Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hampton Court Palace

hampton court palace, astronomical clockDuring our stay in Hampshire, England, we visited one of King Henry VIII's palaces, Hampton Court. The Tudor palace was mostly torn down to make room for new buildings designed by Sir Christopher Wren for King William III and Queen Mary II in the late 17th century, so what you see today is an interesting mix of architectural styles.

The astronomical clock in the above photo was made for Henry VIII in 1540. The clock shows "the time, month, day of the month, position of the sun in the zodiac, the phase and age of the moon. It also determined the time at which the moon would cross the meridian and therefore the time of high water at London Bridge, useful if you, like King Henry, travelled to London by Royal Barge." (from the Historic Royal Palaces website)

hampton court palace, privy gardensPrivy Gardens outside the King's State Apartments

hampton court palace, king's state apartmentsSouth Facade of the King's State Apartments

Tours of the palace provide fascinating stories about the royal families who stayed at Hampton Court. The vast Tudor Kitchens, impressive King's State Apartments, interesting Georgian Rooms, and beautiful gardens are just some of the things you will see.

Visit Historic Royal Palaces for more information about Hampton Court Palace.