The Info List - Richmond Palace

Richmond Palace
Richmond Palace
was a royal residence on the River Thames
River Thames
in England that stood in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It lay upstream and on the opposite bank from the Palace of Westminster, which lay nine miles (14 km) to the north-east. It was erected about 1501 by Henry VII of England, formerly known as Earl of Richmond, in honour of which the manor of Sheen had recently been renamed "Richmond", later to become Richmond-upon-Thames. It replaced a palace, itself built on the site of a manor house appropriated by the Crown some two centuries before. In 1500, a year before the construction of the new Richmond Palace began, the name of the town of Sheen, which had grown up around the royal manor, was changed to "Richmond" by command of Henry VII.[1] However, both names, Sheen and Richmond, continue to be used, not without scope for confusion. Curiously, today's districts of East Sheen and North Sheen, now under the administrative control of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, were never in ancient times within the manor of Sheen, but were rather developed during the 19th and 20th centuries in parts of the adjoining manor and parish of Mortlake. Richmond remained part of the County of Surrey until the mid-1960s, when it was absorbed by the expansion of Greater London. Richmond Palace
Richmond Palace
was a favourite home of Queen Elizabeth, who died there in 1603. It remained a residence of the kings and queens of England
until the death of Charles I in 1649. Within months of his execution, the Palace was surveyed by order of Parliament and was sold for £13,000. Over the following ten years it was largely demolished, the stones and timbers being re-used as building materials elsewhere. Only vestigial traces now survive, notably the Gate House.[2] (51°27'40.52"N 0°18'32.53"W). The site of the former palace is the area between Richmond Green and the River Thames, and some local street names provide clues to existence of the former Palace, including Old Palace Lane, Old Palace Yard and The Wardrobe.


1 History

1.1 Norman 1.2 1299 to 1495 1.3 Tudor

1.3.1 Henry VII, builder of Richmond Palace 1.3.2 The fire of 1497 1.3.3 The new Richmond Palace 1.3.4 Henry VIII 1.3.5 Mary I 1.3.6 Elizabeth I

1.4 Stuart

1.4.1 James I 1.4.2 Charles I and Commonwealth

2 Architecture and internal decoration

2.1 Survey of 1649 2.2 Surviving structures 2.3 Archaeology 2.4 Curiosity

3 References 4 External links


Richmond Palace
Richmond Palace
from SW. 1765 engraving by James Basire, "based on an ancient drawing". Essentially as built by Henry VII in 1501. The outbuilding with pointed roof to the rear left (north) is the Great Kitchen. The chapel-like building adjoining the palace at the north (left) is the Great Hall

Norman[edit] Henry I divided the manor of Shene from the royal manor of Kingston and granted it to a Norman knight.[3] The manor-house of Sheen was established by at least 1125. 1299 to 1495[edit] In 1299 Edward I took his whole court to the manor-house at Sheen, close by the river side. In 1305, he received at Sheen that the Commissioners from Scotland
to arrange the Scottish civil government.[4] It returned to royal hands in the reign of Edward II and after his deposition it was held by his wife, Queen Isabella. When the boy-king Edward III came to the throne in 1327 he gave the manor to his mother Isabella. After her death he extended and embellished the manor house and turned it into the first Shene Palace. Edward III died at Shene on 21 June 1377.[3] In 1368 Geoffrey Chaucer
Geoffrey Chaucer
served as a yeoman at Sheen. Richard II was the first English king to make Sheen his main residence in 1383. He took his bride Anne of Bohemia
Anne of Bohemia
there. Twelve years later Richard was so distraught at the death of Anne at the age of 28, that he, according to Holinshed, "caused it [the manor] to be thrown down and defaced; whereas the former kings of this land, being wearied of the citie, used customarily thither to resort as to a place of pleasure, and serving highly to their recreation." For almost 20 years it lay in ruins until Henry V undertook rebuilding work in 1414.[3] The first, pre-Tudor, version of the palace was known as Sheen Palace. It was positioned roughly at 51°27′37″N 0°18′37″W / 51.460388°N 0.310219°W / 51.460388; -0.310219Coordinates: 51°27′37″N 0°18′37″W / 51.460388°N 0.310219°W / 51.460388; -0.310219, in what is now the garden of Trumpeters' House, between Richmond Green and the River. In 1414 Henry V also founded a Carthusian
monastery there known as Sheen Priory, adjacent on the N. to the royal residence. Henry VI continued the rebuilding in order that the palace might be worthy of the reception of his queen, Margaret of Anjou. Edward IV granted it to his queen for life.[4] Tudor[edit] Henry VII, builder of Richmond Palace[edit]

Scene at deathbed of King Heny VII at Richmond Palace, 1509. Drawn contemporaneously from witness accounts by the courtier Sir Thomas Wriothesley (d.1534), who wrote an account of the proceedings. BL Add.MS.45131, f.54

In 1492 a great tournament was held at the Palace by Henry VII.[1] On 23 December 1497 a fire destroyed most of the wooden buildings. Henry rebuilt it and named the new palace "Richmond" Palace after his title of Earl of Richmond. The earldom was seated at Richmond Castle, Yorkshire, from which it took its name. In 1502, the new palace witnessed the betrothal of Princess Margaret, daughter of Henry VII, to King James IV of Scotland. From this line eventually came the House of Stuart. In 1509 Henry VII died at Richmond Palace. The fire of 1497[edit] However, at Christmastide 1497 a horrific fire broke out in the king's private chambers, destroying a large portion of the palace: the Milanese ambassador, Raimondo Soncino, witnessed the blaze, and estimated the damage at 60,000 ducats, in modern money about $10,138,450, or approximately £7 million. The fire lasted three hours and tore through the rest of the palace, causing panic and hundreds to flee.[5] Hammerbeam roofs of the Middle Ages were a structural necessity as much as they were pretty architecture as they kept the heavy timbered roofs from caving in; they were the carpenter's equivalent of the stone vaulting found in Gothic cathedrals of the Middle Ages because as in famous examples, like Westminster Hall, they allowed the architect greater ability to achieve higher heights with thinner walls and evenly distributed the lateral weight.[6] In as large a fire as described by Soncino the English oak beams of the great hall, a centrepiece of a royal Christmas, would have stood no chance of remaining upright and intact. They would have been engulfed in flames in the high temperatures well exceeding 270 °C. Much of the tapestry work of earlier ages was burnt to cinders, and losses included crown jewels and much of the royal wardrobe including a large amount of cloth of gold, at this time a luxury item only wearable by royalty and in the case of Sheen Palace it was a feature of the bedding.[7] Accounts refer to Henry Tudor, his mother, Margaret Beaufort, and his wife, Queen Elizabeth, running for their lives, with the king barely making it out in time: one of the corridors nearly collapsed on top of him. As it was the time of the Christmas revels, also present during the disaster were all but one of the royal children, and all under the age of 10: Margaret, Mary, and a six-year-old Henry VIII, each of them described as being hurried out in the arms of their nursemaids. For Queen Elizabeth, this would have been a horrible blow: records show that as a child in the 1470s this was where she spent much of her childhood and otherwise this palace would have had strong associations with her mother Elizabeth Woodville: Edward IV left Sheen to his wife in his will. Soncino reports all of the events outlined above, and also states in his accounts that the king "does not attach much importance to this loss. He purposes to build the chapel all in stone, and much finer than before." [8] The new Richmond Palace[edit] Construction on the new palace began in 1498. Henry named his creation Richmond Palace, in honour of the title he held before acceding to the throne and the title he inherited from his father: Earl of Richmond. Though the palace did not survive the English Civil War, fragments of the edifice still remain along the bank of the Thames, as does Richmond Park, originally a royal hunting reserve that Henry Tudor and all members of the Tudors and early Stuarts used for their personal entertainment. Henry Tudor built a large and grand palace that became the centre of royal life for many years to come, a very important centre of the court of each Tudor monarch and James I. Drawings and descriptions of the palace survive as does the documentation of a 1970s excavation of the grounds, thus posterity has a fairly accurate idea of what the contents and features of the building were. Richmond Palace
Richmond Palace
was largely a building of brick and white stone in the latest styles of the times, with geometric octagonal towers, pepper-pot chimney caps, and ornate weathervanes made of brass.[9] Though it retained the layout of Sheen Palace, new additions that would mark the Renaissance
were to be found in this palace, for example, long galleries to display sculpture and portraiture. The windows were panelled, built to bring in more light than the tiny slit-like windows of a castle, built for defence. From its earliest it had inner courtyards designed for leisure, with several portions built for the royal family overlooking a large green. Richmond Palace covered ten acres of land and was large and well appointed enough to have its own orchards and walled gardens. It is known that Henry Tudor decorated his home with many gifts he accepted from Italian bankers in Venice, and the evidence for this and the other accoutrements survives in a 17th-century inventory taken of the palace that is now located in the British National Archives. The inventory also describes new tapestries he commissioned to replace the ones lost in the fire. Henry VIII[edit] Later the same year, Henry VIII celebrated Christmas to Twelfth Night at Richmond with the first of his six wives, Catherine of Aragon. During those celebrations, says Mrs. A. T. Thomson, in her Memoirs of the Court of Henry the Eighth:

On the night of the Epiphany (1510), a pageant was introduced into the hall at Richmond, representing a hill studded with gold and precious stones, and having on its summit a tree of gold, from which hung roses and pomegranates. From the declivity of the hill descended a lady richly attired, who, with the gentlemen, or, as they were then called, children of honour, danced a morris before the king. On another occasion, in the presence of the court, an artificial forest was drawn in by a lion and an antelope, the hides of which were richly embroidered with golden ornaments; the animals were harnessed with chains of gold, and on each sat a fair damsel in gay apparel. In the midst of the forest, which was thus introduced, appeared a gilded tower, at the end of which stood a youth, holding in his hands a garland of roses, as the prize of valour in a tournament which succeeded the pageant!"

Henry's son, christened Henry, was born there on New Year's Day, 1511, but died on 22 February. Some years later, the king received a present of Hampton Court
Hampton Court
from Wolsey, and in return the cardinal received permission to reside at the royal manor of Richmond, where he kept up so much state as to increase the growing ill-feeling against him. When he fell into disfavour he took up his residence at the Lodge in the 'great' park, and subsequently moved to the Priory.[4] In 1533 Richmond became the principal residence of Henry's daughter Mary after she was evicted from her previous residence of Beaulieu. Mary stayed at the palace until December of that year when she was ordered to Hatfield House
Hatfield House
to wait on the newly born Princess Elizabeth. In 1540 Henry gave the palace to his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, as part of her divorce settlement. Mary I[edit]

Reconstruction of Richmond Palace
Richmond Palace
privy apartments.

In 1554 Queen Mary I married Philip II of Spain. Forty-five years after her mother Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon
had spent Christmas at Richmond Palace, they spent their honeymoon there (and at Hampton Court). Later that same year, her sister Elizabeth was taken to Richmond as a prisoner on her way to Woodstock. Elizabeth I[edit] Once Elizabeth became queen she spent much of her time at Richmond, as she enjoyed hunting stags in the "Newe Parke of Richmonde" (now the Old Deer Park). Elizabeth died there on 24 March 1603. Stuart[edit] James I[edit] King James I preferred the Palace of Westminster
Palace of Westminster
to Richmond, but his eldest son Prince Henry was able to commission water-works for the garden designed by the French Huguenot, Salomon de Caus, and the Florentine Costantino de' Servi, shortly before his death in 1612.[10] Before he became king, Charles I owned Richmond Palace
Richmond Palace
and started to build his art collection whilst living there. Like Elizabeth, James enjoyed hunting stags, and in 1637 created a new area for this now known as Richmond Park, renaming Elizabeth's "Newe Parke" the "Old Deer Park". There continue to be red deer in Richmond Park
Richmond Park
today, possibly descendants of the original herd, free from hunting and relatively tame. Charles I and Commonwealth[edit]

An Elevation for a new Richmond Palace
Richmond Palace
by Sir William Chambers in 1765. This plan was not taken up by the King. A new palace was started on a different design, but was not completed.

The king gave the palace with the manor to Queen Henrietta Maria, probably in 1626, and it became the home of the royal children. Within months of the execution of Charles I in 1649, Richmond Palace
Richmond Palace
was surveyed by order of Parliament to see what it could fetch in terms of raw materials, and was sold for £13,000. Over the next ten years it was largely demolished, the stones being re-used as building materials. The palace was restored with the manor to Queen Henrietta Maria in 1660, although in a dismantled condition, having suffered much dilapidation during the interregnum. The ruined palace was never rebuilt. Architecture and internal decoration[edit] All the accounts which have come down to us describe the furniture and decorations of Richmond Palace
Richmond Palace
as superb, exhibiting in tapestries the deeds of kings and heroes. Survey of 1649[edit] The survey taken in 1649 affords a minute description of the palace. The great hall was 100 feet in length, and 40 in breadth, having a screen at the lower end, over which was "fayr foot space in the higher end thereof, the pavement of square tile, well lighted and seated; at the north end having a turret, or clock-case, covered with lead, which is a special ornament to this building." The prince's lodgings are described as a "freestone building, three stories high, with fourteen turrets covered with lead," being "a very graceful ornament to the whole house, and perspicuous to the county round about." A round tower is mentioned, called the "Canted Tower," with a staircase of 124 steps. The chapel was 96 feet long and 40 broad, with cathedral-seats and pews. Adjoining the prince's garden was an open gallery, 200 feet long, over which was a close gallery of similar length. Here was also a royal library. Three pipes supplied the palace with water, one from the white conduit in the new park, another from the conduit in the town fields, and the third from a conduit near the alms-houses in Richmond. Surviving structures[edit]

Richmond Palace
Richmond Palace
Gate House

These include the Wardrobe, Trumpeters' House and the Gate House, all three of which are Grade I listed.[2][11][12] The Gate House was built in 1501, and was let on a 65-year lease by the Crown Estate Commissioners in 1986. It has five bedrooms. Archaeology[edit] During 1997 the site was investigated in the Channel 4
Channel 4
programme Time Team which was broadcast in January 1998.[13] Curiosity[edit] This palace was one of the first buildings in history to be equipped with a flushing lavatory, invented by Elizabeth I's godson, Sir John Harington.[14] Henry VIII had earlier installed flushing latrines at Hampton Court.[15] References[edit]

^ a b "Richmond", in Encyclopædia Britannica, (9th edition, 1881), s.v. ^ a b Historic England. "The Gate House The Old Palace (1065318)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 July 2015.  ^ a b c "The mediaeval palace", London Borough of Richmond upon Thames ^ a b c "Parishes: Richmond (anciently Sheen)", A History of the County of Surrey, Vol. 3, (H E Malden, ed.) London: Victoria County History, 1911. pp. 533-546. British History Online ^ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/property/luxury-homes/10744402/Inside-Wrens-3m-Wardrobe.html ^ http://www.britainexpress.com/architecture/perpendicular.htm ^ http://englishhistoryauthors.blogspot.com/2015/12/a-not-so-cool-yule-at-sheen-palace-1497.html ^ Weir, Alison (2013). Elizabeth of York: A Tudor Queen and Her World (1st ed.). pg 215: Ballantine Books. ISBN 978-0345521378.  ^ http://englishhistoryauthors.blogspot.com/2012/07/lost-palace-of-richmond.html ^ Colvin, Howard, ed., History of the King's Works, vol. 3 part 1, HMSO (1975), pp. 124-6 ^ Historic England. "The Wardrobe (1357730)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 July 2015.  ^ Historic England. "The Trumpeters' House, Old Palace Yard (1357749)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 July 2015.  ^ "History". Channel 4. Retrieved 2012-03-12.  ^ Cloake, John (1995). Palaces and Parks of Richmond and Kew, Volume 1: The Palaces of Shene and Richmond. Chichester: Phillimore & Co. pp. 140–141. ISBN 978-0850339765.  ^ Thurley, Simon. The Royal Palaces of Tudor England: Architecture & Court Life 1460-1547, London, 1993, p.177

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Richmond Palace.

Royal Richmond timeline Read a detailed historical record on Richmond Palace Trumpeters' House

v t e

Royal palaces and residences in the United Kingdom


Bagshot Park Balmoral Castle, Birkhall
& Craigowan Lodge Buckingham Palace Gatcombe Park Highgrove House Hillsborough Castle Holyrood Palace St James's Palace
St James's Palace
& Clarence House Kensington Palace
Kensington Palace
& Wren House Llwynywermod Sandringham House, Anmer Hall
Anmer Hall
& Wood Farm Tamarisk (Isles of Scilly) Thatched House Lodge Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
& Royal Lodge, Windsor

Historical principal royal residences

St James's Palace Hampton Court
Hampton Court
Palace Tower of London Windsor Castle


Abergeldie Castle Albany (London) Allerton Castle Audley End House Palace of Beaulieu Barnwell Manor Beaumont Palace Fort Belvedere, Windsor Bentley Priory Berkhamsted Castle Birch Hall, Surrey Brantridge Park Bridewell Palace Brill Palace Bushy House Cadzow Castle Caernarfon Castle Cambridge Cottage, Kew Cambridge House Carisbrooke Castle Carlton House Castle Hill Lodge, Ealing Castlewood House, Surrey Chelsea Manor Chevening Chideock Manor Chiswick House Christ Church, Oxford Claremont Clarendon Palace Cliveden Coombe Abbey Coppins Crocker End House Crosby Hall, London Cumberland Cottage Cumberland House Cumberland Lodge Delnadamph Lodge Dolphin Square Doune Castle Dover House Dublin Castle Dunfermline Palace Eastwell Park Edinburgh Castle Eltham Palace Falkland Palace Frogmore House Gloucester House Gloucester House, London Gloucester Lodge Gunnersbury Park Hampton Court
Hampton Court
Palace Hanworth Manor Hatfield House Havering Palace Ingestre House Kent House (Isle of Wight) Kew
House (Isle of Wight) Kew
Palace Kingsbourne House King's House, Winchester Kings Langley Palace Lancaster House Leeds Castle Leicester Square Les Jolies Eaux Linlithgow Palace Tower of London Marlborough House Montagu House Castle of Mey Nether Lypiatt Manor Nonsuch Palace Norfolk House Oak Grove House Oatlands Palace Oatlands Park Osborne Cottage Osborne House Palace of Placentia Queen Charlotte's Cottage, Kew Queen's House Ranger's House Ribsden Holt Richmond Palace
Richmond Palace
& White Lodge Romenda Lodge Royal City of Dublin Hospital Royal Pavilion, Aldershot Royal Pavilion, Brighton Sagana Lodge Savile House Savoy Palace Schomberg House Somerset House Stirling Castle Sunninghill Park Sussex House The More Theobalds Palace Villa Guardamangia Walmer Castle Palace of Westminster Palace of Whitehall
Palace of Whitehall
& the Banqueting House Windlesham Moor Witley Court Woodstock Palace York Cottage, Sandringham York House, St James's Palace

v t e

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames


Barnes East Sheen Fulwell Ham Hampton Hampton Hill Hampton Wick Kew Mortlake Petersham Richmond St Margarets Strawberry Hill Teddington Twickenham Whitton

Railway stations

Barnes Barnes Bridge Fulwell Hampton Hampton Wick Kew
Gardens Mortlake North Sheen Richmond St Margarets Strawberry Hill Teddington Twickenham Whitton

River Thames
River Thames
bridges, islands and river services

Bridges Benn's Island Corporation Island Eel Pie Island Glover's Island Platts Eyot Swan Island Tagg's Island Trowlock Island Hammerton's Ferry Hampton Ferry Kew
Pier Richmond Lock Teddington
Lifeboat Station Teddington
Lock former Twickenham

Other rivers and streams

Beverley Brook River Crane Duke of Northumberland's River Longford River Sudbrook and Latchmere stream River Thames

Sports venues

Athletic Ground, Richmond Barn Elms Playing Fields The Championship Course Cricket clubs and grounds Golf clubs and courses Hampton Pool The Lensbury Pools on the Park Royal Tennis Court, Hampton Court Teddington
Pools and Fitness Centre Thames Young Mariners Twickenham
Stadium Twickenham
Stoop former Ranelagh Club former Richmond Ice Rink


Annual sports events Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace
Festival Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace
Flower Show IRB Rugby Aid Match

Breweries and pubs

Britannia, Richmond The Bull's Head The Crown, Twickenham Dysart Arms The Fox, Twickenham The George, Twickenham Hare and Hounds, Sheen Jolly Coopers, Hampton Old Ship, Richmond Park Hotel, Teddington Richmond Brewery Stores Sun Inn, Barnes Twickenham
Fine Ales Watney Combe & Reid White Cross, Richmond The White Swan, Twickenham‎

Theatres, cinemas and music venues

The Bull's Head Crawdaddy Club The Exchange Olympic Studios Orange Tree Theatre Puppet Theatre Barge Richmond Theatre TwickFolk Wathen Hall former Eel Pie Island
Eel Pie Island

Film and recording studios

Astoria The Boathouse, Twickenham Eel Pie Studios Olympic Studios Teddington
Studios Twickenham
Film Studios

Media and publishing

Richmond and Twickenham
Times former Gaydar Radio former Hogarth Press

Historical royal palaces

Hampton Court
Hampton Court
Palace Kew
Palace Richmond Palace

Other places of interest

123 Mortlake
High Street 14 The Terrace, Barnes 18 Station Road, Barnes 70 Barnes High Street Asgill House Brinsworth House Bushy House Chapel House Chapel in the Wood Clarence House Diana Fountain, Bushy Park Doughty House Douglas House Downe House East Sheen
East Sheen
Filling Station Fulwell bus garage Garrick's Temple to Shakespeare Garrick's Villa Grove House, Hampton Ham House Hampton Youth Project Harrods Furniture Depository Hogarth House The Homestead, Barnes King's Observatory Kneller Hall Langham House Langham House Close Latchmere House Lichfield Court Marble Hill House Montrose House The Naked Ladies National Physical Laboratory Normansfield Theatre The Old Court House Ormeley Lodge Parkleys The Pavilion, Hampton Court Pembroke Lodge Pope's Urn Pope's Grotto Poppy Factory The Queen's Beasts Royal Military School of Music Royal Star and Garter Home St Leonard's Court Strawberry Hill House Stud House Sudbrook House and Park The Terrace, Barnes Thatched House Lodge University Boat Race Stones Victoria Working Men's Club West Hall, Kew White Lodge The Wick Wick House Yelverton Lodge York House


Adana Printing Machines Admiralty Research Laboratory Alcott House Ashe baronets Barnes rail crash Camp Griffiss Cross Deep House GHQ Liaison Regiment Hampton Court
Hampton Court
Conference Kew
Letters Mortlake
Tapestry Works Mount Ararat, Richmond Murder of Amélie Delagrange Murder of Julia Martha Thomas Petersham Hole Pocock baronets Pope's villa Radnor House Richmond Flyers Richmond, Petersham and Ham Open Spaces Act 1902 Ringway 2 Sheen Priory Star and Garter Hotel, Richmond Towpath murders Treaty of Hampton Court
Hampton Court
(1562) Twickenham
Park Vandeput baronets Warren-Lambert Wigan baronets

Parliamentary constituencies

Richmond Park Twickenham former Richmond and Barnes former Richmond (Surrey)

Other topics

Almshouses Archives, museums and art galleries Cemeteries, crematoria and memorials Grade I listed buildings Grade II* listed buildings Hospitals Local government People Places of worship Public art Schools, colleges and universities Sports clubs

Parks, open spaces and nature reserves in the London Borough of Richmond