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Celebrating our Palace Connections
As the celebrations for the Jubilee of the present Queen Elizabeth come to an end, Croydon will be showing off its connections with her namesake who reigned 400 years earlier.
From The great Hall, built in 1450 but with parts dating back to the 13th century, is one of the finest in the south of England.
From the 12th to the 18th century the Palace was the home of the archbishops of Canterbury. Many liked to stay at Croydon when on business in the area or in need of time away from their main base in London. Among those often staying here were Henry VIII's faithful archbishop, Thomas Cranmer, William Laud, who did much to beautify the chapel before his arrest in 1641 and John Whitgift.
Whitgift is the archbishop most strongly associated with Croydon, were he founded a school and hospital (now known as his almshouse). It was Whitgift who often entertained Queen Elizabeth, and her far from modest entourage, at Croydon. Royal visits did not stop with the first Elizabeth, and our present Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have paid two visits to the Palace, first in 1960, and more recently during the 400th anniversary of the Whitgift Foundation in 1996.
The Church sold the Palace off in 1780, and it is now the home of the prestigious Old Palace School of John Whitgift.
On her visit to Croydon for her Jubilee this year the Queen will visit Addington Palace, where several archbishops lived in Victorian times.