Open Video CTA

Croydon Heritage Festival 2017 evolves with new community art installation in town centre.

From Romans to the modern day, Evolution was the theme of this year’s Croydon Heritage Festival which took place on Saturday 24 June until Friday 30 June. The seven day festival saw the launch of a brand new art installation in the heart of Croydon’s town centre for the community to discover more about the town’s fascinating heritage.

Internationally acclaimed artists Aether + Hemera were commissioned to create the art piece based on where Croydon is believed to take its name from, the Anglo-Saxon words ‘Croh-Denu’, meaning ‘valley of the crocus’ - suggesting that Croydon may have been a site of saffron production in Roman Times. The striking artwork saw 200 purple polypropylene crocus suspended above North End to brighten up Croydon’s skies for the duration of the Festival which saw more than 15,000 attend a variety of events featuring talks, walks, performances, exhibitions and films.

Other highlights included two events hosted in Old Palace of John Whitgift School’s splendid Banqueting Hall; a lively panel discussion on Croydon’s evolution since the Domesday Book featuring Whitgift Foundation CEO, Martin Corney, the National Trust’s London Creative Director, Joseph Watson and Croydon Council’s Cultural Director, Paula Murray; and a talk by esteemed author John Grindod about growing up on the outskirts of London’s green belt in New Addington. Old Palace students also provided magnificent entertainment at the Festival’s opening reception, the highlight being the skilful rendition of the Flower Duet from Lakmé by Delibes. Trinity Boys Choir opened the Sunday Sessions at BOXPARK during the festival with an afternoon showcasing some of Croydon’s most talented young people with performances by Croydon Youth Jazz Orchestra, Boom Arts Academy and singer, Abi Hudson.

Martin Corney, Chief Executive, The Whitgift Foundation, said: “It’s been another wonderful year for the Croydon Heritage Festival. We’ve seen sell out events with the Open Building tours of the Whitgift Almshouses, Old Palace and Croydon Tramlink Depot. Our Croydon’s Evolution event on Monday evening was a great fun to be part of and a wonderful reminder of the many British innovations Croydon has been part of.

“The Whitgift Foundation hopes that everyone has enjoyed the festival whether performing or participating in events. I would like to think that everyone has discovered something new from this week about the fascinating stories of how Croydon has become the place that they live or work in today.”

Croydon Heritage Festival has been an annual celebration of Croydon, presented by The Whitgift Foundation, packed full of community-led activities and events to explore its incredible past, vibrant present and exciting future.

View our social wall which showcases activity from this year’s festival:

For any further information, please email

More Stories