Croydon’s rich history revealed in Minster’s Open House

Croydon Minster will be part of this year’s Open House London event on September 19, with two events planned.

Many tombs were lost from the churchyard when the Roman Way urban motorway was built 50 years ago

David Morgan, a regular Inside Croydon contributor, will be leading an outdoor walking tour of the Minster’s lost gravestones at 11.30am.

When the church graveyard was cleared in the 1960s to accommodate the building of a dual carriageway, all the gravestones were moved.

Some were placed close to the church building. Others were used as slabs for the pathways in the churchyard.

This outdoor talk includes a walk in the grounds of Croydon Minster searching out hidden gems of the remaining stones to tell the stories of folk buried here and whose names have almost been forgotten.

A Huguenot family and an East India Company trader are featured in the retelling of their tales and the rediscovering of lost history, as are several others which have been meticulously researched by Morgan.

Then, at 1.30pm, there will be a talk about the Croydon Minster building itself.

This seated talk, after which visitors will be able to view the building for themselves, will concentrate on three themes. First, the links with the Archbishopric of Canterbury will be explored: six Archbishops are buried in Croydon Minster.

Secondly, the link between Croydon and America in the 18th Century will be outlined as part of our colonial history. This will include a look at John Singleton Copley, the American artist and Thomas Hutchinson, the last colonial Governor of Massachusetts, both buried here.

Thirdly the examples of structure and fittings that pre-date the 1867 fire and rebuild will be highlighted.

In addition to these two guided talks, visitors are welcome to enter and enjoy the Croydon Minster building. Covid protocols will be in place to ensure the safety of all and there will be volunteers on hand to guide and to answer questions.

For more information, on Open House events, click here.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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2 Responses to Croydon’s rich history revealed in Minster’s Open House

  1. Sebastian Tillinger says:

    Fascinating building including the links to the story of a local Huguenot family.

    In parallel to this I suggest readers consider visiting Dennis Severs’ House at 18 Folgate Street, Spitalfields – one of London’s hidden gems and another link in the fascinating story’s of the Huguenots in our city.

    Croydon Minster must also be commended for it acoustics – the size of this building seems to hit the sweet spot where many other larger cathedrals distort or capsulise their acoustic responses.

    At Croydon, the entire building sings!

  2. Lindsay Offer says:

    I would love to this tour post Covid 19 but we are currently in isolation. It sounds fascinating.

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