Monday, 1 April 2013

Hampton Court Palace

As Hubby was working in Sussex for most of the week we decided to go along with him and have a mini-break. We always try and find something to do on the way down to break up the long journey and as it was Easter Monday Hubby was off work too. So we decided to visit Hampton Court Palace in Surrey, Piper loves history and has wanted to visit for ages and I've always wanted to go. The membership works out really good value too so we also have the opportunity to visit again as well as The Tower of London, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and the Banqueting Room. The membership is for 15 months too so we have plenty of time to visit everything and re-visit!


The entrance is very grand, and its position right on the edge of the River Thames is really spectacular too. I can imagine even back in the 1500's it being a really special place to see and how very grand!


Not sure if you can tell from this photo but Henry V111 is in the central window! Not that he was a show-off or anything...


But his Grand Hall was rather grand and spectacular, I suppose how you'd expect for one of the Greatest Kings in History! There were lots of actors in costume in all the rooms and there was a lady sat in a chair heavily pregnant whilst an artist painted her, she asked Ruben the name of his Pokemon was and said she was very interested in names at the moment but she wasn't sure Charmander was suitable...

The ceiling is has a hammer-beamed design and the walls are covered in huge tapestries which tell the Story of Abraham. Apparently William Shakespeare's Company performed in the hall in 1603 for King James 1.


Through to Henry V111's kitchens and Ruben had a go with the spit roasting, it was beef and smelled lovely and it was lovely to be next to the fire too-very cosy and warm. Piper told us how it was the worst job to have back then though because it was seen as very boring and too hot. I think if you had to sit there all day she might be right..





Up in the state apartments there was an exhibition on called " Secrets of the Royal Bedchamber". It was all about the secrets and scandals that went on in the Prince of Wales's Apartments including the scandal behind James 11's wife Queen of Modena going into labour and being watched by a group of heads of state to prove it was really her giving birth to the heir. They think a baby boy may have been brought in by a bed pan so hence the name of the bed "Warming Pan Bed". Quite a story!




So many different aspects of architecture to look at!



More actors in this room much to the children's delight!


Lots of grand staircases and beautiful ceilings to look at!




This staircase was quite unbelievable, the kind of place a photo can do no real justice at us, which is such a shame. It was hard to tell where the walls ended and the ceiling began..


Sitting in the chairs that represent the three powerful people who lived in the palace, Henry V111, Katherine of Aragon and Thomas Wosley


This room was full of weapons which Bailey found fascinating! We were even treated to a fanfare by a lady when we entered the room!!


This was a room dedicated to paintings of great Emperors


We also got to look at Henry's Crown of State, although not the original crown which was melted down by the Commonwealth government in 1649 inside the Tower of London, such a shame! It was very beautiful though and also meant we got to view the beautiful Chapel Royal!

Henry's Crown at Hampton Court Palace

The Chapel Royal 

The Chapel Royal
I'd highly recommend a visit to anyone, we already have plans to go back in the summer when we can explore the gardens and visit the famous maze! It was too cold today and we only sat outside quickly for 5 minutes to eat our lunch, such a shame as the gardens are EPIC!

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