Hampton Court

Here are some touristy photos of Hampton Court Palace, on the Thames west of London.

Hampton Court Palace was most important in the sixteenth century during the reign of Henry VIII (the one with all the wives), though it has been much added-to since. No member of the royal family has lived there for decades, but judging by the amount of cellophane-wrapped flowers and other trash dumped in front of it by the distraught hordes after the death of Princess Di, not everyone realizes this.

Hampton Court Palace has a long succession of rooms (bedrooms and the like), which become rather tiring to view. (If you like the interiors of "stately homes", you're a lot better off looking at the interiors of homes that are slightly more modest -- these also have much fewer tourists. I recommend Ham House, which is close.) Instead, Hampton Court Palace is worth a visit for a few of its sights, such as the vast kitchens, the ancient vine, and the real tennis court, for its architecture (notably its splendid chimneys), and its gardens. Oh yes, and its maze.

The pictures here are of the gardens. These include a large formal garden, a garden in the process of being converted into a nineteenth-century style, a "twentieth-century garden" (also known as the "apprentices' garden") which -- because of its unenticing name or slightly odd location -- remains deserted even when the other gardens are thick with tourists, and "privy gardens", which are small, complex and enclosed, and cannot be entered.

Most if not all of the gardens that can be entered (as opposed to the privy gardens) can be entered free of charge. For this reason they're much loved by people who live nearby, and aren't merely tourist attractions. (In fact this is where I first managed to walk.)

What's more, right next to Hampton Court is a much larger and wilder area called Bushy Park.

You can see more of the palace and surrounding area in the film A Man for All Seasons.

The pictures are pretty feeble. Blame me for unimaginativeness, poor composition, deviations from the level, etc. But the awful camera gave me very little control over exposure and none over focus.

[formal garden] [formal garden] [privy garden] [chimneys] [privy garden] [chimneys] [privy garden] [garden] [Thames] [top of gate] [top of gate] [vase] [garden] [garden and palace] [20th-cent. garden] [20th-cent. garden] [tree]

Other snaps


First created: 10 September 1998. Last fiddled with: 12 October 2000, when I made a sudden realization:

Whew, some of these photos are awful. I'll have to fix them, remove them, or replace them.

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