Hampton Court palace
Hampton Court palace lies around 20 kilometres south west of London. It is near to Kingston upon Thames and is within the borders of the borough of Richmond upon Thames. There was a substantial building on this site since at least the early 1400s and a Hampton Manor was mentioned in the Domesday book in 1086.
The Tudor era at the Palace
The Tudor part of Hampton Court palace was constructed style by Cardinal Wolsey in the early 1500s. Wolsey had been granted a 95-year lease on the property in 1515. Tudor palace architecture is heavily influenced by perpendicular gothic architecture. In the early 1500s the influence of Italian craftsmen and architects brought a strong renaissance influence to the architecture. This can be seen in the terracotta roundels by Florentine sculptor Giovanni da Maiano in 1521. These roundels contain the busts of eleven roman emperors.
In the mid 1520s King Henry VIII had taken a liking to the property and was also finding Cardinal Wolsey unable to get his divorce approved by the pope. As a result of this Wolsey lost his lands. In 1525 the lease was transferred to the King. Henry VIII was granted a freehold to the property in 1531. After the death of King Henry VIII, William of Orange and his wife Queen Mary made substantial changes to the building. These changes were designed by famous architect Christopher Wren. After this time the palace fell out of use as a royal palace and eventually the gardens were made open to the public by Queen Victoria in 1838.
Hampton Court Gardens
Hampton court palace gardens currently cover over 24 hectares by the banks of the Thames. Every year the Royal Horticultural Society holds a flower festival in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. The gardens themselves are an attraction for garden lovers from around the world. The gardens include a Dutch garden, a yew tree maze with over 1000 trees and a spectacular fountain.
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