Saturday 15 October 2022

Hampton Court Palace

After a night in Kingston upon Thames we set out to walk to Hampton Court Palace. It's not very far, but we walked up the wrong side of the Long Water, and ended up going the very, very long way to the entrance.

Once there we got our tickets, map and audio guide and set off. It really is a huge place and you can choose lots of different routes around it, so it always seemed confusing.

The most famous occupant was Henry Vlll and his six wives. Apparently when he was young he was fit and sporty, playing royal tennis in a special room in the grounds. However, he is better known for his enormous appetite and eating huge amounts of food was very popular amongst the nobility during his reign.

The massive kitchen had six fireplaces for roasting whole cows and every other animal you can ever think of.

The apartments were grandly decorated and each new king or queen who lived there seemed to build a new bit on to the Palace, or redecorate someone else's.

This is Henry's Great Hall, and then we moved on to another similar sized room called the Great Watching Chamber. Noble people used to spend hours and hours here waiting to see if they could catch a glimpse of Henry walking past. A fashion for the later monarchs was to have their fancy dining table in the middle of a huge room and with a little fence around it.

They would then sit inside the fence to eat, and their subjects could stand around and watch. Apparently it was very popular entertainment. There was also a Great Bedchamber where the favoured few could watch the monarch sleep.

This was the ceiling of one of the rooms but I have lost track of which one.

Eventually we got back out again in to the daylight before we spent a bit more time than we had hoped lost in the maze.

Here's proof that we got to the middle.

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