Wednesday, May 15, continued
We started our tour in the kitchens equipped and displayed as they were in the Tudor era.
The fact sheet on the HCP’s website says “Henry VIII extended the kitchens at Hampton Court in 1529. Comprising fifty-five rooms, they covered 3,000 square feet, staffed by 200 people providing 600 meals a day twice a day for the Royal court.”
This is one of the bread ovens.
The spits for roasting meats were at a hearth just as big.
Smaller quantities were cooked at these stations. A fire was built in the lower section and coals were transferred to the wells underneath the pots.
On the way to the living quarters, we walked up a stone staircase. How many feet have climbed these steps over the centuries?
William III designated the King’s Privy Chamber as the room for all ambassadorial visits. The red silk Canopy of Estate above the king’s chair is the original from the late 1600s.
The King’s Bedchamber was no less ornate.
The Orangery was built as a place to walk in bad weather and for protecting citrus trees over the winter.
It overlooks the formal Privy Garden. The statues in the Orangery are the originals from this garden.
In the interior Clock Court is the astronomical clock made in 1542 by French clockmaker Nicholas Oursian. The fifteen-foot dial “tells the hour, month, day of the month, the position of the sun in the ecliptic, the twelve signs of the zodiac, the number of days that have elapsed since the beginning of the year, the phases of the moon, its age in days, the hour in which it crosses the meridian, and, therefore, the time of high water at London Bridge [the best time to travel by boat].“
Also within the walls of the palace is the Chapel Garden with framed beds.
There were some amazing decorations.
We ran into Henry VIII in the Chapel Garden.
And saw his portrait in stained glass.
After our tour, we strolled back through the grounds to the train station. We got our tickets and then walked around in nearby East Molesley. There were a few restaurants and hotels and we spent a little time one of the antique shops.
We had a nice ride back to London. It might be fun to live in an area with more rail transportation. I’m sure during rush hour, it would feel just like a bus or crowded subway but it’s still a relaxing way to commute.