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Eltham Palace


Open Seasonally


Grade I

English Heritage

A royal residence from the reign of Edward II, Eltham was the royal nursery for much of the childhood of Henry VIII and his sisters, Margaret, Queen of Scots and Mary, the French Queen. Sir Thomas More took the humanist scholar, Erasmus, on a well-documented visit to Eltham to meet the royal children in 1499. Henry VIII’s grandfather, Edward IV, undertook substantial building work at Eltham, including the Great Hall, which is still extant and can be visited today. Henry VIII built a new chapel, royal accommodation and created gardens and a bowling green. Although he visited frequently in the first half of his reign, he did much less in the latter part and was the last monarch to use it as a residence.

Today, Eltham is an unusual mix of medieval and art deco features, following its purchase in the early twentieth century by Stephen and Virginia Courtauld, who created an elegant art deco mansion within the palace ruins.

More information: The Tudor Travel Guide's Eltham Palace: London's Royal Nursery

See also: Greenwich Palace, Palace of Whitehall, St James's Palace, Hampton Court Palace