Hampton Court Palace
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Norfolk12
N 51° 24.120 W 000° 20.150
30U E 685308 N 5697898
Quick Description: Hampton Court Palace is a former royal palace in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, south west London, England, United Kingdom The palace is located 11.7 miles south west of Charing Cross and upstream of Central London on the River Thames.
Location: United Kingdom
Date Posted: 3/17/2008 9:50:26 AM
Waymark Code: WM3D10
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Blue Man
Views: 78

Long Description:
Thomas Wolsey, then Archbishop of York and Chief Minister to the King, took over the lease in 1514 and rebuilt the 14th century manor house over the next seven years (1515–1521) to form the nucleus of the present palace. Wolsey spent lavishly to build the finest palace in England at Hampton Court, which he was later forced to give to Henry as he began to fall from favour.

Tudor sections of Hampton Court, which were later overhauled and rebuilt by Henry VIII, suggest that Wolsey intended it as an ideal Renaissance cardinal's palace in the style of Italian architects such as il Filarete and Leonardo da Vinci: rectilinear symmetrical planning, grand apartments on a raised piano nobile, classical detailing. Jonathan Foyle has suggested that it is likely that Wolsey had been inspired by Paolo Cortese's De Cardinalatu, a manual for cardinals that included advice on palatial architecture, published in 1510. Planning elements of long-lost structures at Hampton Court appear to have been based on Renaissance geometrical programs, an Italian influence more subtle than the famous terracotta busts of Roman emperors by Giovanni da Maiano that survive in the great courtyard. Hampton Court remains the only one of 50 palaces built by Henry VIII financed from The Reformation.


The palace was appropriated by Wolsey's master, Henry VIII, in about 1525, although the Cardinal continued to live there until 1529. Henry added the Great Hall — which was the last medieval Great Hall built for the English monarchy — and the Royal Tennis Court, which was built and is still in use for the game of real tennis, not the present-day version of the game. This court is now the oldest Real Tennis Court in the world that is still in use.

In 1604, the Palace was the site of King James I of England's meeting with representatives of the English Puritans, known as the Hampton Court Conference; while agreement with the Puritans was not reached, the meeting led to James's commissioning of the King James Version of the Bible.


Queen Mary's State Bedchamber is one of the rooms in the section of the palace designed by Sir Christopher WrenDuring the reign of William and Mary, half the Tudor palace was replaced in a project that lasted from 1689–1694. New wings surrounding the Fountain Court were added, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, daily supervision of the building work was by William Talman later Nicholas Hawksmoor fulfilled this role, these housed new state apartments and private rooms, one set for the King and one for the Queen. Many famous artists were commissioned to decorate the rooms, including Grinling Gibbons, Antonio Verrio, Jean Tijou and Sir James Thornhill with furnishings designed by Daniel Marot. The King's Aparments face south over the Privy Garden, the Queen's east over the Fountain Garden. After the Queen died, William lost interest in the renovations, but it was in Hampton Court Park in 1702 that he fell from his horse, later dying from his injuries at Kensington Palace. In later reigns, the state rooms were neglected, but under George I six rooms were completed in 1717 to the design of John Vanbrugh and under George II and his queen, Caroline, further refurbishment took place, with the architect William Kent employed to design new furnishings and decor including the Queen's Staircase dated 1733 and Cumberland Suite dated 1737 for the Duke of Cumberland. The Queen's Private Apartments are open to the public and include her bathroom and bedroom.

From the reign of George III in 1760, monarchs tended to favour other London homes, and Hampton Court ceased to be a royal residence. Originally it housed 70 grace and favour residences — one of them was once home to Olave Baden-Powell, wife of the founder of the Scouting movement — but few now remain occupied. One of the warders at the palace in the mid-nineteenth century was Samuel Parkes who won the Victoria Cross in the Charge of the Light Brigade in 1854.

In 1796, restoration work began in the Great Hall. In 1838, Queen Victoria completed the restoration and opened the palace to the public. A major fire in the King's Apartments in 1986 led to a new programme of restoration work that was completed in 1990.


Collections
The Palace houses many works of art and furnishings from the Royal Collection, mainly dating from the two main periods of the Palace's construction, the early Tudor (Renaissance) and late Stuart to Early Georgian period. The single most important works are Mantegna's Triumphs of Caesar housed in the Lower Orangery. The palace used to house the Raphael Cartoons now kept at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Cartoon Gallery on the south side of the Fountain Court was designed by Christopher Wren for this purpose, copies painted in the 1690's by an artist named Henry Cooke are now displayed instead. Other artists with work displayed include:

Anonymous - Field of the Cloth of Gold c. 1545.
Jacopo Bassano - The Adoration of the Shepards' c. 1544-45.
Agnolo Bronzino (attributed) - Portrait of a Lady in Green c. 1530-32.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Massacre of the Innocents 1565-7.
Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger - Portrait of a Woman c. 1590-1600.
Sir Godfrey Kneller - William III on Horseback, 1701; Hampton Court Beauties, 1690s.
Sir Peter Lely - Windsor Beauties, 1660s.
Lorenzo Lotto - Portrait of Andrea Odoni c. 1525.
Daniel Mytens - Charles I & Henrietta Maria c. 1630-32.
Raphael - Self Portrait c. 1506-7.
William Scrots - Edward VI, c. 1550
Girolamo da Treviso - The Four Evangelists Stoning the Pope early 16th century.
Apart from the paintings some of the rarest items on display are the tapesteries, these include:

The Story of Abraham - Flemish, commissioned by Henry VIII in the late 1520's, displayed in the Great Hall.
Conflict of Virtues and Vice - Flemish, c1500, probably bought by Cardinal Wolsey in 1522.
The Story of Alexander the Great - Brussels, late 17th century, in the Queen's Gallery.
The Labours of Hercules & The Triumph of Bacchus - Brussels, purchased by Henry VIII in the 1540's, in the King's Presence Chamber.
There are also important collections of ceramics on display, including numerous pieces of blue and white porcelain collected by Queen Mary II, both Chinese imports and Delftware.

Much original furniture from the late 17th and early 18th centuries is displayed, including tables by Jean Pelletier, mirrors by Gerrit Jensen, chairs by Thomas Roberts and clocks and a barometer by Thomas Tompion, several state beds are on display as is the Throne Canopy in the King's Privy Chamber which also contains a crystal chandelier c1700 probably the first such in the country.

The King's Guard Chamber contains a large quantity of arms: muskets, pistols, swords, daggers, powder horns and pieces of armour arranged on the walls in decorative patterns, bills exist for payment to a John Harris dated 1699 for the arrangement, which is believed to be that which can still be seen today.


Details taken from the Guide Book.
Accessibility: Partial access

Condition: Intact

Admission Charge?: yes

Website: [Web Link]

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