Monday, October 5, 2009
London Hampton Court
What can I say about this picturesque palace that belies the naughtiness of Henry VIII's? It was the first of the palaces and gardens I saw - near Thames Ditton where my niece resides - so it remains the grandest in my mind's eye. You can actually see the mistletoe growing as balls in the tree at the front entrance - who knew? The architecture is distinctive with its chimneys and gargoyles and statues and gates - wonderfully crafted iron gates painted gold. This was the only place (including the museum) which would not allow photos taken inside the palace. I did manage to get a photo of the art in one corner of the queen's room.
Ghosts are said to haunt the place. Guess Henry's influence permeates all eras. Henry took over the palace from Thomas Wolsey, Archbishop of York, and favorite of King Henry VIII, who lavishly transformed Hampton Court into a splendid work of art. Over the centuries, with various owners, the Palace grew. The red bricks bring a harmony to all the forms of architecture prevalent in the buildings. It is truly a place you can spend a full day to visit.
The gardens - oh the gardens - are masterfully sculptured pieces of art. To a gardener, it was a delightful day strolling around beauty. But, the gardens will be a separate post as I'm having difficulty widdling down photos in this post about the palace.