Addington Palace

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File:Addington Palace Interior Shot - The Grand Staircase.jpg
The Grand Staircase within Addington Palace
File:The Great Hall inside Addington Palace.jpg
The Great Hall within Addington Palace
File:Dinner in the great hall at Addington Palace.jpg
Dinner in the great hall at Addington Palace
File:Internal shot of Addington Palace.jpg
A quiet corner of Addington Palace
File:The lobby of the Addington Palace Health Club.jpg
Health Club lobby at Addington Palace

Addington Palace is an 18th-century mansion in Addington near Croydon, South London, England.

History

The original manor house called 'Addington Place' was built about the 16th century. The Addington estate was owned by the Leigh family until early 18th century. Sir John Leigh died without heirs in 1737 and his estates went to distant relatives, who eventually sold to Barlow Trecothick.<ref name=history>http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=43047</ref> Mr Trecothick had been raised in Boston, Massachusetts, and became a merchant there; he then moved to London still trading as a merchant, and later became Lord Mayor and then an MP. He bought the estate for £38,500 and then became Lord Mayor of the City of London in 1770.

He built a new house, designed by Robert Mylne in the Palladian style; a country mansion with single-storey wings. He died before it was completed in 1774 <ref name=history /> and it was inherited by his heir, James Ivers, who had to take the surname 'Trecothick' in order to inherit the estate. James continued the work on the house, having the substantial grounds and gardens landscaped by Lancelot "Capability" Brown. Due to financial difficulties, James Trecothick had to sell the estate in 1802. The estate was sold in lots in 1803.<ref name=history /> The next owners (William Coles and Westgarth Snaith) <ref name=history /> also got into financial trouble and sold it by Act of Parliament in 1807. This enabled the mansion to be purchased for the Archbishops of Canterbury, since nearby Croydon Palace had become inconvenient. It was now called 'Addington Farm' by the Archbishops. It was the residence for six Archbishops of Canterbury. The archbishops made further changes and enlarged the building; work on the building was overseen by Richard Norman Shaw. The palace became the official second residence of six archbishops:

  • Charles Manners-Sutton from 1805,
  • William Howley from 1828,
  • John Bird Sumner from 1848,
  • Charles Thomas Longley from 1862,
  • Archibald Campbell Tait from 1868,
  • Edward White Benson from 1883.

All except Benson are buried in St Mary's Church and churchyard in Addington.

The 'Palace' was sold in 1897 to Mr F.A.English, a diamond merchant from South Africa. After his death, the house in World War I was taken over by the Red Cross and became a fever hospital, but eventually it came into the hands of the County Borough of Croydon in 1930.

Current Usage

The house was Grade II listed in 1951. In 1953, it was leased to the Royal School of Church Music, initially to house choirboys assembled from all over Britain to sing at Queen Elizabeth II's coronation. The building housed the Royal School of Church Music's music publishing operation, residential college and choir school until 1996, when a private company took it over for development as a conference and banqueting venue, health farm and country club. It is used extensively for weddings.


It is surrounded by a park and golf courses, and its gardens are still largely in their original design. Much of the grounds have been leased by golf clubs and the exclusive Bishops Walk housing development was built on Bishops Walk (a private road).

A famous very large cedar tree stands next to the Palace.

See also

  • Croydon Palace, the summer residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury for 500 years

External links

References

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