Hampton Court and
We shall arrive at Hampton Court during the morning where
you will be left to visit Hampton Court for approximately
1 hour and 15 minutes.
Here is a brief outline of the history of the Palace.
Hampton Court started as a small holding built by the Knights
Hospitallers with hardly any sleeping accommodation, in the
year 1503 .
In 1514 Thomas, Wolsey, the Archbishop of York and Chief
Minister to the new King, Henry VIII ) obtained the 99 years
lease of Hampton Court from the Knights Hospitallers. The
exact nature of the house he acquired is uncertain, but it
must have been fairly substantial to attract a man like Wolsey.
Henry VIII was prolific in everything, from marriage to palace
building. In just 10 years he spent more than £62,000
rebuilding and extending Hampton Court. This was a vast sum
worth approximately £18 million today. In his youth,
Henry was considered to be the handsomest prince in Europe.
For almost 200 years, Hampton Court Palace was at the centre
of court life, politics and national history.
The Palace has great treasures to be enjoyed :
The Tudor Kitchens, built by Wolsey from 1514 to cater for
his large household.
The Mansions of England . The Cardinal reportedly had 280
silk beds in readiness for visitors.
The Terracotta roundel of the Emperor Augustus. One of a
series made for Cardinal Wolsey in 1521 by the Italian Renaissance
sculptor, Giovanni da Maiano.
Many priceless paintings by world famous artists including
a Raffaello self-portrait.
The first tennis courts were built here.
The famous Maze where you will find difficulty finding your
Do not miss Wolsey's Great Hall, reconstructed c1525
On the way back to the hotel we shall drive through the beautiful
town of Richmond upon Thames. This is a very attractive middle
class, residential, busy town, much sought after as it is
very convenient for commuting to London. The Green enjoys
beautiful properties on all four sides facing the square.
These vary in architecture from Victorian to Georgian styles.
Richmond Theatre, just off the Green, plays an important part
in the entertainment aspect of this lovely Town. The many
shops and people bustling around make it a very charming and
lively place to visit.
Because these are individual tours, (up to 16 persons), the
minibuses used for these is far more versatile than the usual
large and cumbersome coaches, so we can take you to see places
where otherwise many tourists undoubtedly miss out.
One other great advantage is that we can stop anywhere you
choose rather than the pre-arranged, obligatory stops tourists
have to do when in larger groups.
The duration of the tour is 4 hours and driver will make
sure your visit will be very enjoyable.
Price on application.
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