Sweetbriar Dreams

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Sunday, 30 November 2014

Hampton Court Palace - Part One (Upstairs)

Well I promised you a little trip to Hampton Court Palace and here we are.  The sun came out to our delight and my camera worked overtime!  So, this little trip will have to be split into sections this week - 'Upstairs', 'Downstairs' and 'Garden' posts!  I haven't been for years, in fact, I was younger than Miss Teen when I last went and I was so glad to spend some time here.  You know when you visit places from your past and they always look smaller, well as I walked in, it was exactly the same, in fact bigger!  So my lovely Readers, it's time for that usual routine of a lovely cup of tea, some digestive biscuits as I take you into Hampton Court in the steps of Henry VIII and William III,   Are you ready?... Here we go?
This place is ENORMOUS!  It is elaborate, educational and authentic.  I can't recommend it enough. 
In we go then, under the arch and into the Base Court where you are met by the Wine Fountain!  No, there's no wine these days.  The original was built in 1520 and would have been a perfect start to a stay in the Palace, however you would have had to keep your wits about you otherwise you would come out headless rather than legless!
I think there would have been many doing exactly this and sleeping it off...  I love the sign on the fountain too 'Make Goode Cheere Who Wyshes'.
Looking across the Base Court, a Tudor lady...
Who turned out to be the Sister of Catherine Parr and spoke to us about life in Court.
Then, from a window above Catherine Parr summoned her to her Chamber as she needed a chaperon while King Henry visited her.
Ok, I'm digressing, let's get inside...  
and into Anne Boleyn's Gateway...
to climb the worn stairs...
I love seeing stairs worn down by thousands upon thousands of feet.  I wondered if they had been replaced since King Henry VIII and Cardinal Wolsey's time.  Had Anne Boleyn and Henry's other wives looked at these windows as they climbed the stairs to the Great Hall I wonder.
The Great Hall was indeed splendid with its rich tapestries,
 and stained glass.
We were honoured by being visited by the man himself!
The fire places were huge, and with some rooms being quite small, we were imagining how much heat there would have been generated by these.

No doubt you would have seen these paintings before, but these are Henry VIII before (right), and after (left)!
 As a lover of architectural details, I loved this room with its simple yet ornate ceiling and colourful windows.
 And how about these for your Christmas table?!!  They certainly loved to go over the top with their napkin folding!
 The beautiful windows giving such a privileged view...
The Page Boys certainly wouldn't have had this view.  Here was the table in their room where they waited for orders.
 We walked along to The Chapel Royal where no photography is allowed (a link for you to look inside is here).  The Chapel is large and sumptuous and you are greeted by Henry VIII's crown in a glass case (a replica I might add).  Lots of changes have happened over the years including a frame on the wall above the altar by Queen Anne when she included her tasteful changes, however it frames the bricks on the wall and not a painting.  Strange but indeed a wonderful peaceful place to be.
 Now we have a change of dynasty... William III's Apartments. 
William and Mary built the Baroque part of the Palace with its frontage by Sir Christopher Wren (of St Paul's fame) - this will be part of my 'Garden' post later in the week.  Both they and Queen Anne's influences are so elegant and refined and I fell in love with the rooms - and of course chandeliers...
The bedrooms with their enormous four poster beds were exquisite.  Here we find the Great Bedchamber, this would be where the King would receive senior courtiers and ministers while he was dressed for the day.
Here is George II's wife's private bed chamber, complete with bed warmer.
The ceilings were beautiful, especially with such a sunny day reflecting through the windows.
The view from the bedchambers over the gardens were so clear.  Wouldn't it be spectacular to have a view such as this each morning!
Each room held so many wonders for the eyes, and that included the door furniture (you know me, I love the small details such as what was on the door before this brass knob?!)
 And what was the box at the end of this room for?...
Well, this was a big surprise.  Apparently the Yeoman of the Guard (you know the ones at the Tower of London with their red tunics?) would protect the King in the same room and the box is a 'Guard Chamber'.  Here they would sleep in the same room in this box ready to defend if needed.  Can you think just how cramped they would have been.
Well, that's a taster for today of inside and 'upstairs'.  In the next couple of days I will take you 'downstairs' to where all the work was carried out in the kitchens and all the gorgeous Tudor walkways that they would have walked and run along.  In the meantime, here's this wonderful dandy, King Charles II.  I do smile when I see paintings of him as he reminds me of my King Charlie, Coco!!  King Charles Cavaliers are descended from his own Cavaliers in the 1600's.
I just wish her ears were a little longer!

Take care.

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This week I am sharing with:


  1. I like your informal style, so natural and refreshing. I must confess I've never been, shame on me ... one day.
    Well done on spotting the blue sky and clouds at the outset, many people miss that kind of angle and contrast. I must give special mention to the compositions of the gateway, the external steps, the vertical stained glass shot and the focused door handle. However my favourite is the hall and staircase scene with the lamp and curving steps, so many things i could say about this, but I've said enough already.
    Lastly, with photography like this, it's a pleasure to follow you.

  2. How odd. I was thinking only this morning that I hadn't been to Hampton Court for many years - and now here you are whisking me away there! It's every bit as grand as I remember it, though Henry VIII looks disconcertingly like a man I used to play at darts in the local pub!

  3. Lovely post, Chel. I'm looking forward to seeing the next part! :o)

  4. What a wonderful post! I love all your photos, you gave us a great tour. I've never been to Hampton Court Palace but I'd really like to go. What a place. x

  5. What a spectacular castle! The photos were wonderful and it was great to follow along with you. I've never been to Hampton Court, but would love to visit it one day. Looking forward to Downstairs :) Wendy x

  6. I love the contrast of the tudor lady with the lady on her mobile phone in the background. Beautiful place and I am always amazed at the high ceilings.

  7. What a fantastic place! Loved all the photos, made me seem like I was there with you. Thanks for the tour. :) Looking forward to part two.

  8. I love the private tours you give your readers Chel. I probably will never get to see these beautiful places in person, but this has to be the next best thing. Thank you for taking us along and making us feel as though we were right there beside you with your beautiful photography and narrated tours. Have a blessed week my friend!

    Hugs, Vicky

  9. Oh my goodness. I just watched a show about this palace and was so intriugued. I am a fascinated by Tudor history. You don't know how excited I am to see your post about visiting there. Thank you so much for sharing, I can't wait to see more.

  10. Chel, your photos always reflect such a beautiful symmetry!
    Thanks for sharing and God bless!

  11. My skin tingles when I think about the history that took place here. Walking up those stairs I would think the very same things you did. How fun to have historical interpreters there as well. Thank you so much for taking us along on the tour. Looking forward to further installments.
    I'm glad I don't have to sleep in a box like the guardsman. He'd have a hard time getting out in a hurry if there was an emergency!

  12. thank you for sharing this visit!!!!
    xxxxx Ale

  13. Great pictures of Hampton Court Chel, I have never been inside only in the gardens during the Hampton Court Flower Show. Your tour along the various rooms is so interesting, I cannot imagine someone sleeping in a box, the Guard Chamber, haha. The beautiful ceilings and so on, enjoyed reading it and looking forward to your next post about the garden.

  14. Outstanding what a remarkable palace just unbelievable designs, sculptures, and colors everything was out of this world ; beautiful photography Chel thank you so much for the share and wonderful blog. =0)

  15. What a wonderful visit and I loved the bedroom and greatly admired the sun-drenched buildings against the dappled blue sky!

  16. It is a stunning buildings and your photos reflect that so beautifully!! Thank you for taking us along, this bought back lovely memories from my own visit earlier in the year when I didn't take a single photo so it was so lovely to look at yours and remember my own visit. Glad that you had a wonderful time and enjoyed it so much! xx

  17. Thank you for this beautiful tour Chel. It would be wonderful to see in person. I really like that allee with the carefully pruned trees and the beautifully painted ceilings. Pam

  18. I can't imagine trying to keep the linen on those beds clean. It's certainly a magnificent place.

  19. Wow! Spectacular! What wonderful history and grandeur! I'm so glad you're going to show us more. I'd love to see this in person!

  20. Hampton Court is one of my favourite memory of England... It was so nice remembering it thanks to your pictures!

  21. It's nice that they allow photos of so much. I really enjoy seeing the ladies in their beautiful costumes! AMAZING ! I'll go back and look at more of the details now! Hugs, Diane

  22. Wow I loved the tour of Hampton Court. You photos came out so nice and it looks like you had a nice time. I love learning so much about the places you visit!

  23. Such astounding grandeur, Chel - even the doorknobs are a work of art! The costumes are amazing and those gorgeous painted ceilings and stained glass.....so beautiful! xo Karen

  24. What beauty and magnificence!

  25. Thanks for sharing this Chel. I have read your posts backwards and have enjoyed every minute. The detail in your photos is always so amazing.
    Ali xx


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