Built to feed the Court of Henry VIII, these kitchens were designed to feed at least 600 people twice a day. You can still see the largest kitchens of Tudor England at Hampton Court today, and they are often still used to prepare Tudor meals by our team of cooks in the kitchens.
About the Tudor kitchens
Between their construction in 1530 and the royal family’s last visit to the palace in 1737, the kitchens were a central part of palace life. For many people today, Hampton Court Palace is Henry VIII, and Henry’s abiding reputation remains a ‘consumer of food and women’.
But Henry’s vast kitchens in the palace were not for him. They were built to feed the six hundred or so members of the court, entitled to eat at the palace twice a day.
This was a vast operation, larger than any modern hotel, and one that had to cope without modern conveniences.
The kitchens had a number of Master Cooks, each with a team of Yeomen and Sergeants working for them. The mouths of the 1,200-odd members of Henry VIII’s court required an endless stream of dinners to be produced in the enormous kitchens of Hampton Court Palace.
The annual provision of meat for the Tudor court stood at 1,240 oxen, 8,200 sheep, 2,330 deer, 760 calves, 1,870 pigs and 53 wild boar.
This was all washed down with 600,000 gallons of beer.