Some fairly horrible history has taken place at this riverside palace, but it makes for a lovely family day out, especially if the weather is kind

What started as a simple riverside manor house in the 15th century became one of Britain’s most lavish palaces, first in the hands of Cardinal Wolsey, then under a succession of kings, beginning with Henry VIII, who spent the equivalent of £18m developing vast kitchens, a chapel, tennis court, bowling alleys, formal gardens and a communal loo with room for 28 noblemen. The famous maze was commissioned by King William III. It’s not hard to imagine courtiers conspiring in darkened corners, servants hurrying along corridors and a pervading sense of ill ease as plots were hatched, lovers betrayed and backs stabbed. Don’t forget to look up: some of the most extravagant detailing is above, in the ornate chimneys, the chapel’s sumptuous ceiling and the frescoes of William III’s apartments.

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Source: The Guardian

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