|Eltham Palace & Gardens|
|The thumbnails below are
linked to larger pictures
Palace Interior (updated 2007)
Reopened in June 1999 after extensive restoration and refurbishment by English Heritage, Eltham Palace was first inhabited as a royal residence in 1311 by King Edward II and frequented for the next four hundred years by successive monarchs, usually for entertaining. As nearby Greenwich Palace came into vogue during the Tudor period, Eltham was left unused and virtually derelict by 1828. The Great Hall eventually being utilised as a barn and cowshed. It was rescued by the Courtauld family in the 1930's, lavishly restored and extended, to provide a unique and unlikely combination of the medieval and Art Deco.
Of the original palace the great Hall with its hammerbeam roof is undoubtedly the jewel in the crown. Stephen and Virginia Courtauld created a magnificent art deco house for entertaining. They incorporated the Great Hall into their design to utilise the excellent acoustics in the hall as a music room. It was something of a show house in the 1930's and was self consciously luxurious.
English heritage have done an excellent restoration, which is typified by the dramatic Entrance Hall, evocative of a liner with its spectacular glazed dome, highlighting the blackbean veneer and figurative marquetry. Furnished with tub chairs arranged in circles around small tables and with several portholes visible. This is only one of many equally stylish rooms all painstakingly researched and recreated by the finest contemporary craftsmen.
The interior is complemented by the beautiful landscaped gardens which again combine medieval and recent history, by incorporating a restoration of part of the original moat and palace foundations.
An altogether unique experience not to be missed. The Palace can be found at Eltham London SE9 off the A20.
The Palace Grounds