Old Palace, Chapel, Elizabeth I, Whitgift, Foundation, Tours, Pew, Croydon, Old Town

Old Palace and Whitgift Almshouses open 21 September as part of Open House London.

Our historic Whitgift Almshouses and Old Palace School are opening their doors to the public for free guided tours on Saturday 21 September.

The Whitgift Almshouses and Old Palace are two of Croydon's most important landmarks and hold centuries of rich and fascinating history.

The Hospital of the Holy Trinity (now known as the Whitgift Almshouses), was originally built as a home for the elderly and the poor. Today, the Almshouses is still home to elderly residents and holds an array of artefacts dating back to when it was founded in 1596 as the start of The Whitgift Foundation.

The oldest part of Old Palace dates back to the 12th century and ‘The Manor House’ as it was then known, was used as a resting place for important guests and royalty, including Queen Elizabeth I, on the road to and from London.   As visits became more regular The Manor House grew in size and by the end of the 16th century it was called a ‘palace’ by Archbishop John Whitgift.

Pre-bookable tours of the Almshouses are taking place at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm. To book, call 020 8649 8499 or email enquiries@whitgiftfoundation.co.uk. Tours of Old Palace School are taking place at 11am and booking is not necessary.

Out of respect for its 15 elderly residents, the Almshouses is only open to the public on specific times of the year and as an independent girls’ school, Old Palace offers conducted tours at certain times during school holidays.

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