Whyteleafe was a sparsely populated part of the valley to the north of Caterham until the railway was built through here and opened in 1856. The name came from a field called White Leaf Field from the aspen or poplar trees which grew around it. In 1855 a Mr Glover bought the field, no doubt anticipating the opening of the railway, and built a house on it, which he called 'Whiteleaf'. Whyteleafe South station opened with the name 'Warlingham' in August 1856 but the name was changed to the present one in 1956.
It was not long before other houses sprang up in the fields adjacent to 'Whiteleaf' and the new settlement took its name from the original house. The present spelling of the name was introduced later. The church of St Luke was built in 1866 , a post office was established and in 1892, a school. A second railway station, 'Whyteleafe' opened at the beginning of 1900.
Whyteleafe continued to develop until, by 1911, its population exceeded that of the adjacent ancient settlement of Warlingham. It continues today as a popular residential area for those working in London or Croydon.