Monday, June 09, 2008

Question from Norman - Hampton Court

Does any one have any pictures of Tudor areas that are off limits to the public? I understand that there is quite a bit, such as the Baynes Tower.

8 comments:

PhD Historian said...

No one has responded to this question after several days, so I will offer something. I do not know a great deal about the non-public areas of Hampton Court specifically, but I do know that many royal palaces, including Windsor, Kensington, and the Tower of London, have many areas beyond public view that have been transformed on the inside into offices and residences. I've been to Hampton Court three or four times over the past 20 years, and I do know that significant portions of it are occupied by offices, including historical research facilities for Kingston University. I have no idea, though, whether there are non-public areas such as Baynes Tower that may retain their Tudor-era decor. I suspect, however, that most non-public areas have suffered extensive reworking over the centuries. Have you tried emailing Hampton Court directly to ask them?

Lara said...

I meant to respond to this a couple of days ago and kept forgetting to look at some books I might be able to recommend. I finally remembered this morning, but unfortunately neither of the books I consulted had a lot of pictures of the 'off limits' areas. However, you might still find Simon Thurley's "Royal Palaces of Tudor England" an interesting read. There is also a new book out on the Royal Palaces of London, but I haven't had a chance to look at that one yet. I should have checked into "Crown and Country" by Edward Wessex, since in the video version I remember him going into some of the off-limits areas (I guess it helps to be the son of the Queen!). I specifically remember them going up into the tower behind the astronomical clock.

If you want a chance to see in some of the private areas, there are a couple of options if you have the money. One is to rent an apartment there (I believe they have some options for rentals of less than a month, maybe even as short as a week). There are also some tour companies that have started to offer behind-the-scenes tours of some of the historical properties. I imagine with Henry VIII's 500th accession anniversary coming up these will continue to be offered (at a price, I'm sure!).

PhD Historian said...

You are correct, Lara, at least partially. The group National Landmark Trust (UK) does offer vacation rentals in a number of listed historic properties throughout the UK. You can rent for as little as a weekend or as long as a month, depending on the property. But they do come at a price. Unfortunately, the list does not include Crown properties, of which Hampton Court Palace is one. From what I am able to discover, Hampton Court Palace itself stopped letting (renting) apartments within the palace in the early 1970s. If anyone has any information about renting accommodations within the palace itself in more recent years, please do let me know, as I would give my eye teeth to do that. You can also hire some of the State Rooms for single-evening events, but they only rent to very large groups. I think a "behind the scenes" tour would be the way to go.

Lara said...

At least a few years ago they were still doing week-long rentals because I looked into it once out of curiosity. I can't for the life of me remember where I found the info though. It's possible I got it from a friend of mine who lives in Wales when we were looking into it stuff for my Tudor email list get-together in 2000.

I would swear that someone on the list stayed there just a few years ago with his re-enactment group from California. I want to say it for a week, but I'll check the list archives and see if I can find his write-up.

Lara said...

Ah, I found some of the photos from my list-member who stayed there and it was in 2005.

Lara said...

I found a little bit of info on the Hampton Court website about the accommodations. There are self-catering apartments in the Fish Court (one of my favorite parts of the palace!) and the Georgian House.

Info here: http://www.hrp.org.uk/HamptonCourtPalace/FAQs.aspx
(scroll down to "Accommodation"

PhD Historian said...

I was obviously wrong. Outstanding! Come on Lara, let's you and I go!

Lara said...

If I had the money right now, I'd be there in a flash! But that's not going to happen for a few years... not until some credit cards are paid down and that blasted exchange rate improves. :(