Dedicated to St John the Baptist, Croydon Minster is the Mother Church of Croydon, thought to have been established as long ago as 960 and mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.
In the past, the church had close links with the Archbishops of Canterbury, who used Croydon Palace, next door, as a summer residence for many centuries, often visited by royalty. Six Archbishops are buried at the Minster.
The medieval structure of the building was badly damaged by fire in 1867, leaving only the tower, south porch and walls standing. Well-respected architect, George Gilbert Scott supervised the renovation, incorporating the original features into his design.
There is much to see on a visit to Croydon Minster, which is an impressive building 150 feet long and 92 feet high in the nave, with the largely medieval tower rising to a height of 125 feet.
The lectern is a wonderful example of 15th century brass-work in the design of an eagle, and there are other medieval remains including an altar tomb. The pulpit is Victorian, ornamented with carved figures of saints. The richly-decorated chancel has a beautiful stained-glass window showing scenes from the New Testament.
The St. Nicholas Chapel houses a monument to Archbishop Whitgift, who died in 1604. He is still known as a generous benefactor in Croydon, his name perpetuated with almshouses, schools – and now, the local shopping centre.