The Whitgift Foundation was established by John Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury, to provide care for the elderly and education for the young.

As Archbishop, Whitgift spent much of his time travelling between Lambeth, Canterbury and Croydon, favouring the latter as an idyllic summer retreat and residing at the Palace in Croydon (now Old Palace School) - a convenient location near to London, the hive of royal and political activity. A few years after the defeat of the Spanish Armada and with the country plagued by bad harvest and wounded sailors, Whitgift decided to help the needier section of the population. He petitioned for and received permission from Queen Elizabeth I to establish a hospital and school in Croydon.

The two foundation stones of the Hospital of The Holy Trinity, now known as The Almshouses, were laid in March 1596. This philanthropic vision saw the birth of The Whitgift Foundation, leaving a lasting legacy to the people of Croydon through its mission of care for the elderly and education for the young and which lies at the heart of our charitable activity today.