Here is what Frommers has to say about Hampton Court Palace
“The 16th-century palace of Cardinal Wolsey can teach us a lesson: Don’t try to outdo your boss, particularly if he happens to be Henry VIII. The rich cardinal did just that, and he eventually lost his fortune, power, and prestige, and ended up giving his lavish palace to the Tudor monarch. Henry’s additions include the Anne Boleyn gateway, and the aptly named Great Hall, with its hammerbeam ceiling, as well as a Tiltyard (where jousting competitions were held) and a “real tennis” court.”
Thomas Wolsey, Archbishop of York and chief minister to Henry VIII spent lavishly to build the finest palace in England at Hampton Court. Wolsey however did not live at Hampton Court for very long. His fall from favor was swift as he was unable to assist Henry with his desire to have the Pope annul Henry’s marriage to his first wife Catherine of Aragon. The property was given to Henry who then went on to separate the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church and very famously have 5 more wives in his attempt to have a legitimate male heir. Along with St James’s, Hampton Court is one of the only two surviving palaces out of the many owned by King Henry VIII.
Today the palace is open to the public and is a major tourist attraction, quite easily reached by rail from central London. The architecture is amazing with stunning brickwork and of course the beautiful gardens. The palace is cared for by an independent charity and receives no funding from the Government or the Crown for upkeep.
Put Hampton Court Palace on the list of places to see when you vacation in London. We can help make this happen – contact us today!