Hampton Court Palace is a bit of a mish-mash of many different parts of English history. Originally built for Cardinal Wolsey in 1514, it was gifted to King Henry VIII as a last attempt to regain the king’s favor during his (Cardinal Wolsey’s) fall from grace. Any of you who watched the Tudors would know all about Henry VIII and his many wives and all that history. Well, much of the events portrayed there took place at Hampton Court Palace. Henry VIII did a lot to build up Hampton Court Palace to its present grandeur, including the ornate chimneys and the massive great hall.
Later on in history, William III and Mary II came along and decided that they wanted to rebuild the place in the new Baroque fashion, inspired by the Palace at Versailles. Many mishaps, scandals, and a complete lack of funds later meant that only half the palace was renovated. This is why Hampton Court Palace has the identity crisis that is does… is it baroque or medieval? A bit of both…
When the Hanoverians came to take over after the death of Queen Anne, George I began to hold full court at Hampton Court Palace. But this only continued through George II, and soon after the palace was no longer used for full court. There were some mock-ups around one section of the palace to represent the time that George I and George II spent here.
It was a bit rainy that day, so we didn’t get a chance to wander the gardens or check out the maze, but I’m sure we would have been miserable if we tried. Overall, it was neat to walk the corridors where kings and queens once wandered, and where so many historic events had occurred. It was also interesting to learn more about Henry VIII and his many wives.