Friday morning, overcast but dry, we were off for Hampton Court, the Tudor royal palace across the Thames from Kingston. A couple of buses and we were there in a little more than an hour. (I forgot to mention that when we were in Kingston the other day that we passed an Italian restaurant on the riverfront with freshly butchered lamb and hog hindquarters hanging in the window. The restaurant belongs to an allegedly famous chef, familiar to Erika and Benedict from the cooking channel in America, named Jamie Oliver.) We met the SU students and the Kilfoyles by 10:15 and were soon in the palace.
|Overlooking the moat outside the palace.|
|Benedict, John, and Susan in the huge palace kitchens. |
They were designed to feed at least 600 people twice a day.
|The Clock Tower|
Great Hall. Behind them you can make out one of several great tapestries in the hall depicting the story of Abraham. Shakespere's company performed for James I in 1603-04 in this hall.
|Detail of one of the tapestries. I should note that Erika took all these pictures and most of the pictures on this blog.|
|Another tapestry. Their are several rooms with tapestries.|
|Sir Thomas, who would rather be in France fighting alongside his king ('God |
save the King!'), demonstrates to the knights-in-training the correct techniques
required to joust successfully.
|John shows some excellent form.|
|While Benedict and I sought the great Maze, James, Earl of |
Kilfoyl, received dancing instructions from Lady Ann in the
|The plan of the Maze, regarded as the most famous in Europe. Located in the Wilderness portion of the Gardens.|
The plan will not help you.
The Maze in Three Men in a Boat
‘We’ll just go in here, so that you can say you’ve been, but it’s very simple. It’s absurd to call it a maze. You keep on taking the first turning to the right. We’ll just walk around for ten minutes, and then go and get some lunch.’
So said Harris, from Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat (1889). The tourists he led into the Maze subsequently got lost for hours.
There was a young teacher from Hayes
Took her class to the Hampton Court Maze
They got thoroughly lost
At a reasonable cost
The children and teacher from Hayes.
- London Transport poster verse from the early 20th century
|Great. My question is, how do we get out?|
|In the Wilderness. We made it out of the Maze. I'm the man with the umbrella.|
It almost never rains when I bring the umbrella.
|Priceless Chinese ceramics.|
|The Fountain Court|
|Henry VII as we fondly remember him.|
|The view towards the River Thames from the palace.|
Though we stayed at the palace wandering around the rooms of the palace and having fun watching the courtiers at work for several hours, we had to leave. We resolved to return to inspect the rest of the Gardens and palace.
That evening my niece Jenny picked us up and drove us to Ubley between Bristol and Bath. This was the first night of a thoroughly enjoyable weekend with Alan and Maggie. More later.