Resources to use in the classroom
Games and activities
The animated tutorial and teacher's notes demonstrates and takes you through the process of combining information, both factual and imagined, to create a story.
Virtual tour - Young Henry VIII exhibition
Prepare your pupils before your visit using this virtual tour which allows you to zoom in on paintings, maps and room details. The rooms which house the exhibition are believed to be part of Wolsey's private rooms when he owned the palace, and are magnificent in themselves.
Have a go jousting against some of the champions of Henry’s court, or against your friends in this fun game.
If you are feeling creative, click here for patterns to make your own Tudor clothes and head wear! (this link goes to a menu page where you can choose boys gown, girls kirtle, and head gear)
Hampton Court Palace playlist
Have a look at the playlist and watch videos about:
- Our kitchens team, where they share their knowledge about sugar sculptures, fire lighting, what type of food the Tudors ate, what clothes people wore who worked in the kitchens, and of course you get to meet the spit turner.
- Kateyrn Parr and how she gets dressed, with the help of her ladies, in preparation for her wedding day.
- Henry’s wives all together in a collection of lesser known portraits of all 6 women Henry married.
- How to 'pay your reverences' before your visit to Hampton Court Palace, in case you happen to see the King whilst you are here.
Create genuine 16th century dishes in your own home with easy to follow cook-along videos, filmed in the Tudor kitchens at Hampton Court Palace. Cook from Tudor recipes and find out more about Henry VIII's kitchens >
Read about the ghosts at Hampton Court Palace.
A colourful factsheet about the king, his six wives and their relationships. This illustrated one page summary - complete with cartoon portraits - gives the dates, order, fate and offspring of all of Henry VIII's wives.
A great aid memoir to remember the important points that separate the divorced, beheaded, died, from the divorced, beheaded, survived!
A family tree of the royal Tudors, with contemporary portraits to illustrate three generations from Henry VII and Elizabeth of York to Queen Elizabeth I.
Are your students mixing up their Annes, Catherines and Elizabeths? No more, as this useful precis puts names to faces. It also includes Henry VIII's sisters' branch of the family, bringing Lady Jane Grey and Mary Queen of Scots into your student's dynastic understanding.
Discover more about Henry in his early years, Cardinal Wolsey and Katherine of Aragon. Read the articles >
Trace the history of Hampton Court Palace the building from its earliest days through to Wolsey, Henry and the other Tudors. Read about the palace's building history >
Listen to a lecture from the eminent Tudor historian David Starkey, and two discussion events where leading historians discuss Henry's court and his legacy. Download the podcasts >
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Inventors and innovation
Monarchs through the ages
Opening up the world
Performance, Paintings and Propaganda
Playing the king
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.
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?
The Great Watching Chamber
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.
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!
Key Stage 3 resources
Key characters and chronologies for our sessions at Hampton Court Palace for use in the palace or the classroom.
For KS3 teachers, detailed information on artefacts handled in the Investigating history session.
Download Investigating history artefacts (PDF 5.45MB)
For KS3 teachers, a handy timeline of events in Hampton Court’s history.
For KS3 teachers, this quick chronology gives the key events leading up to the Glorious Revolution of 1688, and William and Mary’s building of Hampton Court Palace.
For KS3 teachers, here are the key characters of the Glorious Revolution of 1688.
Tudor kitchens revealed
For KS3 teachers, this quick chronology gives the key moments in the history of the kitchens at Hampton Court Palace.
For KS3 teachers, this document details the manners required at a Tudor table.
Elizabeth, power and politics
For KS3 teachers, a family tree of the Tudor dynasty and potential claimants to the English throne in 1562.
Henry to Mary: a religious rollercoaster
For KS3 teachers, a detailed chronology of the religious changes in the Tudor period.
For KS3 teachers, here are the key characters in Tudor religious upheaval.