King Henry VIII’s Palaces & Royal Houses

I was recently searching the Internet trying to find a list of Henry VIII’s palaces and houses but was unable to find a complete list online. I am though lucky enough to own Simon Thurley’s The Royal Palaces of Tudor England, which includes a wonderful map showing the distribution of royal houses in 1547 (Pg. 69) and so decided to put together my own resource.

The following list, adapted from Thurley’s map, includes castles, palaces, large houses, lesser houses, hunting lodges, confiscated houses, monastic conversions and defensive fortresses and is based on the research of Simon Thurley.

It’s important to note that this is indeed a work in progress. Where something remains of the palace or house today, a link will be included. If the building is also on my Anne Boleyn list of places then the title will be linked to the relevant entry where you will find more information about the history of the property and its links to Anne Boleyn.

Eventually, I hope to provide some information about all the properties but considering that there are over 60 on the list, this may take some time.

I feel that I should also mention that the list of Henry VIII’s palaces and houses varies depending on whether you include confiscated houses that Henry owned but never used and defensive castles.  It also varies depending on what year in Henry’s reign you are researching. I have in my reading seen a number of other properties listed as belonging to Henry VIII at some point during his reign and have added those at the end of the list.

Windsor Castle

 

Windsor Castle

Visit Windsor Castle’s official website here.

Tower of London

The Tower of London

Visit the Tower of London’s official website here.

Whitehall Palace

Before being destroyed by fire in 1698, Whitehall had grown to be one of the largest palaces in Europe, boasting an unbelievable 1500 rooms!  King Henry VIII married Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour in the palace and also died there in 1547. Today, the only thing remaining is the Banqueting House built in 1622 although there are parts of the old palace incorporated in other buildings.

Some ruins from Whitehall can be found outside the Ministry of Defense.

(Read more about Whitehall and Anne Boleyn’s connection to it here.)

Ruins of Whitehall Palace

Nonsuch Palace

A Tudor royal palace built by Henry VIII in Surrey.  Work commenced in 1538 and was not yet complete when Henry died in 1547. The palace stood until 1682-83, when Barbara, Countess of Castlemaine, demolished it. Some elements of the building have been incorporated into other buildings but no trace of the palace remains on site today.

Georg Hoefnagel’s 1568 watercolour of the south frontage of Nonsuch Palace

Loseley House’s magnificent Great Hall contains panelling from Henry VIII’s Nonsuch Palace and his banqueting tents.

Read more about Nonsuch Palace here.

Eltham

Eltham Palace

Visit Eltham’s official website here.

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace

Visit Hampton Court’s official website here.

St James’s Palace

St. James’s Palace

For more information click here.

Hatfield House

Old Palace Hatfield House

Hatfield House’s official website.

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey official website

Westminster Hall

http://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/building/palace/westminsterhall/

Palace of Beaulieu (also known as New Hall)

http://www.newhallschool.co.uk/about-new-hall/history-of-new-hall-and-the-school/

Greenwich

Knole

On the outskirts of Sevenoaks is a beautiful stately home set in a magnificent deer park. In Tudor times, Knole belonged to Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury who declared Henry VIII’s marriage to first wife Katherine void and his marriage to Anne Boleyn valid. Little good it did him, Henry fancied Knole for himself and in 1538 he forced Cranmer to hand it over. Portraits of Tudor monarchs, including Henry and Anne, are just some of the many treasures you’ll find here. The superb medieval deer park where Henry hunted is the only one remaining in Kent.

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-visits/w-findaplace/w-knole/w-knole-history.htm

Leeds Castle

http://www.leeds-castle.com/goto.php?ref=y&sess=u0%7Cp0%7Cn0%7Cc0%7Cs0%7Cg1%7Cd0&

Woodstock

Woodstock palace was a royal residence in the English town of Woodstock. Elizabeth I was imprisoned here in 1554. Woodstock Palace was destroyed during the English Civil War and Blenheim Palace was later built on the same site.

Richmond/Sheen

Ewelme

Ewelme almhouses

In the 14th century, Sir John Burghersh held the Manor of Ewelme in Oxfordshire.  On his death in 1491, it passed to his younger daughter, Maud, who had married Thomas Chaucer, son of the poet Geoffrey Chaucer.

Find out more about Ewelme here.

Ludlow Castle

http://www.ludlowcastle.com/Pages/history.aspx

Oatlands Palace

Ampthill Castle

Woking Palace

http://www.woking.gov.uk/woking/heritage/palace

Halnaker

Petworth

Penshurst Place

Penshurst Place

Visit Penshurst Place’s official website here.

Guildford

West Horsley

Westenhanger

Charing

Canterbury

Otford

Beddington

Rochester

Dartford

Suffolk Place

Hackney

Wanstead

Havering

Chobham

http://www.chobham.info/chobham_park_2.htm

Hanworth

http://www.s-george.org.uk/hanworth.html

Syon

Mortlake

Parlaunt

Ditton

Chelsea

Enfield

Bridewell

Reading

Langley

The More

St Alban’s

Ashridge

Dunstable

Grafton

Hertford

Hunsdon

Tyttenhangar

Esher

Wayneflete’s Tower is the only surviving remains of the late 15th century Bishops palace and later Royal Palace of Esher.

Pastscape information

Tickenhill

Fotheringhay

Collyweston

Hull

A coastal fortress built by Henry VIII between 1538 and 1544 and situated in what is now the city of Kingston upon Hull in the historic county of the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Kenilworth

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/kenilworth-castle//

York

Newcastle

Other properties not included in Thurley’s list:

Dover Castle

Baynard Castle

Palace Pendennis

Raglan Castle

Hever Castle

Farnham

Chester Castle

Pembroke Castle

References:

Thurley, S. The Royal Palaces of Tudor England, 1993.

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Comments

  1. Rob Dixon says:

    Henry VIII also owned Apethorpe Hall in Northamptonshire, which he acquired in 1543. When he died in 1549, it passed to his daughter Elizabeth. She disposed of it by exchange in 1552 to Sir Walter Mildmay who later was her Chancellor of the Exchequer when she became Queen. She stayed as his guest in one of her progresses in 1566. There is no evidence that Henry ever visited.

  2. Kelly says:

    Thanks so much for all this info.
    This is so impressive, I mean, I know he was a king, but these are so many…
    To bad not all of them exist as they were today!!!

  3. Carol Dennis says:

    Hi Natalie
    I wonder if you have heard of Tudor Court at Iron Acton a small village in South Gloucestershire. In the 16th Century it was owned by Nicholas Poyntz and it was visited by King Henry and Anne Boleyn on there 1535 tour of the west country. Practically only the east wing survives now – but apparently it is a fine example of Tudor architecture.

  4. Carol Dennis says:

    Hi Natalie Sorry I did not realize that Iron Acton was already on your list. It sounds like an interesting place and somewhere I would certainly like to visit

  5. Henry Tudor says:

    Hi
    pleased to see your website I will recommend it to
    the primary schools I work with (160/year)

    Henry
    The Henry Tudor Drama Company
    http://www.henrytudor.co.uk

  6. Natalie says:

    Why thank you Henry!

  7. Lisa says:

    I have been watching the TV series by showtime called “The Tudors” there is a scene where Henry is grieving for Jane Seymour and he designs an elaborate palace which he instructs Cromwell to have built. In a following scene he takes Katherine Howard to view the completed palace – what is it called, where is it located and does it still exist?

  8. Lauren says:

    Hi Natalie,
    In David Loades’s work on Henry VIII’s Court (‘The Tudor Court’, Headstart History) he provides an appendix with all of Henry’s houses listed in it. Obviously, many do not still survive, but that could help you find those which do?

    • Natalie says:

      Thank you for letting me know Lauren! I have owned this book for a while now but hadn’t gotten around to reading it – this will be useful! :)

  9. Marc O'Neill says:

    Hi – does anyone know where Henry would likely to have held Privy Council meetings in 1521? Can you confirm that Thomas Wolsey and Thomas More would have attended? Thanks.

  10. Garth says:

    Great fosters in Egham Surrey was built for Henry viii commissioned by Anne Boleyn it is exactly 9miles from Windsor and exactly 9 miles from Hampton Court. 9 miles was a days hunt. It was completed after Henry’s death and if you visit you will find the crest of Elizabeth I over the threshold. Now a stunning hotel! It is also likely to be the place George was interned during his madness according to some records.

  11. Bo He says:

    Can anyone tell me where Henry learned all his building skills? I thought the process was that he would instruct someone to “Have this built or I’ll have you decapitated” and so places were built by hundreds of peasants and artisans.

    • Dawn says:

      Hi, Bo He,
      If you type in Henry VIII:architecture and Tudor Palaces on YouTube it gives you some info on there. Hope this helps.

  12. Anthony McCann says:

    Naturally, I meant that the date of Henry VIII’s daeth was 1547 and not 1549; apologies for the mistake.

  13. Marion says:

    How come you do not list the location of these palaces. For Instance I have been watching the Tudors. Would love to know the actual location of Grafton House and Fotheringhay.

  14. Ken Beasley says:

    Hi Natalie, I have been studying Henry for a little while, and was impressed with your list. Tickenhill is now known as Tickhill, and parts of the castle still exist, thoough in private hands. Placed in South Yorkshire, near Rotherham.
    Regards
    Ken

    • Natalie says:

      Thank you Ken! I have been working on some other projects and haven’t had time to update the list. I will do in the near future. Natalie

    • Dawn says:

      I’ve seen it many times Ken, I used to live not far from it, it’s in-between Doncaster and Rotherham isn’t it. My husband is from Rotherham and I’m originally Retford (notts) the other side of Doncaster. I had no idea it had links to Henry, though it featured a lot in the tales of Robin Hood I think…

      • Ken Beasley says:

        Dawn, what doesn’t have links with Robin Hood, he even has an airport now! The more I read of Henry, and what he did, and to whom, it appears every Englishman, Welsh man and some Scots and Irish were affected by him. Most Scots were fortunate in having their own king, and the Irish were across the water, and a little remote. Give my regards to Rotherham, I grew up not far away.
        Ken

        • Dawn says:

          Haha, yes I bet Robin finds the Airport very handy…
          I live in North-East Scotland (again) now, so haven’t been to Rotherham for over 10years, husband goes occasionally to see his family, apparently it’s a bit grotty now, shame that.
          Yes old Henry didn’t completely get his hands on Scotland, though he did have a few serious battles with them..’The Rough Wooing’ was a nasty one!
          I know Henry was a force to be reckoned with when he became, shall I say ‘twisted’, but in those days of absolute rule by the monarchy the ones before and the ones after weren’t much better, perhaps worse on occasion to my mind.
          Love him or hate him, he’s a fascinating man and King to read about can’t get enough! :)

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