Saturday, 31 August 2013

Eltham Palace and Gardens

Eltham Palace, English Heritage, gardens, meadows, visit, England

I recently jollied off to the wonderful Eltham Palace and Gardens. It's a fascinating mismatch of architecture, there is a medieval great hall and then some glamorous art deco additions.
great hall, Eltham Palace, wood, old
The beautiful wooden celling in the great hall 
The great hall was really impressive Built in the 1470's by Edward IV, the great hall still stands despite been bombed during WWII, the scorch marks from the incendiary bombs can still be seen.  
Eltham Palaces, gardens, great hall, Henry VIII, visit, English Heritage
Eltham Palace was the boyhood home of Henry VIII, but as he favoured his palace at Greenwich, Eltham was neglected and the palace did not remain a royal residence . Various additions where made by owners throughout the years. In 1930's the extremely wealthy Stephen and Virginia Courtauld built a modern art deco extension adjacent to the great hall.    
1920s, Eltham Palace, vintage, sitting room, art deco, Virginia Courtald
The circular entrance hall, I can just imagine flappers lounging on the sofas having a smoke 

The Courtaulds were pretty eccentric, their pet lemur was allowed to run all over the house. Eltham House looks like it was built for fabulous Gatsby-style parties. 
Virginia bath, Eltham Palace, bathroom, 1920s, art deco
Virginia''s bathroom
The Courtaulds left in 1944 and Eltham was occupied by the Royal Army Education Corps. I wonder what the army thought of that gold bathtub!
romantic, Eltham palace, garden, visit, English Heritage
The gardens are informal, and have a romantic, pastoral charm  

Eltham Palace, gardens, 1920s, visit,

garden, Eltham Palace, bridge, visit, England, English Heritage

There are some MASSIVE fish in this moat 

garden, Eltham Palace, bridge, visit, England, English Heritage
I can just picture cars pulling up here, dropping off guests for party, while people call to their friends from the balcony. 
There are some really good picnic spots in the gardens of Eltham, but we elected to go for afternoon tea. It was a reasonably priced deal, a pot of tea, a choice of sandwich and then two scones with jam and cream- all for about £8.00. 
afternoon tea, Eltham Palace, sandwich, cress, cheese

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