12 September 2013
Two of Croydon’s oldest buildings will be open as part of Open House London on Saturday 21 September.
The historic Whitgift Almshouses and Old Palace School, both owned by The Whitgift Foundation, are opening their doors to the public for free guided tours.
The tours allow the public to find out about Croydon’s most important landmarks spanning over 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.
Martin Corney, Chief Executive to The Whitgift Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be part of this year’s Open House London and we welcome visitors through the gates of our oldest buildings. We hope the tours enable the public to find out more about the rich history of Croydon and The Whitgift Foundation and why our provision of education and care in the Borough is as important today, as it was when we were founded more than 400 years ago.”