According to the Doomsday book of 1086 the manor of Croydon was owned by Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury, during the reign of William 1 and 11 of England. The area surrounding the manor had a small population and boasted a small church, a mill, a wood and eight acres of grassland. In the Middle Ages the manor became a stopping off point for weary travellers and doubled as a court house and a rent collection centre.

Over the years Croydon village grew and its population increased. Towards the end of the 12th century the Archbishops of Canterbury acquired Lambeth Palace and due to its proximity to London, Croydon Palace became a popular summer retreat as well as a resting place for the Archbishops. For centuries Croydon Palace was a favourite home of the Archbishops of Canterbury. Accompanied by huge retinues consisting of knights, doctors, clerks, chaplains, grooms and various other attendants, they would arrive worn out after the long haul from Canterbury.

In the 19th century the Archbishops ended their residence at Croydon Palace and used Addington Palace, also in Croydon as their local resting place. Later the Palace was sold and subsequently used as a bleaching factory, amongst other things. The building was rescued by the Duke of Newcastle in 1887 and given to the Sisters Of The Church who used it for educational purposes until 1975 when it became an independent day school for girls.