If you read or watch stories of the Tudors you will know that they spent some of their time at Richmond Palace. Surely you have wondered where this magnificent royal palace is now, the answer is that it no longer exists, unlike the nearby Hampton Court Palace which is still practically intact.
If you go to Richmond however you can still see traces of the old royal palace, including an old door. You can see the exact area on the map at the bottom of the article, it is located between the Thames and Richmond Green, streets in the area have names such as Old Palace Lane and Old Palace Yard.
The presence of the Old Deer Park just outside was no accident, the Tudor kings liked to hunt! The palace was one of the first buildings in the world to have flush toilets, built by Elizabeth I’s godson.
The history of Richmond Palace
The palace was built by Henry VII, the father of Henry VIII in 1501 after the palace of Sheen that was in the same place caught fire. The name of the building became Richmond in honor of the homonymous earl who was in Yorkshire and had nothing to do with this area of London. So it was the area that took its name from the building and not the other way around.
Richmond Palace was built in red and white brick and with fireplaces decorated in the fashion of the time. It had long galleries to put art, typical of the Renaissance period and was not fortified. It also had rather large and bright windows made with panels.
Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon spent their first Christmas in the palace and the king often held tournaments in the garden in front of the palace. The palace was particularly liked by Elizabeth I who died in this palace in 1603, like her grandfather Henry VII before her.
With the queen the Tudor dynasty also ended but the Stuarts continued to use Richmond Palace even if James I preferred the Palace of Westminster and failed here. Charles I gave the palace to the queen and it became the official home of their children. But King Charles I was beheaded and the monarchy removed. At that point the Parliament sold the building for £ 13,000 which was practically demolished for raw materials. It was never rebuilt.
What is that spire outside Charing Cross station in London?
The cross was destroyed in the year 1647 by the Puritans during the English Civil War. After the construction of Charing Cross station in 1865, a reproduction of Eleanor Cross was created and placed outside the station and not in its original place in Trafalgar Square where the equestrian sculpture dedicated to Carlo.
The reproduction was created by the architect EM Barry himself who built the railway station. He used uncommon images available from the original. at the top, there are eight images of Eleonora, 4 as a queen, with imperial symbols and 4 represented as a Christian. Below are curved angels and shields with royal weapons and those of Ponthieu, Castile and Leon, all copied from still extant Eleanor Crosses who were at Waltham Cross and Northampton.
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