10 October 2011
Hampton Court is one of those places you just have to include in a historical tour of London.
It was built by Cardinal Wolsey, right hand man to King Henry VIII before being gifted to the King in 1528 in an unsuccessful bid to halt his downfall. This occurred the following year though Wolsey did not live much longer, dying in 1530 as Henry VIII began expanding Hampton Court to make it a suitable residence for his court.
By the time Henry acquired Hampton Court, Wolsey had already undertaken extensive renovations. He wanted it to be a suitable show of his power and position, and also a place where he would be proud to entertain his King and foreign dignitaries. Wolsey added a new entrance courtyard, a long gallery overlooking new gardens and lined many of the rooms with fine tapestries acquired whilst on a diplomatic mission to France.