The Whitgift Foundation will once again be taking part in the popular annual event Open House London, offering free behind the scenes tours of our two Grade I listed buildings, The Whitgift Almshouses and Old Palace School, on Saturday 21st September.

The Whitgift Foundation is delighted to welcome the public to step inside two of our most historic buildings, where you will be taken on a fascinating journey through time, from the Tudor period to the modern day. With both buildings currently in full time use, this is a rare and exciting opportunity to gain access to some of Croydon’s most iconic sites, discovering the hidden secrets behind their walls.

Places on the tours are limited and always in high demand, so early booking is advised to avoid disappointment. To find out more, or to book a place on one of our tours, please call 020 8680 8499.

The Whitgift Almshouses

This iconic Croydon landmark sits in the heart of Croydon town centre, surrounded by the bustling high street, tramlines and all the structures of a modern-day town. However, step through the gates and into the Almshouses’ courtyard and you will find yourself transported to an oasis of peace and calm. The immaculately kept gardens and grounds are enclosed by the stunning Tudor building itself, which still retains the majority of its original features.

The Whitgift Almshouses date back to 1596, founded by Archbishop John Whitgift as the Hospital of the Holy Trinity, built as a home for older people. The Almshouses are still used for their original purpose today, providing sheltered accommodation for fifteen residents.

Ticket holders will enjoy guided tours of this historic building, hearing the stories behind its key features such as the Chapel, original 16C clock and commemorative astrolabe.

Click here for more information (limited spaces remaining).

Old Palace of John Whitgift School

Old Palace of John Whitgift School is an independent day school for girls and sits in a stunning Grade I listed building. The Old Palace is a former residence of the Archbishops of Canterbury, who have had connections with Croydon since at least the 9th century.

Originally known as ‘The Manor House’, the building was used as a resting place for important guests and royalty, with Elizabeth I being a regular visitor. 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.

Tours of Old Palace during Open House London will guide visitors through this beautiful building steeped in history, discovering the wealth of original features still present today. Ticket holders will be able to explore fascinating features such as the chapel, the long gallery, the guard room and the great hall.

Click here for more information (spaces are now fully booked).

Open House London is the world’s largest architecture festival, taking place each year over one weekend in September. The event allows the public free access to over 800 buildings, walks and tours across the capital, and includes some of the most renowned and mysterious addresses the city has to offer.

For more information about Open House London, visit their website.