Hampton Court Palace contains over 1,000 rooms. And though State Apartment Warden Christian Lax — who recently showed us around — has worked there for years, he has yet to visit them all.
This sprawling complex is about to celebrate its 500th anniversary, 1515 being the year when Cardinal Wolsey commissioned workers to construct a mighty home on the banks of the Thames. The stately pile was soon confiscated by Henry VIII, to become Hampton Court Palace.
The complex of buildings has been much-altered over the years, particularly by monarchs William and Mary, who decided to knock down the smelly old Tudor palace and replace it with their own Baroque apartments. Fortunately, they ran out of money and much of Henry’s palace survives.
A building of such history contains many surprises. Christian showed us a few areas normally off limits to the public, including a wine cellar, Jane Seymour’s bedroom, the glorious rooftops and the scene where a famous apparition has been spotted. Watch our video and take a look at the photos below to learn some of the secrets of Hampton Court Palace.