Croydon Archbishops Palace

Has been described as a Certain Palace (Bishop)

There are major building remains

NameCroydon Archbishops Palace
Alternative Names
Historic CountrySurrey
Modern AuthorityLondon Borough of Croyden
1974 AuthorityGreater London
Civil ParishCroydon

This was a summer residence of the Archbishops of Canterbury from 1273 - 1780, and it is probably on the site of the Manor House of Croydon. S. Ingrams did a small excavation here in 1959 and found "Roman brick, flue tile and pottery from 12th. cent. onwards." Most of the buildings are 14th-15th. cent. and the plan is irregular, enclosing two courtyards (N-S) with a hall to the east. There is a 12th. cent. round-headed window at the N.W. corner of the south court, and the south front is faced with 18th. cent. brick. The Palace was sold in 1780 and in 1818 it became a linen factory, the garden being used as a bleaching ground. Subsequently (1887), it was presented to the Sisters of the Church and converted to a High School for girls. A 9th. cent. hoard of seven silver coins is said to have been found here prior to 1870. They were mostly of the Canterbury mint (deposited c. 845), and included Coenwulf (796-822), Ecbeorght (802-839), Aethelwulf (839-58) and Coelnoth (833-70). Bliss collection. "Old Palace School for Girls" as described and in good condition. The gardens and Fishponds (see plan 1780 (Anderson, 1882 p. 90)) have gone and their areas built over. There is no further information on the coin hoard. Excavations from 1968-70 in and around the centre of late Saxon/Early Medieval Croydon have uncovered 13th to 19th century foundations. A scatter of RB material including three roof tiles, has also been found. The excavations were situated in and around the former Palace and just to the NW of the Parish Church, centred at approximately TQ 318655. (PastScape)

Largely C15 and C16 group of buildings, formerly the palace of the Archbishops of Canterbury. C15 Great Hall ascribed to Archbishop Stafford (d 1452), with late C14 2 storey porch with vaulted ceiling to lower chamber

Hall interior has rich C16 timber roof with 2 tiers of collar beams with moulded arch-braces to lower collars; the braces rest on wall-shafts supported by fine heraldic corbels, later tie-bemas. Three-light stone mullioned windows with 4-centred heads, continuous moulded stone cill beneath windows on both sides. West of the Hall are the state appartments, which include the first floor "Guard Room", now the school library. The room is ascribed to Archbishop Arundel (1353-1414) and has a depressed arch-braced roof with plaster ceiling to shape and late C14 carved stone corbels supporting the principal collar-beams. Fine 4-light canted mullioned and transomed bay window, fireplace with damaged bolection-moulded surround and late C17 overmantel with segmental pediment signs of earlier overmantel beneath. Gallery at west with re-set Laudian altar rail, the room behind the gallery contains some exposed C16 or C17 panelling and an oak ceiling with elaborate roll-moulded joists. Two fine staircases of heavy early C17 type with balustrades and newel-posts with ball tops. Chapel divided into 4 bays. Five windows a side with flat heads, and of 5 lights with 4-centred heads. Seven-light east window with a shallow triangular head. Depressed tie-beam roof with ribbed and panelled timber ceiling. Fixed stalls to walls with fine C17 bench-ends and panelling to walls continued across western portion of chapel openwork screen with double doors. Elaborate corner gallery with panelled front. Old stone font from a church in Southwark. The fine altar rails are now in the Guard Room. The exterior of the whole palace is of stone or C16 red brick, with early stone windows or Georgian sashes. The whole building is one of exceptional interest, both internally and externally and has many additional features of note. (Listed Building Report)

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTQ319654
Latitude51.3723297119141
Longitude-0.105549998581409
Eastings531960
Northings165400
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
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Books

  • Goodall, John, 2011, The English Castle 1066-1650 (Yale University Press) p. 393
  • Emery, Anthony, 2006, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 3 Southern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 320-25, 329-3
  • Thompson, M.W., 1998, Medieval bishops' houses in England and Wales (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing) p. 171
  • James, T.B., 1990, The Palaces of Medieval England (London; Seaby) p. 131, 137, 156
  • 1912, VCH Surrey Vol. 4 p. 206-13 online transcription
  • Morewood, Caroline C., 1910, 'Introductory Chapter' in Rait, R.S. (ed), English Episcopal Palaces (Province of Canterbury) (London; Constable & Co) p. 4-5 online copy
  • Anderson, J.C., 1882, A Short Chronicle concerning the parish of Croydon (London) p. 75-95 online copy
  • Anderson, J.C., 1879, The Archiepiscopal Palace at Croydon (London)
  • Timbs, J. and Gunn, A., 1872, Abbeys, Castles and Ancient Halls of England and Wales Vol. 1 (London) p. 153-5 online copy
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 309 online copy
  • Pugin, A., 1850, Pugin's Examples of Gothic Architecture (London: Henry and Bohn) Vol. 1
  • Hasted, Edward, 1801, The history and topographical survey of the county of Kent Vol. 12 p. 524-5 online transcription
  • Lysons, Daniel, 1792, The Environs of London: Vol. 1 County of Surrey p. 170-201 online transcription
  • Durcarel, A.C., 1790, 'History and antiquities of Croydon' in Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica Vol. 2
  • Grose, Francis, 1785 (new edn orig 1756), Antiquities of England and Wales (London) Vol. 5 online copy

Antiquarian

Journals

  • Chadwick, A.M. and Phillpotts, C., 2002, 'The archbishop's "great stable": excavations and historical research at the Old Palace School, Croydon' Surrey Archaeological Collections Vol. 89 p. 27-52
  • Drewett, P., 1971, 'The Archiepiscopal Palace at Croydon; a further contributuion in the light of recent excavations' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 128 p. 162-65
  • Faulkner, P.A., 1970, 'Some medieval archiepiscopal palaces' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 127 p. 130-46 (p133-5)
  • Oswald, A., 1965 April, Country Life
  • Ingrams, 1959, Proceedings of the Croydon Natural History and Science Society Vol. 12 p. 229 (note)
  • Flethcher, B. and Hobson, J.M., 1911, 'The Old Manor House of Croydon, commonly known as the Archbishop's palace' Surrey Archaeological Collections Vol. 24 p. 81-91 online copy
  • Hobson, J.M., 1909, The Reliquary Vol. 15 p. 225-39

Other

  • Payne, Naomi, 2003, The medieval residences of the bishops of Bath and Wells, and Salisbury (PhD Thesis University of Bristol) Appendix B: List of Medieval Bishop's Palaces in England and Wales (available via EThOS)
  • Walder, E.A., 1990, Croyden Palace in its context to 1500 (MA thesis, St David's University College, University of Wales)