In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Shirley like this:
SHIRLEY, a chapelry, with a village, in Croydon parish, Surrey; 1¾ mile E of Croydon r. station. It has a post-office under Croydon. Pop., 642. Houses, 120. S. House is the seat of the Earl of Eldon. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury. Value, £300.* Patron, the Archbishop ofThe church is modern.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Shirley has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Croydon. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Shirley and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Shirley, in Croydon and Surrey | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 19th April 2015
Click here for more detailed advice on finding places within A Vision of Britain through Time, and maybe some references to other places called "Shirley".