Royal Kitchen Garden opens at Hampton Court Palace this June

Royal Kitchen Garden opens at Hampton Court Palace this June

Kitchen Garden at Hampton Court Palace

11 June 2014

Discover what it took to feed the Georgian kings and their court in newly recreated royal Kitchen Garden at Hampton Court Palace.

Made legendary by Henry VIII, undisputed king of the joust, Hampton Court Palace’s enormous tiltyard saw some of the most significant moments of his long and often scandalous reign. Horses thundered, colours fluttered in the breeze, and the court gathered in their finery to watch the displays of pride and chivalry.  By 1702 however, with the passion for royal tournaments long faded, Queen Anne had ordered the site to be dug up and cropped with ‘severall varietys of Eatables, the most proper for Her Majesty’s Use.’ The garden, covering 6 acres, fed the Queen and her court not only at Hampton Court, but at royal residences across the capital.

This summer, Historic Royal Palaces will be turning back the clock at Hampton Court to return the garden to its eighteenth century heyday, recreating the pathways and planting pattern laid down by the palace’s Georgian gardeners.  Based on historic evidence and John Roque’s plan of 1736, it will be as true to the period as possible, right down to the now rare heritage varieties of fruit and vegetables which will be grown there. 

This new addition to the palace’s world famous gardens will allow visitors to explore the untold history of food production at Hampton Court, with on-site displays helping to showcase some of the traditional techniques employed by royal gardeners to tend crops fit for a king. Herbs and vegetables familiar to the palace’s Georgian cooks will be reinstated, from Italian celery to borrage, skirret and swelling parsnips.  Apricots, nectarines and even peaches will return to the garden in their original fan shapes, while the garden’s very own melonry, complete with hot beds of straw and manure, will also be recreated by the palace’s team of expert gardeners. 

Importantly, the garden will be open to the public free of charge, and will provide a valuable educational resource for the local community, as well as the hundreds of visitors and school groups who enjoy the palace every day.

As the garden matures, Historic Royal Palaces hopes to be able to run vegetable growing classes at the palace- reconnecting the Great Kitchens at Hampton Court with the locally sourced produce which once stocked them.

Vicki Cooke, Hampton Court Palace’s Kitchen Garden Keeper, said:
‘The reinstated Kitchen Garden at Hampton Court is the realisation of a massive amount of research, planning and labour by the team, and will give visitors a real taste of the work involved in supplying a royal kitchen. Our ambitious planting scheme showcases a whole range of less well known fruit, vegetables and herbs which would have gone into the lavish meals prepared for the monarchs who lived here, and will mean that each passing season brings new crops waiting to be discovered.’

The opening of the Royal Kitchen Garden is part of a wider celebration of the Georgians across Historic Royal Palaces in 2014, to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Hanoverian Accession to the British throne.

Notes to Editors

For further information and images, please contact: Adam Budhram,, or 020 3166 6307.

Visitor information:
Garden open 0700-2000 daily (summer), all other times 0700-1800.

Access to the palace’s famous Formal Gardens and Maze are included in the normal price of an admission ticket.

Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace and Kew Palace.  We help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built.
We raise all our own funds and depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, volunteers and sponsors. These palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
We believe in four principles.  Guardianship: giving these palaces a future as long and valuable as their past. Discovery: encouraging people to make links with their own lives and today’s world.  Showmanship: doing everything with panache. Independence: having our own point of view and finding new ways to do our work. 
Registered charity number 1068852  

The Royal Kitchen Garden is kindly sponsored by:

Squires Garden Centres

Squire’s Garden Centres is a successful family-owned horticultural business that serves the local community. Squire’s celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2011 and today operates 15 garden centres in North and West London, Surrey, Berkshire and Sussex. In 2014 Squire’s Twickenham will be celebrating 50 years, and Squire’s Hersham 30 years.

Squire’s is committed to offering a wide range of quality plants and garden products together with an extensive selection of garden furniture, houseplants and gifts. Squire’s continues its drive towards customer excellence with their highly qualified and experienced horticultural staff on hand to help with plant related questions.

All the centres, with the exception of the smallest at Chertsey, have a Café Bar on site serving a wide variety of refreshments, and with free parking on site across all of the centres, Squire’s makes for a great day out!

Six of Squire’s Garden Centres also include an extensive range for pets and aquatic centres – see website for full details.

To locate your closest centre, sign up to the newsletter and find out about the latest special offers please visit

For further information please contact: Anne Kavanagh Tel: 01483 238 840 E-mail:


La Maison Maille, inspirational flavours for food lovers everywhere

Maille, creators of the finest Dijon mustards and vinegars since 1747, is a proud sponsor of the Royal Kitchen Garden at Hampton Court. This is a fitting partnership, highlighting Maille’s Summer Collection 2014, a limited edition box set of three mustards, reviving French fine cuisine of the past and drawing inspiration from the French Royal Kitchen Garden – hence its name “Le Potager du Roy”. By bringing fresh flavours of seasonal ingredients from the original French royal kitchen garden, the collection showcases Maille’s role as official supplier to the royal courts of Europe. In a stunning box set this makes a superb gift for all food lovers and is available from Maille’s new London boutique in Piccadilly Arcade and online at

For further information please contact:

You may also be interested in...