Years ago, I visited Eltham Palace and was blown away by its glamour. From the outside, it looks like a historic English country house. Inside, it’s an Art Deco masterpiece. It was built on the site of the original palace, childhood home of Henry VIII. You approach the palace via this 15th century bridge and moat.
Stopping to admire a stone window on the way.
There’s a stunning medieval Great Hall, with an impressive hammerbeam roof.
The original palace was built in 1305 and used as a royal residence. Stephen and Virginia Courtauld aquired the lease in 1933, restored the Great Hall and constructed an Art Deco home. Stephen was the brother of Samuel Courtauld, the founder of the Courtauld Institue of Art and well know industrialist. We admired the stunning entrance hall and its glazed dome, designed by Rolf Engstromer. The furniture, exact reproductions of the originals, would not look out of place in a home today.
Virginia Courtauld’s bathroom was beautifully decorated with gold plated tiles.
The Courtaulds had a beloved pet ring-tailed lemur called Mah-Jongg. He lived at the top of the house but was able to roam freely via a ladder in its living quarters. Here’s a dining room door, the attention to detail is fabulous.
It was raining heavily during our visit. When the showers stopped briefly we popped out to visit the grounds. The Palace borders the Green Chain Walk, on our to do list!
You can see all the way to St Paul’s Cathedral, left on this photo and the Gherkin on the right.
Now managed by English Heritage, it’s a lovely day out from London and easily accessible by car or train.
Eltham Palace and Gardens, Eltham, Greenwich, London – SE9 5QE