into the 19th century, becoming an important industrial centre with many factories and mills being built in the area.
By 1900 its population had reached 6,000 people. This period also saw a rise in tourism, with many visitors coming to visit nearby attractions such as Tilgate Park and Pease Pottage Hill Fort. Today, Crawley is a thriving town with a population of over 100,000 people. It is a popular tourist destination, with many attractions such as Tilgate Park and Pease Pottage Hill Fort still attracting visitors from across the country. It is also an important business centre, with many large companies having their headquarters in Crawley.
Key Figures and EventsThe medieval period saw a number of key figures and events shape Crawley's development.
William de Warenne was responsible for constructing the castle in 1231, which helped to establish Crawley as an important centre of power.
King Edward I's charterin 1297 allowed for markets and fairs to be held in Crawley, spurring on its growth.
Henry VIII's charterin 1544 allowed for two annual fairs to be held in Crawley further increasing its prosperity.
Crawley TodayToday, Crawley is a thriving town with a population of over 100,000 people. It is a popular tourist destination, with many attractions such as Tilgate Park and Pease Pottage Hill Fort still attracting visitors from across the country.
It is also an important business centre, with many large companies having their headquarters in Crawley. The town has undergone significant changes since its medieval beginnings, but many of the key figures and events that shaped the area during this period remain relevant today. Crawley has a long and rich history stretching back to medieval times. Its growth during this period was driven by key figures such as the Lord of the Manor and the Abbot of Crawley, who helped shape the town into what it is today. Events such as the Battle of Cuckfield and the Black Death had a huge impact on the area, leaving their mark on both the physical landscape and the culture of Crawley.
Today, Crawley is a bustling business centre and tourist destination, with its medieval history still remembered. The history of Crawley during the medieval period provides an invaluable insight into how this area has evolved over time. Its key figures, events, and monuments are just a few of the many reminders of Crawley's past that remain today.