Members Visit to Hampton Court

It was an early morning start on  April 26th. for those members  who travelled by coach to visit Hampton Court.  It was a fascinating and informative day,well planned and well led by our two very knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides. The early start ensured that we had plenty of time to view the Palace. R winter 2017 459R winter 2017 469We entered through the main door and ascended  the very imposing stairway

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We were then taken into William III.’s apartments.

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The Guardroom had a remarkable collection of weapons displayed  around the room in fascinating patterns.

In the official throne room, the Chair of Estate was under its formal canopy. It was here that the courtiers would have audience with the King.

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Through the windows we were able to see the privy garden – restored to how it would have been for William 3rd. in 1702, although he died before it was finished.

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We then went into the Royal Bedchamber, although the Royal bed  was never slept inR winter 2017 476R winter 2017 475

The walls were hung; as were many of the rooms, with the most amazing tapestries.R winter 2017 474

We visited William’s dining room R winter 2017 483 where the walls displayed the famous paintings of the Hampton Court Ladies.

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As we crossed the courtyard to Henry’s apartments we were shown the crosses which appear on some of the stones, indicating that the stones had been recycled from elsewhere in the Palace.  R winter 2017 486

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On the stairs our attention was drawn to the   fascinating graffiti dating from the Tudor times.

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We were taken into the Chapel Royal which has been in continuous use for 450 years. The ceiling is outstandingly rich and colourful and is the grand culmination of Tudor interiors. Kings and Queens used the private pew which looks down on the main body of the chapel.

On display was a replica of  Henry’s crown

Henry's Crown at Hampton Court Palace

The painting of St. George slaying the dragon, depicts Henry 7th. as St. George with his family beneath.R winter 2017 489

In the Wolsey Room we saw the magnificent painting ‘Field of the Cloth of Gold’ R winter 2017 491which shows the meeting between Henry VIII and Frances Ist which took place near Calais in  June  1520. The painting was so named because of the sumptuous materials used for the tents. It was not the work of just one artist but of several, and is considered a fairly accurate representation.

We completed our visit in the Great Hall with its beautifully decorated hammer beam roof R winter 2017 496 and its walls hung with Henry VIII’s most splendid tapestries

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The most enjoyable and informative day ended with a very welcome cup of tea and a gentle journey home.