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The Whitgift Archive

The Whitgift Foundation and School Archives

We act as custodian to the distinctive and irreplaceable historical records of the Whitgift Foundation and Whitgift School as well as Whitgift Association and the Old Crohamian Association (the alumni associations of Whitgift School and then Croham Hurst School*). The Archives cover the administrative history along with the academic, sporting, and educational activities of these four organisations.

Our aim is to make the Archives the authoritative source and point of contact for historical research enquiries involving the Foundation and School. Our remit covers the following:

  • Sharing our professional expertise and knowledge of the collections with students and employees
  • Supporting the students of the three Whitgift Foundation Schools in developing their research skills and offering them experience in handling primary history materials
  • Providing access to a quiet search room for research study
  • Engaging with both internal and external visitors, sharing the story of the Foundation and School and how these institutions have been fixtures in Croydon for over 400 years

As custodian we are responsible for the implementation and monitoring of best practice standards to manage, preserve, and make accessible our collections. This implementation is achieved through modern archival storage, air-conditioning, and a fire-suppression system together with relevant policies and procedures.                                                              

The following records form the major parts of the collections, though certain records may be subject to closure periods and/or the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR):

  • Foundation Governors’ minutes from 1871
  • Almshouses records (1599-1974)
  • Whitgift School Admission registers 1871-1968
  • Whitgift School magazines including The Whitgiftian and student magazines
  • Architectural drawings and plans of Whitgift School and Foundation property within Croydon and surrounding areas
  • An extensive collection of photographs detailing school life from the early 1880s onwards. Subjects include, Prefects, House groups, school buildings, teaching staff and pupils, the Combined Cadet Force, academic and sporting subjects; exterior, interior, and aerial views of the School at its previous home at North End and at its current home at Haling Park
  • Estate records of the Foundation including title deeds from the late 16th century
  • School and sportswear clothing, trophies, paintings and other heritage objects
  • Alumni magazines and richly illustrated Form books of Croham Hurst School
  • We also have a small specialist library featuring books on archives, local and family history, public schools and education, and the early history of charities.

Donations and Enquiries

We welcome donations to the Archives concerning all aspects of life at Whitgift School and within the Whitgift Foundation as well as information regarding the alumni of Whitgift and Croham Hurst Schools*. When requested, we will digitise and return records, photographs, and any other material that is of sentimental value. The Archives reserve the right to decline donations where the item is already held in any quantity such as issues of Whitgiftian magazines or if the item has been stored in damp conditions.

When donating or if you have an enquiry, please supply as much background information as possible. Please note that as the Archives are within a school there may be a delay responding to enquiries.


Mr W. Wood

Assistant Archivist
Mr D. Clifford

Email the team:


* Croham Hurst School was an day independent school for junior and senior girls established in 1899. The school closed in 2008 when it was absorbed into Old Palace of John Whitgift School, the premises becoming the junior school and a nursery.

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