May 8

 Today we visited the Hampton Court Palace. Hampton Court Palace is the oldest Tudor palace in England with over 500 years of royal history. We were able to see live actors and actresses dressed in appropriate time period clothing.

In 1514, Thomas Wolsey leases Hampton Court Palace and a year later in 1515, began building the vast palace complex.

The palace became the property of Henry VIII in 1528 and in ten years spent more than 62 thousand pounds rebuilding and extending Hampton Court. 

Under James I, the early Stuart Court was notorious for increasingly lavish theatrical entertainments and Hampton Court became a party palace, serving as venues for plays, dances, banquets, and court masques. 

Here you can see Lilly turning pork on the open fire. 

During Charles I reign, Hampton Court served as both a palace and a prison. 

During the reign of William III and Mary II, the baroque facade of the palace was built by Sir Christopher Wren. It was at this time the gardens were also dug up and re-landscaped.

The royal family stopped using Hampton Court as a royal residence in 1737 and in 1838 the young Queen Victoria declared that the palace should be "open to all her subjects without restrictions".

The Maze was created in 1690 as a form of curly entertainment for William III and Mary II, today the maze covers one third of an acre and consists of half a mile of winding paths surrounded by towering tree walls. Here you can see the group after we complete the maze! 

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