Collection AR389 - Grant Brothers Collection

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Grant Brothers Collection


  • 1888 - 1973 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

4 boxes

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Name of creator


Administrative history

Grants department store was founded by Mr Richard Grant and his brother Mr William Grant in 1877, as a modest drapery business at no. 17 Croydon High Street (then No. 8). The family lived above the shop, but within a few years they needed to expand the shop into the back garden. Later still, the shop expanded into part of the Greyhound Inn. In order to prevent the prospering business from further expansion, local traders bought the adjoining property, causing the Grant family to buy No. 16, over the road for their expansion.

When the High Street was widened, the store was rebuilt over the road, (the West side) in Numbers 14,16, 18 and 22. soon afterward they bought Numbers 20, 24 ,28, 28, 30 and 30A.

By this time the store had over 60 departments, including Hairdressing Salons, China, Glass, Hardware, Restaurants, and outside catering.

Richard Grant died aged 75 in January 1924.

The stores next expansion, in October 1929, was just behind the store, near Surrey Street, and was opened in October 1931.

William Grant died on the 3rd of March 1931 aged 79. William and Richard Grant left behind 3 sons between them, R. Donald Grant, W. H. Goss Grant, and Sidney T. Grant, who all ran the store together after their fathers deaths.

In 1959 Grants became a public limited company.

In 1960, when the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Croydon, the Grants store provided the afternoon tea, which was hosted by the mayor.

The Grant family sold the store in 1983, and it finally closed in 1987.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Accession Number: 389

Grant Bros. records

Very miscellaneous and incomplete collection of material, including wages book (1910-12), scrapbook, leaflets and photographs. Handlist on accession file.

Depositor's Name: Grant Bros. Department Store

Accession date: c.1985

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Very miscellaneous and incomplete collection of material, including wages book (1910-12), scrapbook, leaflets and photographs.

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Conditions governing access

Some of the records in our collections contain sensitive and personal data that we have a legal responsibility to control access to. In these circumstances, staff may search the collection on your behalf, having received consent or proof of death of the individual concerned.

Please contact us at for further information regarding the particular collection you wish to access.

You can make a request for information which may be in a closed record under the Freedom of Information Act, 2000 or the Environmental Information Regulations, 2004. For more information about making a request, see the Croydon Council website ( Making a request does not guarantee access to the information you ask for, as there may be a valid exemption from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

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  • English

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In the Local Studies Library there are numerous photos of the building and the High Street, showing the store whilst it was open, when the building was unoccupied and the new Grants complex. Also in the Local Studies Library there are 2 copies of a special edition of Talking Shop, two editions of Service a home and shopping magazine produced by the store, and a guide to shopping in Croydon, also produced by Grants. Finally the Local Studies Library has a box on Grants containing many newspaper cuttings about the store, booklets on the stores history, and bills for items purchased from the store.

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