Hampton Court Palace


A short visit to Hampton Court Palace

This is where Henry VII imprisoned his second wife, Anne Boleyn. Cardinal Wolsey built the palace and it was so grand that it compared favourably to the palaces owned by Henry VIII. To save himself, Wolsey gifted the palace to Henry to no long term avail. Wolsey died escaping those pursuing him to stand trial for treason.

Hampton Court remains largely intact because it was in use through to the 19th century and not destroyed in the Civil Wars.

The Mediaeval part

15th century through to the early 16th

  • The Mediaeval Entrance with a parade ground between it and the later entrance
  • Defensive and grand at the same time. Built by Cardinal Wolsey and gifted to Henry VIII
  • The Queen’s tower where Anne Boleyn had her chambers. And was locked up prior to execution
  • This clock showed tides and other celestial phenomena. Important if you were to catch the Thames tides
  • Some of the living quarters for staff and visitors
  • Part of the market and trade guild area of the old palace
  • Workshops near stables
  • The functional areas were separate form the ceremonial “royal” areas
  • A bit of the remaining panelling
  • A walled city in mediaeval times. Even when there were no official visitors the upkeep sustained a large town inside and nearby
  • The joins between the older palace, Henry’s Great Hall and the new Palace built on for William and Anne
  • A view into the Great Hall. Last of its kind in royal palaces
  • Some of the family scenes in glass

Housing and Feeding thousands

When the court arrived, hundreds of minor and important nobles came too. All had to be fed and housed

  • Part of the kitchens built to feed more than a thousand people twice a day. Preparation and serving area.
  • I count eight spits there. Taken in the morning in late July. The fire is real and so was the heat. One of two such fire places. Note the helmet shape!
  • Where soups, sauces and other delicate cooking was done. I like the play of the light
  • A bit closer in to see the detail
  • Another Oven. Many mouths to feed.
  • Living quarters. Also the older palace to the right and the newer additions to the left.

The William and Anne additions

William and Anne planned to demolish the mediaeval palace and replace it with a Versailles themed new one. The planed demolition was never carried out.

  • An internal courtyard with water and all the things a modern 18th century monarch would want
  • The competition was Farnce and Versailles.
  • The gardens were as important as the buildings
  • Gardens. Palace. Many rooms for many guests
  • Music as it was played – and listened to
  • The king got to sit by the fire when receiving dignitaries
  • The gardens were hunting grounds in mediaeval times but times changed. You can imagine the secrets being shared on a walk beyond prying eyes and ears.
  • The long water. Truth in advertising …

The surrounds

The gardens and surrounding buildings are part of the package

  • Long views …
  • Sculpted trees. Manicured lawns.
  • Welcome shade.
  • Designed to impress
  • Water. Statues. Probably a lot of horses back in the day …
  • The other entrance
  • The royal gardens
  • Old Tilt yard now kitchen garden
  • It says it is the Lions Gate.
  • And protected by the Kings Arms
  • Along the Grand entrance from the Thames
  • Land at the royal dock on the Thames
  • Through the gateway to the gardens
  • With the palace in view
  • A leisurely stroll or carriage ride along the path
  • Check out the fountain
  • Proceed to the 18th century palace

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