London Journal – Friday, May 1, 2009

Do you want a taste of court life in the days of Henry VIII? Well, that’s what we got today.


We took a half-hour train ride to Hampton Court Palace, located up the Thames River from London. Before we got to the Palace, we saw this unbelievable wisteria in the modern town.

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Then on to the Palace. This was one of the homes of Henry VIII and several later kings. The many kitchens are set up to show the extent of preparing food for hundreds of people every day.

Here is the entrance from Henry’s day, the early 1500s, with the view blocked by a giant “band shell” in preparation for a huge music concert of some sort this weekend.

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The above is Tudor style architecture. The opposite end of the palace was built in the following century in baroque style. The trimmed yew trees are an unusual sight.

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King Henry collected over 2,000 large tapestries, at huge expense, to show his wealth and grandeur. Now, as then, only a few of the tapestries can be displayed at a time. Of keen interest to me was a series of ten showing the life of Abraham, from the Book of Genesis. This one shows Abraham at the time God called him to leave his country and go to a new place that God would show him.

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Coming back to our hotel, we noticed how small and unroyal our lodgings are! But we are content.

Sunset tonight at 8:23.

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