Monday, September 29, 2014

Hampton Court Palace

This morning Sue and I took bus, tube and train to Hampton Court to see Hampton Court Palace, the home of Henry VIII.
Wow!  This place is massive!  First view was of the Thames and the type of boats that have ferried royalty and their guests between the castles and palaces over the centuries.


 Then through the main gates and I'm bowled over by the sheer size of the place!  It's enormous!
Look at these chimneys!  They are ornate works of art, each of them different.  I'm deeply impressed, and we haven't even got through the Gatehouse yet!  This palace was originally built early in the 1500s.



This is the ceiling of the great gatehouse

And this is the great gatehouse looking from the first courtyard or "Base Court".

All of the wing along the left-hand side was kitchens -King Henry VIII had massive kitchens which could cater for 1000 people - and the internal covered ways were wide enough to take a horse and cart.




The buildings have many outer alleys and passages.


In the mid 1600s, William of Orange and his wife Mary set about rebuilding Hampton Court and much of the original building was demolished.  However money and motivation ran out before the new palace was built, so that it joins on to Henry's palace, which can be seen in the background here.


Painted ceiling in the "newer" part.

Shire horses whose lineage can be directly traced from the original royal horses which carried armoured knights into battle.  These enormously strong horses stand 18 hands high.

Part of the yew walks - with trees up to 300 years old - and Mary's formal gardens.



What a wonderful visit to this marvellous palace!


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