Posted by: marymarthatours | May 28, 2013

Our ‘Day in Court’– Hampton Court Palace

hamptoncourt, James Park-Watt, ccasa3.0

Hampton Court Palace entrance

One of the really fantastic days on our fall Quilts & Textiles of England & Wales Tour will be our day at Hampton Court Palace.  We’ll be spending the entire day at this amazing royal residence just outside of London on the banks of the Thames.

Our day begins at the Royal School of Needlework where Martha has arranged for our group to have a private presentation and tour.  The RSN is housed in one of the many buildings that make up Hampton Court Palace.  Founded in 1872 by Lady Victoria Welby, its first President was Queen Victoria’s daughter, Princess Helena.  The current royal patron is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

wedding dress, Magnus D, CCA2.0

Wedding dress lace by the Royal School of Needlework

For our group, the focus of the presentation will be the history of the RSN with illustrated examples.  Following the presentation we will be able to observe some of the work being done at the time and then visit the current exhibit, “For Worship and Glory: Ecclesiastical Embroidery at the Royal School of Needlework”.  I’m especially looking forward to seeing the exquisite late 19th century panels known as the ‘Litany of Loreto Embroideries’.  The 12 panels of the set each depict an invocation of the Virgin Mary all worked in a variety of embroidery stitches in tones of beige, fawn, brown, white, and gold threads.

HCP rose garden, Carom, CCASA2.0

Hampton Court Palace from the rose garden

After our morning at the Royal School of Needlework, the members of our group will have the afternoon to explore Hampton Court on their own.  Some may want to stop for lunch at the Privy Kitchen Coffee Shop or the Tiltyard Café and then visit the nearby rose garden or take their chances in the maze.  Other wonderful gardens include the sunken garden, the beautifully restored privy garden, or the 20th century woodland garden.

HamptonCourt3, PD     hamptoncourt, Edwin Lee, ccasa2.0

     Sunken Garden			Privy Garden

It would be tempting to spend the entire afternoon outside, but there’s so much to see within the Palace complex.  You can choose from six routes that help explain how the palace was used when it was occupied by royalty.  These include:

  • The Wolsey Rooms, the small original Tudor-era rooms of Cardinal Wolsey, first resident at Hampton Court
  • Henry VIII’s State Apartments, including the Great Hall and the Chapel Royal
  • The Tudor Kitchens, the most extensive surviving kitchen from the 16th century
  • The King’s Apartments, the Baroque state apartments of King William III
  • The Queen’s State Apartments, representing a range of styles from Queen Mary II to Queen Caroline, wife of George II
  • The Georgian Rooms, private rooms shown at they were in 1737 during the final visit of the royal court

Throughout the Palace are works of art – woodwork, paintings, stained glass, and tapestries.  The stitchers on our tour will surely want to see the recently restored Henry VIII tapestries in the Great Hall.  Whatever people choose to see, we’re sure that ‘our day in court’ at Hampton Court Palace will be a winner.

(by Mary)

photo credits:  Hampton Court Palace entrance, copyright James Park-Watt and licensed for reuse by Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license;  Wedding dress, copyright Magnus D., and licensed for reuse by Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license;  Hampton Court Palace from the rose garden, copyright Carom, and licensed for reuse by Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 license;  Sunken garden, Public Domain;  Privy Garden, copyright Edwin Lee and licensed for reuse by Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 license.     



  1. Thank you for the link to the Litany of Loreto embroideries. My goodness, they are amazing.Ellen R

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