Hampton Court Palace

IMG_0542

THIS place is at the top of my ‘Things To See In Europe’ list. If all I had was one day in England, this is what I’d choose to see. So I was very excited when we headed off. We took the bus to Waterloo Station, (we got the front seats at the top of a double decker so we could see everything), and when we went over a bridge I got teary at my first sight of the Thames. Weird. I knew I’d get all emotional at something, but I didn’t expect it to be of a river. (Maybe I’m missing the Yarra…)

The first station on the way to the palace was Vauxhall. That’s one for you, Bek. I googled and found that the pleasure gardens still exist.

IMG_0540

The palace is really close to the station. You can see it as you walk along the platform, then you get the thrill of anticipation as you walk across the river and up to the gates. There was the view I’d been wanting to see my whole life.

IMG_0546

A window in the first courtyard.

IMG_0541

After getting our tour guides, (recorded things that you navigate your way around with), we were off to the Great Hall. The palace is in two parts, with the Tudor section at the front and the Baroque (William and Mary section) at the back. I knew a smidge about William and Mary but it was Henry I’d come to see, so we did that first. Who knows what might happen between now and lunchtime?? None of this ‘saving the best till last ‘ nonsense!

IMG_0604

I grabbed a red velvet cloak to wear. I kept it on for a while. They really should make a comeback.

IMG_0551

My first impression when I walked into the Great Hall was one of bedazzlement. The roof, the stained glass windows and the huge tapestries were so grand. My next thought was that it was tiny. I know that there were many people at court when the King was there, so they must have been crammed in like sardines. I mentioned this to Scott and he made the point that he’s always surprised by just how many people you can fit in a room, which is true. Plus I suppose they didn’t have the big sense of personal space that we have.

IMG_0559

The roof was incredible. I love this: all the little heads peering down on the people below.

IMG_0557

Huge tapestries lined the walls. They would’ve been amazing when they were new.

IMG_0553

Here’s a view of the whole ceiling. It was beautiful.

IMG_0558

Here’s the view from Henry’s perspective.

IMG_0552

IMG_0555

IMG_0554

 

IMG_0562

The next room was behind the hall, where the people would wait to talk to the King whenever he came out of his personal rooms.

IMG_0561They certainly loved decorating their ceilings!

IMG_0563

There’s a room just behind the Great Hall that the pages were in.

IMG_0565

This flap in between the tapestries is the only direct route into the hall, so they could appear like magic when they were needed to serve the courtiers.

IMG_0572

The hall that came next was a bit sad. This was the hall that Katherine Howard, after she’d been arrested and locked in her bedroom and escaped, came running down in a desperate attempt to see the King in the Great Hall. They grabbed her right at the very end and dragged her, kicking and screaming, back to her bedchamber. It’s supposed to be haunted by her, but she didn’t make an appearance while we were there.

IMG_0596

 

Here’s the kitchens. These were very interesting. They had some beef roasting on a spit in front of the fire so of course I had to have a go. It would’ve been hot work. I stayed doing it for a few minutes just to see what it would’ve been like. Admittedly, I was only turning a couple of pieces of meat, not a whole cow or something!

IMG_0591

Look at the size of the fireplace. The guide was saying that when the King was in residence they would’ve been catering for 600 or so people.

IMG_0594

Here’s the thermomix of its day – the charcoal burner. Apparently it was even better than the stove tops we have today…

IMG_0578

There are a few rooms remaining of the original section before stupid William and Mary pulled down the rest of the palace to modernise it. Here’s the Queen’s privy chamber.

IMG_0579

Here’s an illicit snap of the roof of the King’s chapel. This was a beautiful place.

IMG_0612

We had lunch in a café that was in what used to be Henry’s wardrobe.

IMG_0611

Here’s a shot of the clock in Clock Court. This shot’s for Dad.

IMG_0614

After lunch we looked at the more ‘modern’ part of the palace. I learned a fair bit about the Stuarts and the Georges that I didn’t know before and the rooms were more like you’d expect of royal spaces. I was rationing my photos by then as my phone battery was rapidly running out.

IMG_0629

Look at these carvings. How incredible…

IMG_0616

IMG_0615

IMG_0623
IMG_0634

 

This was in William of Orange’s private bedchamber. After his wife Mary died, he had her favourite porcelain pieces assembled in his room.

IMG_0630

Here’s his bed… his real bed, not the state bed. It was tiny.

After this we went outside, but my phone had given u the ghost.

What a day. We were there for 7 hours and we saw every inch. I slept well that night.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in holidays. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Hampton Court Palace

  1. Snoskred says:

    I love that cobalt blue stained glass. 🙂

  2. foodnstuff says:

    Did you see the grapevine?

    • Frogdancer says:

      Yes I did. It was huge, with hundreds of bunches of grapes. I also toured the kitchen garden, but my phone battery was dead by then. I got Scott to take some pictures for me; they had an interesting way to stake tomatoes.Date: Thu, 9 Jul 2015 05:39:09 +0000 To: frogdancer01@hotmail.com

  3. Lucinda Sans says:

    Frogdancer, this was my favourite palace. Like you we stayed for hours. But it was freezing cold when we were there in March. The fire in the kitchen was much appreciated. We ended the day with dinner at the pub across the road. POALOB

Don't be shy... say something!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s