Inner Courtyard 1
TheDoomsday survey, compiled in 1086, records Archbishop Lanfranc holding 'in desmesne' a number of manors, including 'Croindene'. The manor then contained a church, a mill, eight acres of meadow, woodland for 200 pigs and land for 20 ploughs. Intriguingly, it was valued at 27 pounds, having been worth only 12 before 1066!
A church still stands near the house today, and the mill would have been surrounded by rivers like the Scarbrook and Wandle which now flow mostly underground. It is not known whether Lanfranc himself ever visited Croydon.

When the archbishops acquired Lambeth in the 11th century some of their manors between London and Canterbury developed as staging posts. Croydon was one, being a day's journey from Lambeth, and others included Otford, Wrotham, Maidstone and Charing. Although they held property close to Watling Street, the more direct road linking Canterbury and London, the archbishops preferred this southerly route incorporating Croydon. Being near to London, Croydon also became popular with archbishops as a retreat, its extensive grounds affording ample opportunity for riding, hunting and fishing.

THE ORIGINS OF SURREY STREET: Although archbishops have had land in Croydon since the 9th century, there is no record of any living or staying there until the 1270s, (the papers relating to archbishops before this time were taken to Rome in 1278 and left there!) Kilwardby is the first prelate known to have stayed at Croydon, and he it was who in 1273 secured from Edward 1 permission for a market to be held there on Wednesdays. There is still a market near to the palace today.

Many of Kilwardby's successors stayed at their house at Croydon, including Pecham, who carried out an ordination there in 1280; Winchelsey, who lodged there in May 1299 while en route from Lambeth to West Malling Abbey; Reynolds, who had the garden enlarged in 1315 and arranged for the market to operate on Thursdays and the feast of St. Matthew; and Sudbury, who was executed during the Peasants' Revolt of 1381 and had his manor at Croydon attacked and burnt. Sudbury's successor Courteney, was inducted as archbishop in the Great Hall the following year and had a chapel built near the garden of the house.

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