Published: September 7th 2008September 7th 2008
With authentic 17th century dinnerware
We thought we'd try and wait for a lovely sunny day to make the trip out to Hampton Court Palace, but at the rate it's going so far, we could have been waiting quite a while! So, we hopped on a train and paid a little day-visit to the former palace of Henry VIII.
The palace was actually originally started by Cardinal Wolsey in the early 16th century, but after he fell out of favour with the king (and consequently lost his head), Henry conveniently took over all his lands and wealth and snagged Hampton Court. The place was built over about 20 years, and has been added to since the time of the Henry (Tudors) by William III (of the Stuarts) and by the later kings George I-IV (Hanoverians). Again my head was filled with Phillipa Gregory's books, imagining Queen Katherine of Aragon (Henry's first wife) sitting in the presence chamber I stood in today was pretty cool.
We also wondered through the so called 'haunted corridor' where it is said that the pleading screams of Catherine Howard, the 5th wife of Henry who was executed for adultry, (to which she was guilty, though I hardly think the
Henry & me
I would have had a few things to say to him...
19 year-old deserved to be be-headed) can still be heard if you listen really carefully. Yeah, right - even if one was to believe that were true - she was executed at the London Tower, so not sure how her death screams are about 50km south of where she died? Hmmm....
We walked through the kitchens which used to cater for the travelling court, as Henry ended up with 60 palaces by the time he died. In reality, the court had to 'travel' and move on as they consumed all the food everywhere they went! Something like 2,000 deer and 4,000 birds were needed to support a few weeks of feeding Henry and his cronies.
The palace hasn't been used as a place of residence since the 18th century, but you can wonder through the apartments of the queens and kings (though no piccies - apparently the royals have copyright!) which were extravagantly decorated of course.
Though the real beauty of the whole place has to be the extensive gardens. Its so incredibly green and lush here, quite different from Oz at the moment. We had a race through the Maze, which in truth wasn't particularly large,
but am still happy to say I beat James! heh heh heh. The rest of the gardens were quite impressive and they just go on and on, though not sure how it compares to some of the European grounds - I guess its funny that the French can still out-do the English as I think Louis XVI has one over on Henry here.
There are more photos below