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Home > New Search > Hampton Court Palace, London

Hampton Court Palace, London  England 
Richmond-Upon-Thames, London, England

Circa Date: 1495 core w/later additions and alterations

Status: Partially Extant
Details: Christopher Wren demolished Tudor Royal Apartments and Water Gallery (1700); upper two stories of Great Gatehouse removed 1770.


Special Info / Location/ Date

Special Info
Phonetic Pronunciation of House Name

District Today
 Historic County
 City / Town / Village

Start Date
Completion Date
Circa Date
1495 core w/later additions and alterations

Wren's garden façade

Click on thumbnail for a larger view

Wren's garden façade
Wren's courtyard
Distance view of Wren's garden façade
Gates on Wren's garden façade
Detail of gates
The King's Staircase
The King's Staircase
The Tudor Clock Tower
The Wine Fountain in the Courtyard
The Heraldic Beast Courtyard
Bull Heraldic Beast
Dog Heraldic Beast
Dragon Heraldic Beast
Eagle Heraldic Beast
Lion Heraldic Beast
White Hart Heraldic Beast
Tiger Heraldic Beast
Walled Garden
Walled Garden
Entrance Gates

Designed   Laid out gardens
Date   1690s

Designed   Completed interior of State Apartments for King William III
Date   1699-1702

Designed   Restoration work
Date   1838-48

Designed   Gardens for King George II and Queen Carolilne

Designed   Cumberland Suite
Date   1715-18

Designed   Privy Garden and Orangery
Date   1689-1702

Designed   Rebuilt Palace for William III and Mary II
Date   1690s

Extant / Listed / References

Extant Type
Partially Extant
Extant Details
Christopher Wren demolished Tudor Royal Apartments and Water Gallery (1700); upper two stories of Great Gatehouse removed 1770.

House Listed As 
Grade I
Gardens Listed As  
Grade I
Country House:  Yes

Vitruvius Britannicus
Vitruvius Scoticus
J.B. Burke (Burke's Visitation of Seats)
Country Life
J.P. Neale (Neale's Views of Seats)
Access / Ownership / Seat

Open to Public Please note: Houses listed as being open "By Appointment" are usually country house hotels, B&Bs, or schools.
Historic Houses Association Member
Phone Number If calling from the U.S., delete the first "0" in British numbers.
Fax Number

Current Ownership
Current Ownership Type
The Crown / Royal Family
Primary Current Ownership Use
Visitor Attraction
Current Ownership Use / Details
Operated by Historic Royal Palaces

Seat ("Seat" is loosely defined as any family that occupied the house for a period of 2 years or more)
Today Seat of
A Past Seat(s) of
Lord Daubeney, 15th century. Thomas Wolsey, 16th century. King Henry VIII, 16th century. William and Mary, 17th century.
Possible (Unsure) Seat of
History / Gardens & Park / Movies

Earlier House(s) / Building(s)
House Replaced By
Built / Designed For
Rebuilt for Thomas, Cardinal Wolsey
House & Family History
Thomas, Cardinal Wolsey, took over a house probably built by Lord Daubeney circa 1495 on the site of a property of the Knights Templar (later owned by the Knights Hospitaller). Today's Great Kitchen is probably the main surviving part of Lord Daubeney's house. In 1514, at the peak of his power, Cardinal Wolsey acquired the manor as a country residence; Wolsey greatly enlarged the House and installed an advanced sewer system that worked so well it was used until 1871. Wolsey gave the great house he built to Henry VIII in a vain attempt to regain royal favor after he was unable to obtain a divorce from Katherine of Aragon for Henry from the Pope; the Cardinal died on the way to the scaffold. Wolsey was called “the proudest prelate that ever breathed” by contemporaries. The Palace was further enlarged by Henry VIII after Wolsey's death, adding the Royal Tennis Court, circa 1529 (the oldest "real tennis" court in the world), among other buildings. The famous astronomical clock was made for Henry by Nicholas Oursian in 1540; it shows the sun revolving around the earth, the time of day, the phases of the moon, the number of days since the New Year, and the high water at London Bridge. Charles I was famously held prisoner at the Palace in 1647. During the Commonwealth Oliver Cromwell intended to demolish Hampton Court and sell it for scrap, but found it a welcome retreat from the pollution and crowds of London, so retained it as his country residence. From the west Hampton Court is a red brick Tudor palace, from the east it is a Baroque façade by Sir Christopher Wren, who rebuilt the Palace for William III and Mary II (Wren intended to demolish the Tudor parts of the Palace, but a lack of money and the death of Mary II waylaid his plans). Hampton Court hadn't been lived in by a member of the royal family since George II, so it was an understandable decision when Queen Victoria opened the Palace to the public in the 19th century. Legend has it that the ghost of Queen Jane Seymour (Henry VIII’s third wife, who died from childbirth complications) haunts Hampton Court. The Palace is also supposedly haunted by the ghost of Queen Katherine Howard (Henry VIII’s 5th wife, who was beheaded).
Collections This field lists art objects that are currently or were previously in the collection of the house.

For information on the history of British currency, click here.  To use a chart that allows you to compare the purchasing power of money In Great Britain from 1264 to any other year, including the present, click here.  To use a currency conversion to see the current value of the British pound, click here.
Some of the most important Italian Renaissance works of art in the world are at Hampton Court. A rare set of Brussels tapestries entitled the "History of Abraham" by Wilhelm Pannemaker are in the Palace.
Hampton Court is considered Britain's most important secular historic building complex.

Gardens & Park
Garden, Park, Follies and Outbuildings
Hampton Court contains the most ambitious formal gardens ever built in Britain.
Chapel & Church

Location for Movies / TV
"A Man for All Seasons" (1966). "Connections" (1978 - TV mini series, in the episode "Death in the Morning"). "Henry VIII" (1997 - documentary series). "A History of Britain" (2000 - TV documentary series). "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" (2001 - TV mini series). "To Kill a King" (2003). "Restoration" (2003–06 - BBC TV mini series). "Stage Beauty" (2004). "Monarchy with David Starkey" (2004 - TV, Series 2, episodes "The Stuart Succession" and "Cromwell the King Killer"). "Vanity Fair" (2004). "The Libertine" (2004). "Amazing Grace" (2006). "John Adams" (2008 - TV mini series, as the palace where Adams meets George III). "Little Dorrit" (2008 - TV mini series, as exteriors of Marshalsea Debtors' Prison). "The Young Victoria" (2009). "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" (2011). "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" (2011). "Jack the Giant Slayer" (2013). "The Counselor" (2013). "A Little Chaos" (2014 - for the Louvre staircase scene).

Author   NA
Year Published   NA
Reference   Vol. 25, No. 1, 2004, pg. 59

Author   Colvin, Howard
Year Published   1995
Reference   pgs. 133, 953

There are no documents associated with this house.

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