Search for posts
Walking in the footsteps of royalty
Old Palace School, formerly Croydon Palace is one of the oldest buildings in Croydon. It was originally a stately home that dates back to both the Norman and Tudor eras; a summer residence for several Archbishops of Canterbury and is now one of several historical buildings in Croydon. The others include Croydon’s Parish Church (now Croydon Minster), the Whitgift Almshouses and Croydon Aerodrome (formerly Croydon Airport, the world’s first international airport). All these historical buildings are open to the public.
Old Palace is not just an independent school but also a historical landmark of Croydon, that offers tours. The Friends of Old Palace (which is a registered charity) was formed in the 60s with the responsibility of raising money and organising tours of Old Palace School in order to maintain the buildings. When you visit Old Palace School, you will not only walk in the footsteps of Tudor and Elizabethan royalty, but also discover an important part of not just Croydon’s but the country’s history. It played a significant part in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, the Golden Age of Britain.
Visitors can still see where Queen Elizabeth I and her ancestors stayed when they visited the Archbishop of Canterbury in Croydon. Other royal guests include Elizabeth of York (Henry VIII’s mother) and Katherine of Aragon (after the death of her first husband Arthur – Henry VIII’s brother. It was where she was visited by Henry VIII and then their daughter Mary I. It is also rumoured that Anne Boleyn may have visited here as a Lady In Waiting to Henry VIII’s sister Mary, before she left for France to marry the King. The most famous Tudor Royal visitor to Croydon Palace / Old Palace School is probably Queen Elizabeth I (who made several visits to Croydon). She even had her own room. Read on…
The Old Palace tour includes the Great Hall, the Long Gallery, the Guard Room, Queen Elizabeth I’s room, the Dining Room, the Chapel, the Courtyard and the gardens.
The Great Hall was built by Archbishop John Stafford. Henry VI, Henry VIII, Mary I and Elizabeth I all dined here.
The Long Gallery, which dates back to the 16th century, was recently restored and reopened. Here Queen Elizabeth I danced with Sir Christopher Hatton (pictured below). He was her favourite courtier and she made him Lord Chancellor in 1587. Elizabeth I also presented the Great Seal of England to Hatton in the Long Gallery in 1567. Hatton is the name of one of the houses of Old Palace School. He also financially backed the sea voyages to the New World, including those of Sir Francis Drake, who repaid his support with Spanish treasures and by naming his famous ship The Golden Hind in Hatton’s honour. Hatton was also friends with John Dee, the Queen’s court magician.
The Guard Room which is now the Library was also a reception room. It dates back to the era of Archbishop Thomas Arundel (1396–1414). It is also one of the oldest examples of a brick building in Britain.
Queen Elizabeth I’s room (also known as The Best Bedroom) was probably for all honoured guests. It dates back to the 15th century and has a period ceiling. It is said that the Queen brought her entire court and even her own bed with her when she travelled.
For more information and to book your tour, visit the Friends of the Old Palace website here .
The next tour is on Wednesday 29 May. There is even an interval for tea and cake in the Great Hall.
Photos courtesy of The Whitgift Foundation, except the portrait of Hatton which is by Lisby . Header image adapted by the Croydonist.
Posted by guest writer Tania Rahman.
Tania works at the British Museum and attended Old Palace School from 1988 to 1993.
This is a fascinating article.
Leave a Reply Cancel reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
This is journey of a refugee
David, meet Tilda
A little bit different from normal
This is 2024
- John Whitgift History
- Mission & Values
- The Foundation
- Whitgift Care
- Caring for Croydon
- Carers Information Service
- Case Studies
- Old Palace School
- Trinity School
- Whitgift School
- Apply for a bursary
- Bursary FAQs
- All Bursary Case Studies
- Alan’s Story
- Gabriel’s Story
- Marcel’s Story
- Paul’s Story
- Regenerating Croydon
- Annual Journal
- Fairfield Halls Community Cube
- About Inside Croydon
- Podcasts: Under The Flyover and Croydon Insider
- £1.4bn Westfield
- Crystal Palace FC
- Outside Croydon: Walks
- Help to support our genuine local and independent journalism
Thousands sign petition in campaign to save Old Palace School
There were tears in the playground at the Old Palace primary on Melville Avenue last Friday, from young girls and some teachers, as the news seeped through that their school had been condemned to closure by the Whitgift Foundation.
The private schools, which charge up to £20,000 fees per year to attend, currently have around 600 pupils across the two sites. But they have been deemed to be no longer financially sustainable, according to the letter from the chair of the Foundation, Croydon’s biggest land-owners and freeholders of the troubled Whitgift Centre shopping mall.
But some parents and former pupils are already organising a campaign that is looking to save their school. Among the options being considered by the Save Old Palace campaigners is a challenge through the law courts against the Whitgift Foundation.
They have started with a petition, raised by former pupil and iC reader Olivia Bailey.
The petition, addressed to Whitgift Foundation chair Christopher Houlding, has attratced more than 2,000 signatures over the weekend.
Gathering support: some looking to save Old Palace are considering a legal challenge against the Whitgift Foundation
Bailey writes, “As a proud alumna of Old Palace School in Croydon, I am deeply saddened to learn about the proposed closure of this historic institution.
“OPS has been a pillar of education for girls in our community for over 130 years, and its closure would be a devastating loss for current and future generations.
“OPS holds a special place in my heart as it provided me with an exceptional education that shaped my character and prepared me for the challenges of life. The school’s commitment to academic excellence, personal growth, and fostering strong values has had a profound impact on countless young women who have passed through its doors.
“It is disheartening to see such an esteemed educational institution face closure due to financial constraints. We believe that every girl deserves access to quality education, and OPS has consistently delivered just that throughout its long-standing history.
“Closing OPS would not only deprive girls in Croydon of an outstanding educational opportunity but also erode the rich heritage and traditions associated with this esteemed institution. The school’s unique environment fosters empowerment, confidence, and leadership skills among its students – qualities that are essential for success in today’s world.
“We understand that difficult decisions need to be made at times; however, we urge those at the John Whitgift Foundation, who are responsible for this decision-making process to reconsider their plans. We implore them to explore alternative solutions or seek external support from individuals or organisations who share our belief in the importance of preserving OPS.
“By signing this petition, we call upon all concerned individuals in Croydon to join us in urging the authorities responsible for making decisions regarding Old Palace School’s closure to reconsider their plans. Let us come together as a community and demonstrate our unwavering support for preserving this invaluable institution.
“OPS has played an integral role in shaping young minds for generations. It is our duty to ensure that future generations have access to the same exceptional educational opportunities we were fortunate enough to experience at Old Palace School.
“Together, let’s save Old Palace School from closure and secure a bright future for girls in Croydon!”
- Click here to visit Change.org and sign the Save Old Palace petition
Read more: Whitgift Foundation decides to close Old Palace School in 2025 Read more: Old Palace closure brought on by shaky Foundation finances Read more: Falling rolls and rising fees: how Old Palace got squeezed
- Inside Croydon – as seen on TV! – has been delivering local community news since 2010. 3million page views per year in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
- If you want real journalism, actually based in the borough, you should consider paying for it. Please sign up today. Click here for more details
- If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, or want to publicise your residents’ association or business, or if you have a local event to promote, please email us with full details at [email protected]
- We offer FREE ads to community groups when they have members who are paid subscribers to Inside Croydon
- Our comments section on every report provides all readers with an immediate “right of reply” on all our content
- Our comments policy can be read by clicking here
- Inside Croydon works together with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, as well as BBC London News and ITV London
Leave a reply cancel reply.
- 20,673,051 hits
Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Sign me up!
- RSS - Posts
- RSS - Comments
- Search for:
Follow us on Facebook
- Addiscombe West
- Alison Butler
- Boris Johnson
- Brick by Brick
- Chris Philp MP
- Council Tax
- Croydon Central
- Croydon Council
- Croydon North
- Croydon South
- Crystal Palace
- Crystal Palace and Upper Norwood
- East Croydon station
- Fairfield Halls
- Gavin Barwell
- Liberal Democrats
- London Assembly
- London Borough of Croydon
- Mayor Jason Perry
- Metropolitan Police
- New Addington
- Sarah Jones MP
- South Croydon
- South Norwood
- Steve Reed OBE
- Sutton Council
- Thornton Heath
- Tony Newman
- Transport for London
- Whitgift Centre
- Whitgift Foundation
- Entries feed
- Comments feed
News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email [email protected]
View Full Profile →
Discover more from Inside Croydon
Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.
Type your email…
The lost Tudor town under Croydon where Queen Elizabeth I watched horse races
Elizabeth I had her own bedchamber at Croydon Palace and would visit often
- 10:00, 13 MAR 2022
Get the latest news from Croydon Central straight to your inbox
We have more newsletters
Croydon is known for a number of things: Stormzy, being a filming location for The Da Vinci Code and, of course, the big Ikea. But, what you might not know is that Croydon has a long-forgotten Tudor history.
Croydon Palace in Old Town was the summer residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury for over 500 years and was visited by Queen Elizabeth I on numerous occasions - once for seven days in 1573. While on her visits there to confer with the Archbishop, they would stage horse races, which became a regular staple in the area until the end of her long reign.
The two Croydon-based archbishops that served Elizabeth I were Edmund Grindal and John Whitgift, both of whom are now buried in Croydon Minster (previously known as the Parish Church), next to the palace where they lived.
READ MORE: Incredible pictures show Croydon before all the huge office blocks and towers were built
Some of the buildings of the original Croydon Palace are still in use today as the Old Palace School, an independent girls’ school , which is run by the Whitgift Foundation.
Some of the students at the school are registered each morning in Elizabeth’s old bedchamber, and the chapel on the site even apparently has a dark oak pew known as Queen Elizabeth's pew.
Whitgift has a long legacy, including in the building of the Elizabethan Whitgift Almshouses in North End, a hospital and school built in 1596 for the "poor, needy and impotent people" from the parishes of Croydon and Lambeth.
He obtained special permission from Elizabeth I to build it, and it is still there today, acting as a base for the charitable foundation founded in his name. Many streets and even a shopping centre in Croydon are named after Whitgift.
Elizabeth I was not the only royal to visit Croydon , as Henry VI, Henry VII and Queen Mary also visited the palace there. Henry VIII’s first wife, Katharine of Aragon , lived there for a time after the death of Henry’s brother Arthur, to whom she was married first.
Henry VIII himself, though, wasn't really a big fan of the palace or Croydon, which he reportedly described as a place he could not stay "without sickness".
Queen Elizabeth II visited the Almshouses too to unveil a plaque celebrating the reconstruction of the building in 1983.
Croydon has royal blood in it, and the landmarks of Tudor history won’t be forgotten any time soon.
Have you ever visited Croydon's historical royal buildings? Let us know in the comments .
Want more from MyLondon? Sign up to our daily newsletters for all the latest and greatest from across London here.
- Most Recent
- Photo Galleries
- Commuter Centre
- Border Crossings
- Ask A Lawyer
- Hot Property
- Wellness Wednesdays
- Human Interest
- Real Estate
- Top Social Stories
- CP24 Supports
- Skip to Main Content
CP24 BREAKING NEWS IN TORONTO AND BEYOND
Here are all of the times Queen Elizabeth II visited Toronto
Hannah Alberga , CTVNewsToronto.ca Journalist
Queen Elizabeth II died at 96 years old on Thursday after reigning the monarch for the longest spanning period in Britain’s history.
At just 25 years old, she stepped into her royal role following the death of her father King George VI on Feb. 6, 1952.
Here is a timeline of the Queen’s seven visits to Toronto over the course of her lifetime, according to footage from the CTV News Toronto and City of Toronto archives.
The Queen’s first visit to Toronto took place in 1951. At the time, she was a princess standing in place for her father who was ill. A royal motorcade took the princess down Queen Street West to Old City Hall.
Photos capture Elizabeth at other notable city sites, including the Royal York Hotel, where she would later return on future visits. She also made an appearance at Sunnybrook Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children.
Her first visit to the city in official capacity as The Queen took place nearly a decade later as part of a 1959 tour of Canada. During the 45-day tour, which encompassed 10 provinces and two territories, she waved from a car cascading down Bay Street.
Alongside Prince Philip, Elizabeth sailed into the Toronto Harbour aboard the Britannia. There, she was welcomed in Etobicoke at the 100th Queen’s Plate at the Woodbine racetrack.
The Queen’s following visit to Toronto took place just a few years later in June 1973. As part of an extensive tour of the province, she opened Scarborough’s new Civic Centre, and visited Queen’s Park and Ontario Place. At High Park, she attended a Black Creek Pioneer Village exhibit and was gifted a hand-made corn broom.
A year later, the Queen returned to Toronto to celebrate the city’s 150th anniversary. At the festivities she made appearances at Toronto’s festival of international culture and formally dedicated the Peace Garden on Nathan Phillips Square.
A crowd applauded her arrival at a gala dinner with Ontario Premier William Davis where a tiara crowned her head.
She also visited the Royal Ontario Museum and was greeted by thousands of members of the Italian community on St. Clair Avenue West.
On June 29, 1997, the Queen visited the Royal York Hotel where she joined Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien along with 900 others at a state dinner.
On Oct. 9, 2002, the Queen arrived in Toronto with Prince Philip to celebrate her Golden Jubilee, marking 50 years since she ascended the throne. Her visit to the city was part of a 12 day journey across the country to celebrate the occasion.
From June 29 to July 6, 2010, the Queen visited Halifax, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Waterloo and Toronto. This marked her twenty-second tour of the country.
Again, she made an appearance at Woodbine Racetrack for the Queen’s Plate, a race meeting she first attended in 1959.
This was the Queen’s last visit to Toronto.
Former PMs, Canadian celebrities to join delegation to queen's funeral in London
Education minister orders school boards to honour the Queen after YRDSB warns principals that the topic could be 'triggering'
Sept. 19 will be day of mourning for Queen in Ontario, but not a holiday: Ford
Palace reveals details of queen's state funeral on Monday
What's next for the UK as Queen Elizabeth II laid to rest
Photos of Queen Elizabeth II: 1926-2022
The Queen, longest-reigning monarch in British history, dies at 96
King Charles III, in first address, vows 'lifelong service'
Book of condolences for the Queen set up at Ontario legislature, available online
With the death of Queen Elizabeth II, what happens to Canadian bills and coins?
A smiling Queen Elizabeth II waves to a happy crowd of on-lookers at the Canadian National Exhibition grounds in Toronto, Ont., June 26, 1973. While at the C.N.E. The Queen and Prince Philip were entertained by various dance troupes and choirs. (CP PHOTO)
Ajax shooting leaves man seriously injured
Man in hospital after Liberty Village shooting
Biden addresses special counsel's report
Man found shot in lobby of building in Liberty Village: police
Air canada flight comes back to toronto after nearly 7 hours in the air, several landing attempts.
- Shooting in Ajax leaves one person with serious injuries
Police response to the Uvalde shooting was riddled with failures, new DOJ report says
- Pakistani retaliatory strikes in Iran kill at least 9, raising tensions along border
- In Davos, Israel's president calls ties with Saudi Arabia key to ending war in Gaza
Real Estate News
Toronto's vacant home tax declaration deadline approaches, failure to submit will result in fine
- Housing crunch prompts efforts to stabilize immigration levels, say federal ministers
- Annual rent increases slowing as average asking price reaches $2,174 in November
Summer McIntosh beats Katie Ledecky in 800m freestyle, sets Canadian record
- Kobe Bryant immortalized with a 19-foot bronze statue outside the Lakers' downtown arena
- Toronto Raptors make two deals ahead of NBA trade deadline
Usher says it's been a challenge to squeeze 30-year career into 13-minute Super Bowl halftime show
- CTV's flagship investigative series 'W5' among programs hit by Bell Media cuts
- Coming in 2026: The Oscars will add Academy Award for casting directors
Google rebrands its AI services as Gemini, launches new app and subscription service
- King Charles' cancer candour 'helpful' for Canadian awareness, agencies say
- Shipwreck may not shed light on Newfoundland history, but its salvage still sought
Five-month-old among 3 people found dead in Richmond Hill, Ont. home
Three people dead after collision in Brampton; 1 person in custody
Belleville declares state of emergency after 23 overdoses in 2 days
Toronto could break temperature record Friday
Family hoping to meet with Ont. health minister
1 in custody after fatal Brampton collision
SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please consider donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!
- Meet the team
- Royal Weddings
- Media & Commentary requests
Forty Years: The Historic State Visit of The Queen to the Vatican
Forty years ago, on 17 October 1980, Queen Elizabeth II made history as she became the first British Monarch to make a state visit to the Vatican. The visit was seen as a chance to forge relations between the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church.
The Queen, who was accompanied by her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, dressed in a long black taffeta gown in line with Vatican protocol. The Pope welcomed Her Majesty and the Duke for what was described as a “warm and relaxed visit.”
Trumpets sounded and the royal procession moved slowly along the corridor into the Clementine Hall. The Queen and the Duke were then welcomed by John Paul II at the door of his private library. Following her meeting, the Queen opened her speech with assurances of good will and sincere friendship.
Private talks followed during the Queen’s visit. She was presented with a facsimile of the manuscript of Dante’s Divine Comedy with its illustration of the Order of the Garter in the time of Edward IV. In return, the Queen gave the Pope a book about Windsor Castle by St John Hope and two signed photographs.
Following the private conversation, the Queen and the Duke met with the Pope’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Casaroli, at the home of the British Minister to the Holy See, Mark Heath.
Two years later, the Queen would invite the Pope to England but it was made clear it would not be a State Visit but, a visit “to the Roman Catholic community in Great Britain where some four million of my people are members of the Roman Catholic Church.”
“We support the growing movement of unity between the Christian Churches throughout the world and we pray that your Holiness’s visit to Britain may enable us all to see more clearly those truths which both unite and divide us in a new and constructive light.”
In response, the Pope welcomed the opportunity saying:
“I render homage to the Christian history of your people, as well as to their cultural achievements. The ideals of freedom and democracy, anchored in your past, remain challenges for every generation of upright citizens in your land.”
In the years following, Pope John Paul II and the Queen would continue to build their friendship. In 1982, the Pope made a historic visit to Buckingham Palace and, in 2000, the Queen returned to the Vatican to mark the 20th anniversary of their first meeting.
The Pope said of their relationship: “Relations between the United Kingdom and the Holy See have not always been untroubled; long years of common inheritance were followed by the sad years of division. But in recent years there has emerged between us a cordiality more in keeping with the harmony of earlier times and more genuinely expressive of our common spiritual roots.”
Pope John Paul II died on Saturday 2 April 2005 after he failed to recover from a throat operation. The Prince of Wales attended his funeral after postponing his wedding to the Duchess of Cornwall by 24 hours to attend.
Sydney zatz, latest posts, the prince of wales speaks out on health issues affecting the king and the princess of wales, the prince of wales returns to royal duties for first time since royal family hit by health concerns, the discreet bridesmaid who became a queen, the prince and princess whose much longed for son made royal history, never miss the latest, most popular, the queen watches on with pride as lady louise drives prince philip’s carriages at windsor horse show, an annus horribilis in monaco a difficult year for albert and charlene finally winds to an end, the duchess of cambridge wows tv audiences with a musical piano performance on christmas eve, latest blogs.
The line of succession to the British throne
The church of england's prayer for king charles iii, king charles iii's approach to health is a turning point for the house of windsor.
Mary of Modena: the slandered Stuart queen
Original Official Site of the Russian National Tourist Office
Novodevichiy Convent & Cemetery
Novodevichy is also famous for the cemetery that lies beyond its south wall. Here lie many famous writers, artists, and politicians including Gogol, Checkov, Bulgakov, Mayakovsky, Stanislavsky, Shostokovich, Eisenstein, and Nikita Khrushchev, the only Soviet leader not buried behind Lenin's Mausoleum.
The English House provides an interesting little glimpse of the life of an imprisoned Brit in Ivan the Terrible's court. In the middle of the sixteenth century, Ivan gave the house to English representatives of the Muscovy Company, a private trading consotium similar to the East India Company. The envoys hoped to win for England a share in the increasingly lucrative fur trade. Ivan's diplomatic interests, however, centered on the possibility of marrying Elizabeth I, the "Virgin Queen." When the Tsar learned that Elizabeth wasn't exactly jumping at this idea, he became (surprise) rather upset. In order to express his frustrations, Ivan confined the queen's ambassador to English House for four months. Although the house is currently undergoing restoration, even those sections that are still open give visitors a sense of the life of a foreigner in Moscow four hundred years ago.
Palace of the Romanov Boyars
This reconstructed palace was the home of the Romanovs before they became Russia's ruling family. The palace was built in the sixteenth century by Nikita Romanov, Ivan's brother in law and Michael Romanov's grandfather. When Michael was named as Tsar in 1613, at the end of the Time of Troubles, the entire family moved into the Kremlin. The Romanov palace was restored in the nineteenth century, from which time it has served as a public museum. The rewards of a visit today go beyond a glimpse at the ancestral home of the last Tsars--the palace is also a lovely and intriguing example of early aristocratic life in Moscow.