The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Croydon Archbishops Palace

In the civil parish of Croydon.
In the historic county of Surrey.
Modern Authority of London Borough of Croyden.
1974 county of Greater London.
Medieval County of Surrey.

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ31966540
Latitude 51.37233° Longitude -0.10555°

Croydon Archbishops Palace has been described as a certain Palace.

There are major building remains.

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


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)
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER       Listing   I. O. E.
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:01

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact