Well I promised you a little trip to Hampton Court Palace and here we are. The sun came out to our delight and my camera worked overtime! So, this little trip will have to be split into sections this week - 'Upstairs', 'Downstairs' and 'Garden' posts! I haven't been for years, in fact, I was younger than Miss Teen when I last went and I was so glad to spend some time here. You know when you visit places from your past and they always look smaller, well as I walked in, it was exactly the same, in fact bigger! So my lovely Readers, it's time for that usual routine of a lovely cup of tea, some digestive biscuits as I take you into Hampton Court in the steps of Henry VIII and William III, Are you ready?... Here we go?
This place is ENORMOUS! It is elaborate, educational and authentic. I can't recommend it enough.
In we go then, under the arch and into the Base Court where you are met by the Wine Fountain! No, there's no wine these days. The original was built in 1520 and would have been a perfect start to a stay in the Palace, however you would have had to keep your wits about you otherwise you would come out headless rather than legless!
I think there would have been many doing exactly this and sleeping it off... I love the sign on the fountain too 'Make Goode Cheere Who Wyshes'.
Looking across the Base Court, a Tudor lady...
Who turned out to be the Sister of Catherine Parr and spoke to us about life in Court.
Then, from a window above Catherine Parr summoned her to her Chamber as she needed a chaperon while King Henry visited her.
Ok, I'm digressing, let's get inside...
and into Anne Boleyn's Gateway...
to climb the worn stairs...
I love seeing stairs worn down by thousands upon thousands of feet. I wondered if they had been replaced since King Henry VIII and Cardinal Wolsey's time. Had Anne Boleyn and Henry's other wives looked at these windows as they climbed the stairs to the Great Hall I wonder.
The Great Hall was indeed splendid with its rich tapestries,
and stained glass.
We were honoured by being visited by the man himself!
The fire places were huge, and with some rooms being quite small, we were imagining how much heat there would have been generated by these.
No doubt you would have seen these paintings before, but these are Henry VIII before (right), and after (left)!
As a lover of architectural details, I loved this room with its simple yet ornate ceiling and colourful windows.
And how about these for your Christmas table?!! They certainly loved to go over the top with their napkin folding!
The beautiful windows giving such a privileged view...
The Page Boys certainly wouldn't have had this view. Here was the table in their room where they waited for orders.
We walked along to The Chapel Royal where no photography is allowed (a link for you to look inside is here). The Chapel is large and sumptuous and you are greeted by Henry VIII's crown in a glass case (a replica I might add). Lots of changes have happened over the years including a frame on the wall above the altar by Queen Anne when she included her tasteful changes, however it frames the bricks on the wall and not a painting. Strange but indeed a wonderful peaceful place to be.
Now we have a change of dynasty... William III's Apartments.
William and Mary built the Baroque part of the Palace with its frontage by Sir Christopher Wren (of St Paul's fame) - this will be part of my 'Garden' post later in the week. Both they and Queen Anne's influences are so elegant and refined and I fell in love with the rooms - and of course chandeliers...
The bedrooms with their enormous four poster beds were exquisite. Here we find the Great Bedchamber, this would be where the King would receive senior courtiers and ministers while he was dressed for the day.
Here is George II's wife's private bed chamber, complete with bed warmer.
The ceilings were beautiful, especially with such a sunny day reflecting through the windows.
The view from the bedchambers over the gardens were so clear. Wouldn't it be spectacular to have a view such as this each morning!
Each room held so many wonders for the eyes, and that included the door furniture (you know me, I love the small details such as what was on the door before this brass knob?!)
And what was the box at the end of this room for?...
Well, this was a big surprise. Apparently the Yeoman of the Guard (you know the ones at the Tower of London with their red tunics?) would protect the King in the same room and the box is a 'Guard Chamber'. Here they would sleep in the same room in this box ready to defend if needed. Can you think just how cramped they would have been.
Well, that's a taster for today of inside and 'upstairs'. In the next couple of days I will take you 'downstairs' to where all the work was carried out in the kitchens and all the gorgeous Tudor walkways that they would have walked and run along. In the meantime, here's this wonderful dandy, King Charles II. I do smile when I see paintings of him as he reminds me of my King Charlie, Coco!! King Charles Cavaliers are descended from his own Cavaliers in the 1600's.
I just wish her ears were a little longer!
This week I am sharing with: