|Hampton Court Palace|
East Mosely, Surrey
Although this palace is technically situated outside London, 15 miles to the south west to be exact, for many it is considered a London tourist attraction.
This striking palace was built in 1514 by the famous Cardinal Wosely who was then the Lord Chancellor of England. He initially built it as his country retreat but when he fell out of favour with Henry VIII (1509-47) - over the Cardinal's refusal to annul the King's marriage to Catherine of Aragon - he presented the palace to the King.
But Henry VIII refused to be pacified - as well as the palace he took all of Cardinal Wosely's other possessions and then had him imprisoned in the Tower of London.
Since then the palace has had continued royal connections for example Edward VI (1547-53) was born here and William III (1689-1702) lived here. In addition, amongst other royals, Charles II (1660-85), Queen Anne (1702-14), George II (1727-60), and Queen Victoria (1837-1901) have all left their stamp on the palace.
The palace has been open to the public since 1838 and it has proved a popular attraction ever since. The interior is decorated in extravagant period style the highlight of which is probably the working Tudor Kitchens where you can see 16th century food prepared and cooked.
There is also a Renaissance Picture Gallery with some of the current Queen's art collection on display, Henry VIII's magnificent Great Hall and an interesting clock court where a 16th Century clock shows the sun revolving around the earth.
As well as the sumptuous interior, Hampton Court Palace is equally well known for its gardens. They include the oldest known vine in the world dating from the 18th century and which still produces a massive crop each year.
But the highlight of the gardens has to be the famous Maze, which dates from 1690, and which has seen hundreds get lost!
The Palace is open daily except Mondays but times vary according to day and time of year, so check in advance. Tickets cost around £9.50 for adults, but there is so much to see and do it is worth it. Refreshments are available.
Copyright © 1995 to 2016 Smooth Hound Systems
Smooth Hound Systems accepts no liability with regards to the accuracy of the information on this site.
Users are advised to double check information such as dates, times, prices etc.