Kitchen Garden

A taste of the gardens that would have fed the Royal Household through the 18th century.

A taste of the gardens that would have fed the Royal Household through the 18th century.

When

  • Open daily

Ticketing information

Included in palace admission Buy Hampton Court Palace tickets

History of the Kitchen Garden

For 160 years, the kings and queens at the palace would have been served with fruit and vegetables grown on site.

The Kitchen Garden was originally built for William and Mary in 1689, on the site of Henry VIII’s tiltyard (jousting arena). The tiltyard was divided into six square, walled areas, each approximately one acre in size. When Queen Victoria came to the throne, she combined all of the royal kitchen gardens in the London palaces into one operation at Windsor Castle. The Hampton Court Kitchen Garden was then leased out as market gardens for many years, before being converted to pleasure gardens in the 1930s.

Garden restoration

We have restored the Kitchen Garden to an approximation of how it would have looked in the 18th century. Few records survive of the original garden, but the layout of the beds can be discerned from contemporary paintings and engravings and as far as possible we have chosen historically accurate fruit and vegetable crops.

18th century favourites

A speciality of the era were the Grand Sallats, with many recipes published featuring intricate arrangements of ‘no less than 35 ingredients’ - well suited for adorning the royal table. We may recognise some of the components, such as Lettuce, Rocket, Endive, Cucumbers and Parsley, but how about Costmary, Hartshorn, Sweet Maudlin and Trick-madame?

We are growing these, alongside more familiar vegetable crops, in the central area of the garden. Peaches, apricots, nectarines, cherries and plums grow on the sheltered walls and a formal, box edged bed of soft fruit and standard dwarf apples completes the look of this recreated Kitchen Garden.

'Pare and core twenty good codlins; beat them into a mortar with a pint of cream, and strain it into a dish. Put to it sugar, bread crumbs, and a glass of wine; and stir well.'

Mary Eaton, 1822

A History of Royal Food and Feasting

Join expert historians and fellow learners as you immerse yourself in the changing tastes of royalty in our free online course.

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The South Front and Privy Garden, looking north west across the fountain basin.
Things to see

Explore the Privy Garden, now restored to its former glory and complete with its intricate Tijou Screen.

Open daily

Hampton Court Palace

Visitors explore Henry VIII's Kitchens after re-interpretation in 2018.
Highlights Things to see

Transport yourself back to the heyday of Tudor feasting and entertainment in Henry VIII's Kitchens at Hampton Court Palace.

Open daily

Hampton Court Palace

Families

Meet a character from history, explore the palace, complete challenges and win a badge in your Digital Mission!

Daily

Kensington Palace

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Kew Pagoda luxury embroidered hanging decoration

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Dachshund bronze finish garden ornament

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Image is of a Clogau designed silver stacking ring inspired by The Great Pagoda at Kew.

Clogau Kew Pagoda silver and rose gold ring

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