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Historic Royal Palaces blog

Insights and behind the scenes from our palaces

Insights and behind the scenes from our palaces

Mary, Marchioness of Downshire: A Life in Miniature

07 June 2024

Research and Interpretation Producer Emma Lawthers takes a brief glimpse into the lives of the Mary and the Hill family of Hillsborough Castle, as seen through the lens of a very unique object.

A Tudor wall under the White Tower

25 February 2016

Hundreds of years of history mean that simple building work at the Tower of London is never straight forward. Sometimes we don’t find very much, but during recent renovations to the White Tower shop we came across something we didn’t expect.

Leonora Cohen's Suffrage protest at the Tower of London

01 February 2016

Walking to the Tower of London from the underground station with an iron bar hidden beneath her coat, the Suffragette Leonora Cohen gained access to the Crown Jewels with a plan to protest.

Hampton Court Palace as a Victorian art gallery

15 January 2016

This little watercolour, painted by an unknown artist in the 1850s, is a revealing glimpse of what it was like to visit Hampton Court Palace in the 19th century.

Objects Unwrapped: A 1930s Christmas Card

18 December 2015

This is certainly not the most festive card you are likely to receive – the front cover for example shows the seal of the Tower of London along with its postcode! It was sent from Jack Burnard to L.V. Lane, a carpenter and joiner, working at the Tower of London from 1935 to 1939.

The Lost Tiltyard Tower at Hampton Court Palace

15 December 2015

Archaeologists at Hampton Court Palace have uncovered the remains of one of the palace’s famous five lost Tiltyard Towers. The discovery of this green-glazed tile floor has solved a three-hundred-year-old mystery.

Objects Unwrapped: A 13th-Century Condiment dish

15 December 2015

This small green-glazed ceramic dish was found during excavations near the Middle Tower at the Tower of London in the 1930s. It dates from the late 13th century and was possibly made at a pottery workshop in Kingston, just down the river from Hampton Court Palace.

Secrets From Our Stores: Late Night Cocoa

14 December 2015

The story of a cocoa tin that was hidden by workmen in the early 20th century, only to be uncovered by others almost 80 years later.

Objects Unwrapped: A Tin-glazed Floor Tile Found at the Tower

10 December 2015

This tin-glazed ceramic floor tile is decorated with a deer in a landscape, surrounded by concentric circles and trefoil motifs in the corners. It would originally have formed part of a decorative floor, consisting of similar style tiles but with different animals and patterns in the centre.

Objects Unwrapped: Grace and Favour Residents

09 December 2015

When George III became king in 1760, he chose not to use Hampton Court Palace as a royal residence. So the palace was turned into a giant lodging house for Grace and Favour residents.