Prehistoric TimesHuman habitation at Croham Hurst goes back to the Late Mesolithic, around 5000-3000 years B.C. There is a Bronze Age barrow, perhaps 3000 years old, at the top of the Hurst (the troubled history of this site is described here).
Whitgift and ElizabethCroham Hurst was part of the sprawling territory once owned by the Whitgift Foundation. This vast religious charity was founded in the 16th century by John Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury and grew vastly in the succeeding centuries. Croham Hurst was seemingly already part of the Bishop's empire in 1600, when Queen Elizabeth the Great paid him a visit at his Croydon palace; like her father Henry VIII, she frequently expected presents of land from the Church, but court records indicate that she directly refused the offer of the Hurst. Her adviser, Dr. Dee, used the top of the Hurst (which at that time was not overshadowed by trees growing up from below) for astronomical observation, and indeed observations made from the Hurst may have influence his General and Rare Memorials pertayning to the Perfect Arte of Navigation, a book in which he set out not only a method of navigating by the stars, but a plan to colonize the New World.
It could be argued, then, that Croham Hurst was influential in the founding of Britain's Thirteen Colonies and the shaping of the modern day USA!