Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Eltham Palace...Greenwich

On Sunday we, finally, headed out to Eltham Palace in Greenwich . I had been meaning to go for about a month now, but the first time we tried we realised they were not open on Saturdays, then the weather was bad, then we had something else one, so this was the weekend.
The Entry to the house

We were on our way hiccup free, or so we thought. We got as far as Lewisham (about 15 minutes away by train) where we had to change trains and found out the trains on that particular line to Eltham were on planned engineering works that weekend. I had checked online first and everything, and even when I bought the tickets the guy didn’t say anything. However, we were lucky as the Palace is directly between two train lines (both stops being ½ mile from the palace), and so we were able just to take another train down to the other side to another small town called Mottingham instead, so in the end it really was not a problem at all.
Decorative Stonework above the front doors

Thank goodness, I had made it that far there was nothing that was going to stop me getting there that weekend. It was really lovely and not too busy or touristy. The owners were an eccentric couple who loved lots of Art Deco and they even owned a ring tailed Lemur as a pet that they got from Harrods (once upon a time you could buy anything from Harrods – even a tiger). Although the house and gardens were really beautiful they were not the reason I went.
Great Hall, the original Royal Palace

I wanted to go because it was firstly a Royal Place , a summer palace actually, from the early 13th century and then later Henry VIII spent his childhood there with his family and he was actually born 500 years ago this year. The only room remaining from that time is the great hall with a beautiful, very ornate beamed wooden vault ceiling, which after much restoration (it spent 200 years being a barn too after it was no longer used as a Palace) nearly was destroyed in the 2nd world war, luckily the owner was a fire watchman (as you can see London and the docklands quite well from there) and was up there at the time to raise the alarm to get it put out before it got very far.

Some of the garden

Well worth the visit and I am glad we finally went along, now I just need to find something else to drag Mark along to next Saturday….hummm.

Mark and I in front of the house
Me at the back of the house.
Moat and Bridge to enter the house
The back of the main house
A flower in the beautiful gardens

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