Events timeline

Events timeline

Events timeline

A selection of significant moments in the palace's history, from its medieval beginnings up to the present.

Hampton Court Palace timeline

1494 

Giles Daubeney, later Lord Chamberlain, leases and modernises the medieval manor of Hampton Court. 


1514   

Thomas Wolsey, soon to be made cardinal, leases Hampton Court Palace. He begins rebuilding on a grand scale, converting Hampton Court into a lavish palace. Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon visit for the first time. 


1523   

Henry VIII’s former tutor John Skelton writes that, 'The King’s Court should hath the excellence. But Hampton Court hath the pre-eminence'. 


1529   

Henry VIII’s royal workmen take over building works at Hampton Court Palace 


1530   

Henry VIII and his councillors send the first letter threatening a break with the Papacy to Rome from the palace 


1537   

Queen Jane Seymour, Henry VIII’s third wife, gives birth to Prince Edward. He is baptized with great ceremony in the Chapel Royal, but she dies soon after due to complications from the birth.

View our Henry VIII's wives slideshow


1540  

Henry VIII’s divorce from Anne of Cleves is signed at the palace. It is also where Henry VIII marries his fifth wife, Catherine Howard, and she is proclaimed queen.   


1541   

Catherine Howard’s earlier sexual liaisons are revealed to Henry VIII at Hampton Court. She is interrogated and kept under house arrest in the palace. 


1543   

Henry VIII marries his sixth and final wife, Kateryn Parr, in the Chapel Royal 


1603   

Shakespeare and his company the ‘King’s Men’ perform plays in the Great Hall for King James I 


1604   

James I calls the Hampton Court Conference which commissions the King James Bible 


1689   

Sir Christopher Wren demolishes large parts of the Tudor palace and begins building a new palace for King William III and Queen Mary II 


1760   

George III becomes king. He abandons Hampton Court as royal residence and it begins to be divided up into grace-and-favour apartments. 


1838 

Queen Victoria opens the gardens and state apartments to the public free of charge

View our Hampton Court gardens slideshow  


1944   

General, later President, Eisenhower plans the Normandy landings in Bushy Park.


1984   

Prince Charles, speaking at Hampton Court, calls for 'a new harmony between imagination and taste and in the relationship between the architects and the people of this country'.


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