Yesterday I had the privilege of wandering Hampton Court Palace. It was like everything else on this trip a surreal moment, especially when I walked up and had this moment of “I’m really here.” To speak a bit on my research, I focus on the First World War, but for a time I thought I was going to center my research on Tudor England (I know, a big leap in years). I still loving reading about Tudor England and to be at Hampton Court was again, a surreal moment.
According to my camera I snapped well over 300 photos, so to narrow down the ones I want show was difficult. Most of the photos below show architecture, which I will quote from school children touring the palace- divine. The palace has a combination of different time periods as updates and work have been done well beyond Henry VIII’s time. It is kind of interesting to see where those renovations were done- you can literally see history moving through time.
There were two things I was most excited to see, Anne Boleyn’s Gatehouse and the Great Hall. Anne Boleyn’s Gatehouse is interesting because it is one of the few traces left that Anne Boleyn had been in that palace. After Anne fell out of favor and lost her head, almost everything with Anne’s crest, initials- were taken down, though a few items were overlooked, including the initials in the Gatehouse. The initials read “HA” for Henry and Anne (Or, this photo may have somehow found itself flipped… it might appear “AH” on the ceiling). It is incredible to think that this was passed over and nearly 500 years later it still exists.
The Great Hall. I am horribly disappointed in my camera and myself. A lot of the photos from the Great Hall were terribly blurry, but I definitely will not forget what I saw. Some of the photos above show a few aspects of the Hall, including one of the huge stained glass windows of Henry VIII and like many rooms in the palace, the remarkable ceiling. The tapestries were also beautiful.
The rest of the palace was, just as everything else, spectacular. There was a moment when I was leaving Hampton Court Palace that I felt a bit of sadness, knowing that my trip is quickly coming to its conclusion. But then I reflected that it has been a life changing trip and it certainly will not be my last time here. If anything, this whole trip has pushed me to make things happen and I intend to do just that.