The club was formed in 1878 and initially took part only in minor local competitions. In 1880, the club entered the FA Cup for the first time, and three years later defeated Old Etonians at Kennington Oval to win the trophy. This victory was a significant factor in the decision by the sport's governing body, The Football Association, to allow professionalism two years later. Olympic, however, proved unable to compete with wealthier and better-supported clubs in the professional era, and folded in 1889.
Life in the Middle Ages centred on the families who owned the manor in what was then an isolated rural community. Agriculture, hand loom weaving, quarrying and mining occupied the few inhabitants until the middle of the 19th century. A grammar school was founded by charter of Queen Elizabeth I in 1556.