An overview of the Addington area in 1948 taken from the official guide of Croydon.
3 and a half miles from the Town Hall, is historically a small area around the church of St. Mary, which had its origin in Saxon times, but in its present form belongs but with several later additions to the thirteenth century; and consists of inn, post office, school, farmhouses, a few cottages and the large Addington Palace. It has some history although rather a scanty one; the place being originally two manors which William The Conquerer transferred, in is characteristic way, to the clerk, Albert, and to Norman Tezelin, a cook, respectively, and the “service” to be rendered was to present a dish at the coronation banquet. Then we learn that Thomas Leigh, as long after as 1661, presented a mess of pottage to Charles II which the merry monarch accepted but did not eat, and as recently as the coronation of Edward VII the service was claimed but, owing to the discontinuance of the banquet, was not accepted. The sight of the original manor, the “castle” was on what is still called Castle Hill. It was transferred later to a now vanished house south of the church, but was still later associated with Addington Palace. North of the church was a commandery of the knight hospitallers, which became a hunting lodge of Henry VIII; and the Cricketers Inn, which had been held by the joiners for at least three centuries, is on the site of one built in that king’s reign. Nicolas Leigh acquired the hunting lodge and rebuilt it as his residence in 1531.
The Palace, a Georgian mansion built about 1769, is called so because it was bought as a residence for the Archbishops of Canterbury in 1808 and was so used until 1896. It is now the palatial headquarters, with hotel accommodation, of the Addington Palace Golf Club.
In the church the most interesting monuments of those of the Leighs, particularly that on the north chancel wall to sir Oliph Leigh and his wife; but possibly most attention will be given to the churchyard monument to the five Archbishops — Manners Sutton, D. 1828, and Howley, 1848, who rest in the vaults, and Sumner, 1862, Longley, 1868, and Tait, 1883, who was buried in the churchyard.
Today Addington extends from Shirley to the east and south east boundaries of the borough. It includes houses of all types, from substantial and charming villas overlooking our largest open space, the heather-clad Addington Hills; in Pine Coombe and Bishops’ Walk, which was formerly part of the Palace grounds; and along Shirley Church Road; to smaller villa areas, such as that at pleasant Palace Green and along Featherbed Lane. A modern shopping area lies on the Addington Village Road at foot of Gravel Hill.
There are three important golf courses occupying no small part of a beautiful landscape: the Addington, the Addington Court (a public course) and the Addington Palace, already mentioned.
Just prior to the 1939-1945 war a new estate of small houses was developed by the First National Housing Trust at some distance south of the village on the summit of Castle Hill, which already has a population of 2000 or more. This was planned as a whole from the start. It is, however, as yet unfinished and the main social buildings are still to come, although it has a temporary library, school, clinics and some other services in embryo. It is reached by a regular bus service from Barclay Road, Croydon. This area will, under new town-planning, develop eventually into a town a township with a considerable population and its own industries.
You can read more about the history of Croydon in our magazine by visiting the link at the top of the page. We are hoping to relaunch this in the near future.