Base Court will be closed to visitors until 27 June 2018. More information

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

Tudor kitchen staff work in a busy backdrop of Henry VIII's kitchens at Hampton Court Palace.
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

Oysters on display in the Tudor Kitchen shop. The central table is laid out as if for a Tudor banquet
Tours and talks Events

Explore how Henry VIII's Kitchens have been used to experiment with Tudor cookery.

27 June - 27 June 2018

19:00-20:00

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Luxury Rabbit Doorstop

Rabbit doorstop

The sitting rabbit doorstop is a handsome fellow made out of luxurious beige fabric with silk trim - he is definitely more than a doorstop as his appealing looks are sure to guarantee him the best room in the house!

£35.00

Sitting hare garden ornament

Sitting hare garden ornament

This inquisitive little hare will add character to your home and garden. With a traditional bronze effect finish, and inspired by classical bronze sculptures, this miniature hare will add narrative to your garden.

£7.99

Inspired by the delft ceramic collection of Queen Mary, this fine bone china tea for one set is perfect for afternoon tea.

Queen Mary delft bone china tea for one

The design of this tea for one set is inspired by the ceramic collection of Queen Mary II, a keen collector of Chinese porcelain and Delftware.

£75.00