New book covers 700 years of history around Robinson Road

August 6 1945, children of the street and friends celebrate the end of World War Two.

August 6 1945, children of the street and friends celebrate the end of World War Two.

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Robinson Road was like a community within the Crawley community.

Over the years it contained two places of worship, a school, the town’s first hospital and a post office.

The British School c1890. The school mistress's house and the infant room were built in 1858.

The British School c1890. The school mistress's house and the infant room were built in 1858.

It bore more than one name – Church Road, New Road, Post Office Road, Robinson Road – taking its final name from education pioneer Sarah Robinson.

While many saw it as the heart of Crawley, it fell foul of progress as the building of Pegler Way in 1995/6 and the development of Asda (2002/3) wiped it from the map.

Local historian Nadine Hygate has researched the history of the area surrounding the original Robinson Road, covering the period from 1200-2000.

She has produced a book containing 256 pictures which details all the major buildings in the area until their demolition.

c1876 looking east from the end of Robinson Road towards the High Street. Gas lights outside the school and Congregational Church. The first gate on the left is the entrance to the Bethel Chapel. Next to it is Rose Cottage. On the right is St Joseph's Villa.

c1876 looking east from the end of Robinson Road towards the High Street. Gas lights outside the school and Congregational Church. The first gate on the left is the entrance to the Bethel Chapel. Next to it is Rose Cottage. On the right is St Joseph's Villa.

Ms Hygate said: “It is two decades since this once thriving community was demolished to make way for a 21st century development.

“Prior to this, many properties were boarded up and falling into disrepair.

“This history record covers 700 years of commercial development of this area of Crawley, covering three distinct periods of use, from industrial through farming, to housing and commerce.

“Several long-held beliefs and perpetuated stories have been found to be inaccurate when investigating land deeds and original records.”

1995, the beams of Vine Cottage revealed. Viewed from Robinson Road.

1995, the beams of Vine Cottage revealed. Viewed from Robinson Road.

Crawley Before Asda will be available to order from bookshops from October 23 and costs £7.50 plus a UK postage and packing charge of £4.50.

ISBN number: 978-0-9521 300-2-4.

From October 24, it can be bought from Crawley Library and all West Sussex County Council libraries.

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The junction of Robinson Road/High Street c1954, taken by Victor Burr.

The junction of Robinson Road/High Street c1954, taken by Victor Burr.

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Final remains of Vine Cottage, a 15th century timber-framed house, 1995.

Final remains of Vine Cottage, a 15th century timber-framed house, 1995.

The remnants of Robinson Road after the construction of Pegler Way 1998.

The remnants of Robinson Road after the construction of Pegler Way 1998.

Robinson House 1996.

Robinson House 1996.

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