Hampton Court Palace – home of England’s most famous king

Hampton Court Palace – home of England’s most famous king

Hampton Court Palace was the home of England's most famous king from 1529 until his death in 1547.   With sixty acres of gardens and 750 acres of parkland, it was King Henry VIII's weekend and summer retreat from London.    Successive monarchs also saw the appeal and the palace was occupied by monarch's of the Stuart [...]

The Royal Hospital Chelsea – historical buildings and the finest gardens

The Royal Hospital Chelsea – historical buildings and the finest gardens

The Royal Hospital Chelsea is a retirement home to around 300 veterans of the British Army.    Located on a large site in Chelsea, it offers fabulous walks in the gardens, beautiful art and architecture and an intimate view into the retired lives of the service men and women who live there.    These former [...]

Style and grandeur at Chiswick House

Style and grandeur at Chiswick House

One of London’s finest country homes is only a few miles west of central London.   Chiswick House was the centre of highly select gatherings of the Earl of Burlington’s family and friends in the 1730’s.   And around fifty years later it served the same purpose for the Duke of Devonshire and his sparkling (very ‘modern’) [...]

The architecture of British Naval Power in Whitehall

The architecture of British Naval Power in Whitehall

The British Empire relied on British Naval Power as a sign of strength; keeping the trade routes open and supporting the growth of the Empire.   This article describes five buildings, around the government district known as Whitehall, that were key to British Naval Power.  It describes why they were built and some the people and [...]

Why the US Embassy in London moved to Battersea

Why the US Embassy in London moved to Battersea

The new US Embassy building in London opened in January 2018.   But why was a new building necessary - and was it really a bad deal for the US tax payer?   Public access to the surrounding grounds has been possible since early summer 2018.   We went for a first visit. The former US Embassy in [...]

London’s best preserved seventeenth century country house

London’s best preserved seventeenth century country house

Ham House was built on land owned by King James I in 1610.   The lease of the house transferred between several royal courtiers until it was granted to William Murray in 1626 - during the reign of King Charles I.   Murray was granted the freehold ten years later.   Murray, a Scotsman, was a close friend [...]