A building history

A building history

An illustration of Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace from its humble medieval beginnings to the ‘grace-and-favour’ period and today.

This is the story of two palaces: a Tudor palace, magnificently developed by Cardinal Wolsey and later Henry VIII, alongside a baroque palace built by William III and Mary II.

A history of Hampton Court's development...

  1. Palace origins
    Hampton Court Palace has come a long way from its humble beginnings - find out more about how it evolved from a rural barn to a courtier's country house.
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  2. The Cardinal
    Hampton Court Palace was transformed by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey's vision. Find out more about the grand buildings he commissioned.
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  3. Magnificent Henry
    Well known for his many wives, Henry VIII was also a keen builder. Find out how he spent the equivalent of £18 million developing Hampton Court.
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  4. Henry
    All of Henry VIII's children resided at Hampton Court Palace. Find out more about the time they spent in what was one of Europe's most impressive palaces.
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  5. The Stuarts
    The Stuarts had many uses for Hampton Court Palace from party venue to hunting grounds and from home to prison - find out more about their reign.
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  6. A new palace
    During the late 17th century, William III & Mary II enhanced the palace with grand baroque architecture which transformed the east and south facades.
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  7. The 18th century
    Much happened at Hampton Court Palace during the 18th century. You can learn more about the arrival of the Hanoverians and the last royal visit.
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  8. Up to the present
    Learn more about how Hampton Court has been used and cared for since the royal family vacated in 1737 including how it was renovated for visitors.
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  9. Further reading
    If you wish to read up further on Hampton Court Palace past and present, we've provided a comprehensive list of further reading and resources.
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