Henry’s palace of de­lights

Un­cov­ers the rich 500 year history of Hamp­ton Court Palace

Harefield Gazette - - LIFE & TIMES -

WHEN our fam­ily moved to Feltham in 1936 our new next door neigh­bour went to great pains to tell us about the lo­cal area. Where to shop and what to visit and so on.

One place she told us to visit was Hamp­ton Court Palace and sug­gested we went on a Sun­day when if I re­mem­ber cor­rectly the ad­mis­sion was free. The Palace cel­e­brated its 500th year in 2015 and nowa­days re­ceives many many visi­tors to view the state rooms and other at­trac­tions.

It’s po­si­tion on the River Thames is a favourable one with Kingston upon Thames where me­dieval kings were crowned close by.

In the Domes­day Book we find that the manor of Ham­n­tone was in the Houn­slow Hun­dred and was held by Wal­ter of St Valery with a to­tal value of £39.

The manor passed to the Knights Hospi­talers of St John of Jerusalem who farmed the land for the next 250 years.

They had a chapel built along­side the manor house which was of­ten vis­ited by King Henry VII from nearby Sheene Palace at Rich­mond.

Sir Charles Daubeney who was cham­ber­lain to the King leased the manor and made im­prove­ments to the house when in 1514 the lease was taken over by Car­di­nal Wolsey who set about ex­tend­ing the house and turn­ing it into a palace be­fit­ting his sta­tus with an im­pos­ing en­trance from the river.

Wolsey was a man with many ail­ments and the Hamp­ton was to his favour.

He held sev­eral posts as Bishop and was ap­pointed Arch­bishop of York, chan­cel­lor and Car­di­nal.

In 1517 he re­ceived a visit from King Henry VIII and Queen Cather­ine who took a lik­ing to the palace said to con­tain 1,000 rooms and of­ten vis­ited to hunt in the 2,000 acre park which Wolsey had en­closed.

When Wolsey failed to ob­tain the di­vorce that Henry wanted in or­der to marry Anne Bo­leyn a rift ap­peared be­tween the King and Wolsey and in spite of Wolsey offering Hamp­ton Court to Henry, he was stripped of all of­fices and ban­ished to York.

Henry re­built the Great Hall which we see to­day with its fine ham­mer beam roof.

When Wil­liam and Mary came to the throne it was de­cided that the palace should be re­built and Christopher Wren was con­tracted for the work. He wanted to de­mol­ish all the Tu­dor build­ings and start afresh but as money was lim­ited new Royal apart­ments and the north­ern as­pects were cre­ated.

So to­day we have a mix­ture of Tu­dor and Wil­liam and Mary ar­chi­tec­ture to view and a visit is aways a good ex­pe­ri­ence.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.