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

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Experience the recreated Kitchen Garden — restored to an approximation of how it would have looked in the 18th century. The food from these gardens once fed the Georgian royals and now supplies Henry VIII's Kitchens.

Few records survive of the original garden, but the layout of the beds can be discerned from contemporary paintings and engravings; as far as possible we have chosen historically accurate fruit and vegetable crops.

18th-century favourites

A speciality of the Georgian era were the Grand Sallats. Many published recipes featured 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 Kitchen 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.

Autumn highlights in the Kitchen Garden

The Kitchen Garden springs to life in autumn, when months of hard work and preparation result in a range of fruit and vegetables.

Experience this historic space for yourself in the gardens of Hampton Court Palace.

The restoration project

Quince tree in the Kitchen Garden at Hampton Court Palace

The history of the Kitchen Garden

The Kitchen Garden was originally built for William III and Mary II in 1689, on the site of Henry VIII's tiltyard. 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.

The Gardener's Cart in the Kitchen Garden at Hampton Court Palace. Showing small pumpkins and squashes on top of the cart, surrounded by green herbs growing in the beds.
Kitchen Garden planting and seedlings in the nurseries at Hampton Court Palace

Blog: What’s growing on in the Kitchen Garden?

The Kitchen Garden is one of the most active gardens at Hampton Court Palace, as a cycle of fruit and veg is grown in this space all year long.

Learn more about what we've been growing in 2019 in our blog by Expert Gardener Ichiho Garbutt.

Read the blog
Aerial view of a formal garden with green lawns on either side of a main path running towards the baroque palace. A fountain runs in the foreground at the centre of the path
Things to see

Take time to explore and relax in these world-renowned gardens without the usual crowds.

Open

Hampton Court Palace

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

The Privy Garden at Hampton Court Palace, showing bright planting and baroque architecture under a clear blue sky
Things to see

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

Open

Hampton Court Palace

Included in palace admission (members go free)

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

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

Open

Hampton Court Palace

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Food and drink category

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Feast your eyes on our wonderful selection of food inspired by our royal kitchen. Shop chocolates, preserves, jam, chocolate coins and the finest liqueurs.

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

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