Council Chamber

Experience history in the making

Experience history in the making



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The Council Chamber was one of the first rooms that Henry VIII built when he took over Hampton Court Palace between 1528 and 1530.

In this very room, Henry and his Privy Council made some of the biggest decisions in English history, the effects of which changed the landscape of the country forever.

Hear Henry's advisors discussing these urgent matters of state in one of the Tudor palace's most private spaces.

A room of Tudor power and politics

Palaces weren't just for pleasure. Alongside all the feasting, sports and revelry was the serious business of monarchy. It was in the Council Chamber that Henry VIII met with the Privy Council, his most trusted advisors, and discussed great matters of state.

The Privy Council met almost every day, usually around midday. Members of the council varied as men fell out of favour, but included men like his close childhood friend Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk and his notorious advisor Thomas Cromwell.

Some of the most famous matters of the Tudor age were likely discussed in the Council Chamber, including the establishment of the Church of England; the execution of Anne Boleyn (1536); the divorce of Anne of Cleves (1540); and the fall of Catherine Howard (1541).

Re-created from Tudor art

The current presentation of the Council Chamber has been inspired by Tudor designs and aims to re-create the dramatic setting for the heated discussions and debates of the 1530s and 40s.

The blue and gold fabric on the wall is decorated with Tudor roses and Fleur-de-lis, representing Henry's claim to the throne of France. The floor is decorated with a distinctive Tudor rose design inspired by The Family of Henry VIII painting, on display in the nearby Haunted Gallery. This also inspired the representation of the Chapel Court garden, which you can see out of the window of the Council Chamber.

The fire place is 19th century and decorated with the initials of Queen Victoria. However, if you look closely you will see it also features a Tudor rose and Fleur-de-lis: a Victorian nod to the room's notorious Tudor past.

The Council Chamber looking east. Showing the throne upholstered in black and gold, part of the re-created setting for the Tudor chamber.
The Tudor Great Hall at Hampton Court Palace, showing the Abraham Tapestries and the room set out for day visitors.
Things to see

Experience the splendour of the Tudor court in Henry VIII's Great Hall, complete with his magnificent tapestries.


Hampton Court Palace

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Portraits and other works of art on display at the Cumberland Art Gallery at Hampton Court Palace.
Things to see

Discover masterpieces by Rembrandt, Caravaggio, van Dyck, and more at the Cumberland Art Gallery at Hampton Court Palace.


Hampton Court Palace

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The Haunted Gallery at Hampton Court, looking west.
Things to see

Walk Henry VIII’s route from his private apartments to the Chapel and see the infamous Haunted Gallery in the State Apartments.


Hampton Court Palace

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Selection of Anne Boleyn gifts

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Palace China Collection, serviettes and cake stand.  Design inspired by the palaces in our care; delicate details taken from the rose gardens at Hampton Court Palace, the famous gates at Kensington Palace and the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London.   'Tea Fit for a Queen' book - reciipes and drinks for afternoon tea.  Lifestyle

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Close up of a Henry VIII hanging decoration in the Henry Shop

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