Dating back to around 1080, this lovely little church has strong connections with the Archbishops of Canterbury, who used the nearby Addington Palace as their country residence during the nineteenth century. Five of the six Archbishops who lived there are laid to rest within the walls and grounds of Saint Mary's Church, and there is a memorial to all five in the churchyard to the south-west of the church. Since its foundation, the church has seen many changes and additions.
The Archbishops interrred at St. Mary's are:
Archibishop Charles Manners-Sutton - Died 1828 (buried in a vault under the vestry).
Archbishop William Howley - Died 1848 (buried in chancel).
Archibishop John Bird Sumner - Died 1862 (buried in churchyard).
Archbishop Charles Longley - Died 1868 (buried in churchyard).
Archibishop Archibald Campbell Tait - Died 1882 (buried in churchyard).
Once inside St. Mary's, you simply go back in time and your eyes immediately focus on the Chancel, the oldest part of the church. Here there are many memorials, including two Tudor brasses, and beautifully ornate windows. The largest memorial is that to members of the Leigh family, who were Lords of Addington Manor from the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries. The windows are of various dates.
The window pictured is one of a set and dates
from around 1140. The painting of the chancel, originally completed in 1898 at a cost of
£600, was restored in 1988 at a cost of £20,000.
A marble reredos stretches right across the chancel, with statues of four famous
Archbishops of Canterbury, namely, Cranmer, Theodore, Benson and Laud.
Situated in the heart of AddingtonVillage, Saint Mary's is no more than a fifteen to twenty minute Tram ride from the centre of Croydon and it is well worth a visit. Visitors are welcome on the second and fourth Sundays of the month. A printed guide A Walk Around The Church is available and visitors can browse around the church at their own pace. Helpful members of the church will gladly provide information and answer any questions.