Henry VIII's historic garden recreated at Hampton Court Palace

By Culture24 Staff | 15 June 2009
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A man in 16th century costume in a Tudor style garden

(above) Henry VIII in his garden © Richard Lea-Hair / newsteam

A new space inspired by Henry VIII’s 16th century Privy Gardens has opened at Hampton Court Palace to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the King’s accession to the throne.

The garden has been planted with flowers and herbs that would have been available in the 16th century, guarded by gilded heraldic beasts and bold green and white painted fences.

Acclaimed landscape architect Todd Langstaffe-Gowan collaborated with James Fox and the Gardens and Estates Team at Historic Royal Palaces to redevelop the Chapel Court Garden, which adjoins the Palace’s Chapel Royal.

A man in 16th century costume in a Tudor style garden

Henry VIII in his garden © Richard Lea-Hair / newsteam

Inspiration for the garden's design came from the painting 'The Family of Henry VIII,' which hangs in the Haunted Gallery at Hampton Court - a depiction that clearly depicts the magnificent heraldic beasts standing on posts over a garden thought to be at Whitehall Palace.

The new collection of beasts includes The Golden Lion of England, The White Greyhound of Richmond, The Red Dragon of Wales and the White Hart of Richard II, all beautifully carved from English oak and painted and gilded in brightly coloured Tudor livery.

The beasts keep watch over the garden from lofty wooden posts painted with traditional green and white chevrons and are bound to them with gold chains.

A man in 16th century costume in a Tudor style garden

(above) Henry VIII in his garden © Richard Lea-Hair / newsteam

"The garden is a distinctive tribute to the King in his 500th anniversary year, planted with flowers and herbs and containing traditional attributes of royal pleasure grounds of the period such as the garishly bedizened heraldic beasts, as are known to have existed at Hampton Court Palace," said Todd Langstaffe-Gowan.

"Resplendent in colour, pomp and iconography, Chapel Court Garden will provide an unusual and wondrous year-round retreat for visitors to the palace."

For further information on the events taking place to celebrate Henry VIII's accession to the throne or Hampton court go to the Historic Royal Palaces website.

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