Privy Garden

The Privy Garden at Hampton Court restored to 1702 glory

The Privy Garden at Hampton Court restored to 1702 glory

When

  • Open daily

Ticketing information

Included in palace admission Buy Hampton Court Palace tickets

Using incredibly detailed accounts, the garden has been restored to how it would have looked for William III in 1702. It also contains the Tijou screen, 12 elaborate panels whose central motifs symbolise parts of the United Kingdom in wrought iron.

The scandal behind the accounts

The Privy Garden at Hampton Court is one of the most accurately reconstructed gardens because so much was recorded about the original 1702 garden. Unfortunately, William III died before it was completely finished which meant all the gardeners and workmen were frightened of not being paid. This is why they submitted the fullest possible accounts of their work.

Many of the gardeners (including Tijou, who made the ironwork, and the statue supplier) were never paid in full by Queen Anne, despite their efforts.

The workmen’s accounts were further corroborated by archaeological evidence and historic garden plans.

A formal style of gardening

‘The Privy Garden represents a formal style of gardening which fell out of fashion soon after this garden was originally made. Its geometry is not to everyone’s taste but many find it extremely pleasing to the eye.’ - Susanne Groom, Curator of Gardens Exhibition.

'This garden from Henry VIII’s day was always the King’s private garden, and very few people would ever have gained admittance to it up until the 18th century. Even then, it remained a private garden for the grace and favour residents of the palace right up until the early 20th century.'

Susanne Groom, Curator of Gardens Exhibition

Illustration of a young girl and a blue and yellow dragon with Kew Pagoda in the background on a wall in an exhibition space
Events Families

Dragons have arrived at Kew Gardens! Discover our new family exhibition next to Kew Palace and go hunting for fiery beasts in the gardens.

30 March - 30 September 2018

Kew Palace

Open daily

Fountain Court, looking west. The courtyard fountain can just be seen through an archway on the left.
Member only Tours and talks

Get an expert’s guide of what there is to see and do at each palace with one of our State Apartment Warders at Hampton Court.

2 August, 1 September, 27 September 2018

Hampton Court Palace

11:00 and 14:00

View of the Maze at Hampton Court Palace
Families Highlights

Lose yourself in the most famous maze in the world. The Hampton Court Maze is still baffling visitors after 300 years.

Open daily

Hampton Court Palace

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!

£29.99

Designed exclusively for Historic Royal Palaces as part of the Enlightened Princesses exhibition at Kensington Palace. This luxury butterfly paper folding fan is based on an original fan in the Royal Ceremonial Dress collection at Historic Royal Palaces.

Luxury cream butterfly folding hand fan

This luxury butterfly paper folding fan is based on an original fan in the Royal Ceremonial Dress collection at Historic Royal Palaces dated c. 1870-1890.

£14.99

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