Tuesday 5 March 2019

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace is situated in East Molesey in Surrey, about 12 miles from central London  and is easily accessible by train from Waterloo Station or by car. Hampton Court dates back to the reign of Henry VIII.This magnificent palace is surrounded by beautiful gardens and extensive parkland.

Hampton Court Palace was built in the early 16th century for Cardinal Wolsey who later gave it to King Henry VIII. During King Henry's reign the palace was enlarged adding vast kitchens and the Great Hall and used by Henry and his wives. It was at Hampton Court that Edward VI was born and two weeks later his mother Jane Seymour died.

During the 17th century the palace was used less often and slowly fell into a state of disrepair. In the late 1600's King William III and his wife Mary II started work on restoring and rebuilding the palace. Half the Tudor palace was replaced and new wings housing new state apartments and private rooms were built. These were completed after the death of William and Mary by Queen Anne. William and Mary were also responsible for creating much of the splendid manicured gardens. 

By  1717 King George I had six further rooms built and King George II and his wife Caroline undertook further refurbishment including the Queen's staircase and the Cumberland Suite. By 1737 King George II no longer resided at the palace and the apartments were filled with "Grace and Favour" aristocratic residents. In 1838 Queen Victoria opened the palace and grounds to the public.

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