Resources to use in the palace (KS2)
Teacher and group leader notes. These trails are intended for teachers and adult helpers to use with KS2 student groups whilst exploring different areas of the palace. They give suggestions of things to look for, things to think about and things to imagine. The things to think about are intended to be prompts for discussion - there are no right or wrong answers. The trails are designed to be printed out back to back and folded into an A5 size booklet.
Henry VIII's Apartments
This trail guides you from the front entrance of the Palace through Base Court and Clock Court, to the Great Hall, the Great Watching Chamber, the Processional Route (Haunted Gallery) and Henry's Council Chamber.
The trail helps to bring Henry VIII's Apartments alive for your pupils by encouraging them to imagine how the rooms were used in Henry's time.
Download the trail for Henry VIII's apartments (PDF, 1 MB)
Henry VIII's Kitchens
This trail guides you from Master Carpenter's Court at the entrance to Henry VIII's Kitchens, through the various different areas and rooms of the kitchens and out to the serving place and wine cellar.
You will be introduced to the various methods of cooking, storing and flavouring food in Tudor times as well as the different types of food that were prepared in these kitchens.
The trail also encourages pupils to think about the different people who worked in the kitchens and what it would have been like to do those jobs.
Download the trail for Henry VIII's kitchens (PDF, 2 MB)
This trail takes pupils through some of the lesser known, Baroque areas of the palace. The trail includes parts of apartments created for William III (1689-1702) and parts of the Georgian apartments which are decorated as they would have been when Queen Caroline used them (Caroline was married to King George II who reigned from 1727-1760).
The rooms are quite different to the Tudor parts of the palace and pupils often find them difficult to understand. This trail helps to explain these rooms and bring the Baroque court to life.
Download our baroque trail (PDF 1.7 MB)
The gardens at Hampton Court Palace are varied and beautiful.
This trail takes you around the different areas including the very formal Privy Garden, which is laid out as it would have been during King William III's reign (1689-1702), the wilderness garden which is much more informal, the great fountain garden and the famous grape vine.
Download our garden trail (PDF 1.1 MB)
Set your pupils the brief of being history detectives and challenge them to find out more about the wealth, wives and personality of Henry VIII using his apartments in the palace as their evidence.
The trail is designed to be printed out back to back and folded into an A5 size booklet.
Download the history detective trail (PDF 2 MB)
Young Henry VIII's Story resources
Explore this permanent exhibition at the Palace with these three booklets. We suggest that a third of your group investigates Katherine of Aragon (this is the longest booklet), a third look at Henry VIII and the final third use the Wolsey booklets (the shortest of the three.)
You can then continue your learning back at school using the word bank worksheets and the happy graphs. These will help your pupils compare their findings with their classmates who were investigating a different character in the exhibition.
Katherine in 'Young Henry's Story' (PDF 542 KB)
Henry VIII in 'Young Henry's Story' (PDF 89 KB)
Wolsey in 'Young Henry's Story' (PDF 483 KB)
Happy Graphs (PDF 42 KB)
Word Banks (PDF 38 KB)
Resources to use in the palace (KS3)
Henry VIII's Apartments 'manga-style'
Below are two manga-style drawings - one of the Great Hall and one of the Great Watching Chamber - both are important rooms in Henry VIII's apartments.
There are two copies of each drawing - one with text in the speech bubbles and one where the speech bubbles are blank. The drawings with text are intended to bring the rooms alive for your students and show how the rooms were used and peopled.
The blank copies give your students the opportunity to imagine what people may have talked about as they fill in the speech bubbles themselves.
The Great Hall
This image is in black and white because it is the less important of the two rooms and people of lower social standing used this room. Men and women who worked at the palace were given two meals per day in this room, one at 10.00 and one at 16.00.
Food was brought up from the great kitchens either through the door at the top of the hall or the door behind the screen at the back. Despite this room having quite a utilitarian function as a dining room, it was still spectacularly decorated as it was the first room any visitor to Henry VIII's court would see.
Download the Great Hall image with text (PDF)
We chose to set the scene on the day that Catherine Howard was arrested. Some people in the Great Hall are talking about it, but others are more concerned with the business of eating dinner.
Henry had so many staff that they ate in two sittings, with probably 300 people at each one. Think of a day to set your scene - summer or winter? What has been happening at the palace, what are people talking about? Is the general mood sober or cheerful? Are people looking forward to something or talking about an event that has recently happened?
Download blank Great Hall image (PDF)
The Great Watching Chamber
This colourful room really shows off the magnificence of Henry's palace. Access to the King was strictly controlled.
Only those with a title of Baron or above were allowed in this space, because here you were close to Henry's private apartments where he dined and slept. The Yeomen of the Guard stand around the walls acting as the King's private body guard.
Those who were not invited into Henry's private rooms would wait in here hoping to catch the King's eye when he came forth from his rooms, usually on his way to the Chapel Royal to go to Mass.
Download the Great Watching Chamber image with text (PDF)
What would you talk about when you were waiting in rooms so close to the King? No one knew what mood he would be in when he came out of his private apartments. When Henry enters the room everyone has to drop to their knees and pay reverence to him.
Generally people who waited in this room were ambitious; they wanted Henry to notice them. These were the type of people who tried to make sure they were in the middle of telling a funny story when the King came through so he might stop and listen!
Download the blank Great Watching Chamber image (PDF)