Building / England / London / Travel

Hampton Court Palace

So…

Today my class visited Hampton Court Palace, one of the Tudor palaces made famous by Henry VIII. It was a bit of a journey there, since we had to take a bus to the Waterloo station before heading off to Hampton Court. 

Clifton Gardens

Clifton Gardens

flowers in bloom

flowers in bloom

Africa House!

Africa House!

Upon arriving at the Waterloo station, we realized that we were around 15 minutes early for our train. I was a bit hungry so I ran back down to the McDonald’s to buy 1 order of large fries – my first McDonald’s in the UK! The fries were deliciously salty, much better than the fries I’ve had in the USA (surprisingly enough).

Train to Hampton Court

Train to Hampton Court

McDonald's

McDonald’s

"Food on the Go"

“Food on the Go”

French Fries aka "Chips"

French Fries aka “Chips”

When we boarded the train I remembered that I had brought a box of Choco Crunchies as snacks, so I shared the box with the girls. I definitely remember bringing a few of them to school for snacks in Montessori!

the Tube!

the Tube!

choco crunchies

choco crunchies

choco crunchies

choco crunchies

When we arrived, it was a quick 5-7 minute walk from the tube station to the palace itself. The weather was nice and sunny so we could really see the gardens and palace buildings in full splendor. The palace itself is three stories high – it used to be two stories taller before all the wars and conflicts.

bridge to Terabithia...aka Hampton Court Palace

bridge to Terabithia…aka Hampton Court Palace

entrance to the Palace

entrance to the Palace

quite a walk!

quite a walk!

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace

the moat

the moat

The first area we visited was Base Court, where several statues of revelers were strategically placed around the courtyard. I found the fountain to be a bit gaudy, but the revelers were quite funny (although it did distract me from seeing the Palace as a historical site, rather than a tourist attraction).

tickets and handouts

tickets and handouts

a reveler!

a reveler!

Base Court Fountain + reveler

Base Court Fountain + reveler

The next site we visited was Clock Court, with its wide open space and mixture of classic and gothic architecture. Through the doors we visited Young Henry VIII’s apartments, which talked about his rise to power and his marriage to Katherine of Aragon – to his separation from the Catholic Church and his subsequent marriages.

Guide to the Palace

Guide to the Palace

Clock Court

Clock Court

The Three Thrones (L-R): Katherine of Aragon, Henry VII, Thomas Wolsey

The Three Thrones (L-R): Katherine of Aragon, Henry VII, Thomas Wolsey

Tree of Succession

Tree of Succession

the children of Henry VII and Katherine of Aragon

the children of Henry VII and Katherine of Aragon

The next site we visited was the Great Hall (though Harry Potter’s was better). Each of the long tables had tablecloths full of information about the Great Hall, dining, and traditions during Henry’s time at court. There were several ‘eavesdroppers’ carved into the arches of the ceilings, and the tapestries were statues symbols: the Abraham tapestries cost about twice as much as a new warship back in the day!

Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar

welcome banner

welcome banner

The Great Hall (Harry Potter's was better)

The Great Hall (Harry Potter’s was better)

colorful glass mosaics

colorful glass mosaics

Tudor manners

Tudor manners

4,500 - 5,000 calories...per day!

4,500 – 5,000 calories…per day!

eavesdroppers?

eavesdroppers?

eavesdropper up in the ceiling

eavesdropper up in the ceiling

the dais

the dais

We also walked through the hallways connected to the other parts of the building, and read inscriptions of each of the paintings on the walls. There was an entire hallway dedicated to the heirs of Henry VIII, and another hallway dedicated to his wives (including women that ‘got away’!).

Henry VIII

Henry VIII

Henry VIII and family

Henry VIII and family

The Heirs

The Heirs

Edward VI

Edward VI

Honthorst, "Apollo and Diana"

Honthorst, “Apollo and Diana”

The re-enactment room was one of my favorite parts of the tour. At 3pm we all entered the room, ushered inside by Sir Thomas Seymour. Unfortunately photos and videos were not allowed, but King Henry VIII asked Catherine Parr to be his wife after receiving counsel from his group of advisors – in this case, us (including the women!).

Henry VIII's sixth wife, Catherine Parr (for the re-enactment)

Henry VIII’s sixth and final wife, Catherine Parr (for the re-enactment)

the re-enactment room (taken before the actual scene)

the re-enactment room (taken before the actual scene)

After the re-enactment scene we visited the Chapel Royal (with beautiful organ music playing in the background), yet again photos were not allowed. We entered Fountain Court and the Palace Gardens (read here), then branched off to see the rest of the castle before leaving together as a group at 4:30pm. The girls and I decided to see Henry VIII’s kitchens.

entrance to The Chapel Royal

entrance to The Chapel Royal

Fountain Court

Fountain Court

entrance to Henry VIII's kitchens

entrance to Henry VIII’s kitchens

Henry VIII's kitchens

Henry VIII’s kitchens

the wine cellar

the wine cellar

The apartments of William III were quite interesting. They were very opulent, and people could actually see the king go to bed! Funny enough, William had a separate bedroom where he actually slept, and it was very simple compared to the ornate bed frame he ‘retired’ in each night.

oh stairs...

oh stairs…

check out those hallways!

check out those hallways!

the gardens are beautiful!

the gardens are beautiful!

William III's royal bedchamber

William III’s royal bedchamber

bedchamber information plaque

bedchamber information plaque

William III's actual bedchamber

William III’s actual bedchamber

The Hampton Court Palace tour was interesting because I really enjoy reading about the Tudor and Stuart periods in British history. If the site was not this far away (and if the tours weren’t £15 per person) I would definitely come back!

what a sunset!

what a sunset!

golden vines

golden vines

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5 thoughts on “Hampton Court Palace

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