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Thursday, 28 July 2016

Hot foot to Hampton.

Today was the day to go back up river and see Hampton Court, but this time on the train. It was roughly the same length of time to get there by bus or train, despite having to got to Clapham Junction to change trains. On the train it was only £14-95 return for the both of us so we let the train take the strain.

Does anybody else get upset with this latest tendency at these sort of attractions when they give you the entrance price and if you didn't know better you would pay up not knowing that it includes gift aid. They used ask if you would like to pay the gift aid price, and even before that they asked you to fill a form in so they could get the aid back themselves. At Hampton Court, and they are not alone, the fact that it includes gift aid is in very small print and the real cost is also well down the list and in small print too. The person on the till didn't tell us about the fact that we could have the cheaper fee if we wanted.

Once in we went straight to an 1100 performance about HenryVIII and his first two wives that took us round several of his apartments. It was very good indeed. So much so that we had our pack up lunch, no flask, and went to see another by them regarding Shakespeare and King James I/IV. This was also very good too and I would recommend them when you visit. The rest of our visit was a bit of a dash round with the audio tour. As there is very little in any of the rooms in the Palace I would think you must have an audio guide or a guide book to get any information much at all. The rest of the blog will largely be pictures as I can't remember too much information.

This is gateway that passes from the Base Court into the Clock Court

This is a mantle pier at the side of a fireplace in the Georgian part of the Palace when George I and II took residence between 1714 and 1737. 

Apparently the folding of linen napkins to form images was started in the courts of Germany and as the Georges descend from Hanover it was natural that it came to England.

The painted ceilings in some of the apartments and this is one of the retiring rooms.

This is the Fountain Court and has the wing built by William and Mary around 1689.

This is the clock that gives the Clock Court it's name. As you can see it is an all singing and dancing time piece.

The Tudor building shows off it's opulence with the many fireplaces and hence chimneys too. The height of luxury in the day would be to keep warm and every room had a fireplace. I just love the sky line of chimneys that all look different.

The glass building houses the Great Vine that was planted by Capability Brown in 1768 and still produces grapes today that can be bought in the shop in September. I wonder how much they will be?

This is part of the kitchens during Henry VIII's time. This alleyway is actually the fridge of the time. The narrow alley means that the sun doesn't get in to warm it.. The doors are through to the cool rooms where items are kept.

This is one of the 'plaques' above the entrance to the Chapel Royal. The chapel was a lovely spot and it is amazing to think it has been in use for over 500 years.

This is just a carving above a window of the William and Mary wing of the Palace.

This was our picture in one of the pier glasses in the William and Mary Chambers from 1689.

This is one of the gates that is at the bottom of the Privy Garden. It was set out by Henry VIII but re-designed William III and Mary. These gates are by Jean Tijou and are fantastic. It looks like some of the others are in the priocess of being restored to this condition.

This is the East Front of the William and Mary apartments with the privy gardens in front. Once completed William was upset that he couldn't see the Thames so he had the garden lowered at the far end.

The gates by the road and entrance to the Palace has these fantastic sculptures.

Clapham Junction is the busiest rail junction in the UK and one of the busiest in Europe with between 100 to 180 trains passing through every hour between 0500 and 0001. We only had about 5 minutes to wait at Hampton Court Station and about 15 mins at Clapham.

On the walk back from the station through the Butts and the Market Place I saw this on a house backing on the river next to the canal. It was built on the site of an old mill, and in fact the weir and the water controls can still be seen. It was built in 1904 in the arts and crafts style. Down starirs the space was divided by folding screens into two classrooms where the children could be taught etc. Upstairs there was accommodation and when required boat wives could use them during childbirth. It closed in 1978 and is now a private residence. It was a good 'boaty' end to the day. As we walked from the station it started to spit with rain, but we were back aboard before it got heavy enough for it to get us wet. A very nice day and as we were at Hampton Court Palace for six hours I think the entrance fee actually worked out well worth while.

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