It is strange to find, slightly away from the hustle and bustle of the town, the church and graveyard of Croydon Minster, a designation the Church of St John the Baptist was given in 2011. There are strong links to Canterbury, with the summer residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury having been in Croydon Palace (still part of the nearby Old Palace School) and six Archbishops of Canterbury are buried in the church: Edmund Grindal (d.1583), John Whitgift (d.1604), Gilbert Sheldon (d.1677), William Wake (d.1737), John Potter (d.1747), and Thomas Herring (d.1757), all in tombs saved from a great fire which destroyed the church in 1867.
The church’s history goes back to the Saxon period and it is mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086, though it was substantially rebuilt in the late 14th and early 15th centuries. Following the fire of 1867, the church was rebuilt to designs of Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, incorporating some of the medieval remains, most notably the west tower and the south porch, in addition to monuments and other fittings.
While there are no leaflets describing the main features of the church, there are information notices on, for example, the historic tombs.
The church also has an impressive four manual pipe organ by William Hill & Sons, dating from 1869. I would love to go to an organ concert and hear it in full flight - I imagine it will be magnificent.
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