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Eltham Palace

Home > London > Misc | Gardens | Historic Houses
Published July 19th 2011
It's probably fair to say that Eltham Palace is one of London's lesser known historic gems, possibly because its a little out of the way, or more likely because it hasn't been open to the public for that long.



Located in Eltham, Greenwich, Eltham Palace was used as a royal residence from the 14th to the 16th century. By the early part of the 17th century, royalty had moved out, and in what might sound like a bit of come down for a palace, the location was used as a farm.

Various structures were added to the main building over the years, with a private house built adjoining the Great Hall in the 1930s.

The house was a grand affair, built by a well-to-do couple by the name of Stephen and Virginia Courtauld. The design of the gardens also underwent a significant transformation at around the same time.

The couple left Eltham in 1944 and from then until the early 1990s the site was utilised by army educational units.



Fortunately for all of us, English Heritage took over Eltham Palace in 1999, carrying out major repairs and restoring it to its 1930s splendour.

Today the Courtauld house stands as a fine example of Art Deco architecture. But be sure to check out the palace too of course, and its Great Hall, which dates back to Tudor times.

The gardens are equally impressive; you can pay to explore the gardens only, for a reduced fee.

The 1930s-style layout features, for example, a sunken rose garden, seasonal bedding schemes, a moat with water lilies and carp, a number of rare and unusual plants, and a limestone rockery.



Wildlife spotted in the garden includes lizards, grass snakes, frogs, toads, newts and bats. Its location also affords some wonderful views across London.

A variety of special events are held throughout the year at Eltham Palace, such as Art Deco tours, and medieval tours. If you have children, be sure to check out the Time Travellers Go events. Click here to see what's coming up.

Top image: Nick Blackburn
Middle image: Michel Wal
Bottom image: Shermozle
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Why? It's a mesmerising mix of medieval and Art Deco architecture.
When: Depends on time of year - see website for details.
Where: Eltham Palace, Court Yard, Eltham, Greenwich, London SE9 5QE
Cost: Adults: 9.30; Children: 5.60; Concessions: 8.40; English Heritage members: Free; Family Ticket: 24.20. Cheaper for gardens only.
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