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Summer Visit to Eltham Palace, near Greenwich

Wednesday 24th August 2011

This summer, forty two members and their guests visited Eltham Palace, where they enjoyed both the palace and its magnificent gardens in bloom.

Eltham Palace is one of the few medieval royal palaces in England to survive with substantial remains intact. Initially a moated manor house with vast parkland, it was the favourite palace of Edward IV, who added the Great Hall, still visible today. Henry VIII spent his childhood here and then spent vast amounts of money improving it.

After years of neglect, in the 1930s, textile magnate Stephen Courtauld and his wife Virginia built a magnificent, modern, Art Deco residence next to the remains of the medieval royal palace. The result is a unique creation: glamorous 20th-century interiors in ancient surroundings, which include a medieval bridge and a moat and 19 acres of landscaped gardens.

Our day trip started with a fascinating guided tour of the Art Deco palace and the adjacent medieval Great Hall. After a freshly cooked lunch, some of our more energetic members had an optional tour of the magnificent gardens, whilst other members revisited the palace or enjoyed the sunshine and views over London from the terrace.

We were lucky to have clement weather and a very enjoyable trip!

Michaela Howard, Hons Secretary, August 2011

 


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