Friday 14 July 2017

Hampton Court Palace

Last weekend we visited Hampton Court Palace as well as the flower show for our 25th wedding anniversary and had a great time. The sheer scale and magnificence of this palace is hard to capture with my (lack of) camera skills.

One of a number of internal courtyards and below one of the views of the equally impressive gardens stretching out in every direction.

Huge tromp l'oil  painting on the wooden walls of the main staircase.

In the kitchens were numerous original tables of similar design.

A large sliding dovetail keeping the top flat and secure as well as allowing safe seasonal movement.

This was supported by a single massive leg and foot joined with draw bored tenons.

A massive oak table (below) with single length boards was very impressive, particularly considering they had no machinery in those days.

It was interesting to see the top and been veneered many years ago presumably to cover a very worn top surface. When I say veneer it was more than 1/4" thick!

In the wine cellar lots of old oak barrels which were hooped with wooden staves. I didn't get a chance to ask about these. Were they added wet and tightened up as they dried?

On a very warm day this very helpful young man had the unenviable job of constantly turning the spit roasted joint for 4 hours! By turning the joint the juices never got a chance to leave the meat and the drip tray below was dry. He explained this was the true way to roast meat and that when we 'roast' a joint in the oven we are really just baking it. And yes after all his efforts he did get first pickings of the delicious juicy joint!

Quarter sawn oak panelling was everywhere in the palace, used for it's stability in these thin sections.

The beauty of booked matched quarter sawn panels was also fully exploited.

There were rooms full of this intricate linen fold carving

Needless to say if you have never been to Hampton Court Palace it is well worth a visit. If you want to do the house and gardens it's a full days trip, if not two.

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