Eltham Palace & Gardens (Greater London - England)

2 things - 1. The name Eltham reminded me of Gotham! 2. Ever since University days, Art History has always been one of my favourite subjects and that's one of the main reasons for my love towards Indian heritage. Coming to London, I'm looking at English heritage now. So, when a place under English heritage is known for its art from Art Deco movement - I had to see the place!!! 
Starting with a bit of its history. Eltham palace is known from 11th C CE. It was then belonging to Odo, who was the Bishop of Bayeux. By 1295, after passing through several hands, it reached the Bishop of Durham by the end of 13th C CE. He was the one who made this into a palatial fort with a moat around. This was passed on to Edward II. He and his father stayed here often and his son 'John of Eltham' was born here.
Throughout 14th & 15th C this was one of the most important royal residences. By 16th C, during the reign of Henry VIII, the importance reduced as he preferred Hampton. By 17th C, due to lack to maintenance, it started to wither and was used as a farm. It was then in 1933 when millionaires Stephen and Virginia Courtauld spotted this property and decided to take it in a 99yr lease and make it suit their taste with art-deco features and original fort features combined!


As soon as you enter is a circular main room, or that's what I thought. Its actually a triangular room with curved sides and steps on all corners! The roof has dome filled with lights with glass around each light, so daylight can seem through. The wall has a black bean veneer panel filled with detailing in wooden inlay work in various colored wood! 
The dining room is on one side and its door is filled with textured animal designs inspired by London zoo! The walls are also textured. There are little rooms for kitchen, servants room, telephone room etc. 

The boudoir and library are here as well. There are so many books here, esp an entire section for India and that's so interesting! The library has an inbuilt sofa and shelf. 
After this is the huge room called Great Hall which was built in 15th C. The curved roof is just magnificent. The room was originally used to entertain guests. 

The walls are covered with old jacquard curtains and the room has several wooden engraved, detailed furniture. Certain sections of the wall, has some mind blowing stained glass painting! This room also had a mini wardrobe of the art-deco clothing which could be tried on!!!
In the first floor are a couple of bedrooms with attached bathrooms, some guest rooms & bathrooms and maid rooms as well. There is a room which is under renovation called a Map Room which has maps pasted and various travel paintings all over - a travel blogger's dream room it is! 
The basement was very interesting! It had a prototype of the original central heating system. The basement also has a darkroom for photo development. There is also a bunker which may have been used as a hideout during the World War. This room was also filled with war memorabilia incl soldiers' uniforms & hats! Best part, beside this was a mirror and these clothes could be tried on!!! Also the basement has a billiards room. 
The garden around was just awesome. A section of the garden has some Greek Ionic column styled pillars as well! A moat all around the palace is today filled with water and fountain making it so picturesque. Best part its filled with so many huge fishes and luckily I had some peanuts that day with me to snack and it ended up being the snack of the fishes!
The South moat is not filled and proves to be a beautiful green pasture of land today with a wooden bridge across! Some places have the original excavated medieval structures in ruins. On the wall behind is a bronze sculpture of St.David.
Btw, some other buildings here in Eltham are also interesting! This Parish church and this police station are some fine examples. Also at the same distance as this is, from the railway station on the opposite side is Severndroog Castle, which I sadly missed coz by the time I came out of the palace, castle was closed! 
Entrance to the property is at £14.50 for single adult and its free for English Heritage members about which I've explained here.

To reach there:
Nearest railway station: Eltham (South Eastern railways serve this route)

P.S: Check out here to know what I wore to this place.

Dedicated to Venkat

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

21 comments:

  1. sounds lovely! The dome reminds me of the Skylight in FD second floor before it got converted into a lab. The place is triangular but looks round too

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  2. Wow! 99-year lease! I can imagine how much it takes to maintain the place. I guess it can be reflected in the way everything is still as beautiful.

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  3. Such a beautiful place! How lucky must be the early residents who stayed here. Fish feeding is so fun..Good tht you carried some peanuts...

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  4. I love the interiors and building very much in that British English style which it is totally amazing. I always feel it has some warmth to it and very classy.

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  5. No doubt, this place looks wonderful. I'm a fan of the textured walls and the intricate details on the designs of the furniture.

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  6. The place looks real awesome with such great fine art of texture wallsWould love to visit there sometimes.

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  7. The architecture is amazing! I love old buildings, it says so much of the place's history.

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  8. This place looks enchanting and I LOVE those curtains. Beautiful, just beautiful!

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  9. How beautiful! This looks like a place I can just spend an entire in to explore and daydream.

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  10. The curved roof and the stained glass painting are impressive. I love every intricate detail of them. I see why Eltham is worth visiting.

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  11. Your photos of the palace is beautiful, and I can totally see myself wanting to travel there. I like the rustic and cottage-y feel of the wall msot

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  12. I've never heard of this place before. I always enjoy posts about palaces and castles! I hope you get to go back when they finish the map room!

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  13. One architectural structure that I love to see and visit is a PALACE. I do find them fascinating and love to know their history too!

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  14. Being wanting to visit UK for a long time now but sadly the exchange rate is holding me back, always love their old castles and museums there. Very inspiring and education at the same time, just what i need for my new collection ideas.

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  15. London is the city where I want to spend a birthday! In a few years (I want my son to be older to come with us). This palace will definitely be on my list of places to see! Great photos and review!

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  16. I like the view from the garden, it's so fresh especially with the pond. The place looks also so elegant and would be a great place to visit.

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  17. So Games of Thrones like! I will want to see a manor like this. First, I need to get to London. Hehe.

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  18. I like to go sightseeing in UK (especially in greater London)! The castles and houses with their great architectural designs are fantastic talking points between us tourists ;)

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  19. Oh this might be something I'll have to discover when I'm in the UK. I'll be there in 2 weeks and there is already so much I want to do and see.

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  20. Although I have been to London but I have not visited the ELTHAM PALACE & GARDENS before. Thanks for the information, perhaps I will make a stop over there on my next trip.

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  21. I also love arts and history. But i dont wanna stay in a hotel that is so old and creepy looking

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