Old Palace School

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Old Palace of John Whitgift School
OldPalaceSchoolBadge.jpg
Motto Latin: Pro Ecclesia Dei
(For the Church of God)
Established 1889
Type Independent school
Headmistress Carol Jewell
Headgirl M. Russell-Redman
Chair of Governors Mr D North
Founder Order of the Community of the Sisters of the Church
Location Old Palace Road
Croydon
Greater London
CR0 1AX
England England Coordinates: 51°22′22″N 0°06′18″W / 51.3728°N 0.1049°W / 51.3728; -0.1049
DfE URN 101846 Tables
Students c.870
Gender Girls
Ages 4–18
Colours

Green and Purple

         
(formerly Brown and Green
         )
Former pupils Old Palace Old Girls
Affiliation Whitgift Foundation
House Names Stafford, Laud, Hatton, Anselm
Website www.oldpalaceofjohnwhitgift.org

The Old Palace of John Whitgift School is an independent school for girls in Croydon, London. The Old Palace is protected as a Grade I listed building.[1]

It consists of a preparatory department for the ages of 4-10 and a senior school for pupils aged 11–18. The school is operated by the Whitgift Foundation, along with Whitgift School and Trinity School.

History[edit]

The school was founded in 1889 by the Sisters of the Church. The "Old Palace" itself was for 500 years the summer residence of the Archbishops of Canterbury. In the 19th century the Archbishops ended their residence at Croydon Palace and used Addington Palace, also in Croydon, instead. The Palace was sold and subsequently used as a bleaching factory, amongst other things. The building was rescued by the Duke of Newcastle in 1887 and given to the Sisters Of The Church who used it for educational purposes.

In 1945 the school became a Direct Grant Grammar School and in 1975 became a fully independent day school for girls. The school joined the Whitgift Foundation in 1993.[2] The school merged with Croham Hurst School, a former independent school, in 2008.[3]

Grounds[edit]

The school building was for centuries the summer palace of the Archbishops of Canterbury. It began life as the manor house, part wooden from at least the 12th century, and stone from the 14th century. The core of today’s palace was built in the 15th century. The guardroom – once a reception room, now a library - dates from the time of Archbishop Thomas Arundel (1396-1414), and is one of the earliest uses of brick in Britain. Archbishop John Stafford (d. 1452) built what is now one of the finest medieval great halls left in southern England. A number of monarchs from Henry VI to Elizabeth banqueted under its high arched-brace roof, each sitting on Stafford’s stone throne, part of which survives against the west wall. Elizabeth made numerous visits,and her bed, always travelling with her, was set down in what is now known as Queen Elizabeth’s room, a large 15th century first-floor space, with moulded ceiling joists. The chapel dates from the 15th century, and includes a gallery pew in dark oak often referred to as ‘Queen Elizabeth’s Pew”, built by Archbishop William Laud. Beneath this is a Norman font gifted in Victorian times from St George’s Church, Southwark, the same font where Charles Dickens had Little Dorrit christened.[4]

The school also includes modern, purpose-built facilities include seven laboratories, a heated indoor swimming pool, and an Art and Technology building. In 2001 a building for the Junior Department and one housing the Sixth Form and P.E. area were opened. The school also benefits from access to Whitgift Foundation grounds and facilities.[5]

Senior staff[edit]

  • Head Mrs Carol Jewell
  • Deputy Head Miss Jeanette Guppy
  • Assistant Head Geraldine Talleux
  • Assistant Head Stephane Talleux
  • Head of Juniors Mrs Gill Stone

Notable former pupils[edit]

Houses[edit]

All students are assigned to one of four houses named after Archbishops of Canterbury. The houses, and their colours, are Anselm (yellow), Hatton (green), Laud (purple), and Stafford (blue).

References[edit]

External links[edit]