Whitehall and Anne Boleyn

Ruins of Whitehall Palace

Today’s post is a guest article written by Annis Castellina, a qualified teacher, writer and researcher. Annis designs and leads historical walking tours aimed at rediscovering ‘lost palaces’, including a tour of the royal palace of Whitehall.

Annis brings Whitehall Palace to life through the use of old illustrations, maps and paintings. She guides you to important sites and identifies its remains.

This sounds like a wonderful tour and one that I hope to go on during my next visit to London. For more information please visit Annis Tours.

Annis has shared some of her expertise with us in a wonderful article written for On the Tudor Trail, entitled ‘Is the metonymy “Whitehall” part of Anne Boleyn’s legacy?’.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

by Annis Castellina, Whitehall Palace Tour Guide

Largely vanished now, Whitehall Palace, in the heart of London, was the largest and, in the age of Elizabeth 1st, the most dazzling Renaissance Court of Europe. Some of its foundations and fireplaces, still remain under the road. From these, from contemporary plans, descriptions and paintings, archeologists and historians of the Royal Palaces can now reconstruct it.

Queen Elizabeth 1st walked in its formal gardens in impressive dresses, danced La Volta here in the Presence Chamber or Great Chamber, watched plays at Twelfth Night, held elaborate court ceremonies in the Privy Garden, and received shields from her nobles at Whitehall.  This was also where The Lord Chamberlain’s Men and the King’s Men, Shakespeare’s acting troupe performed his plays, to visiting ambassadors, two Monarchs and to the nobility.

At Whitehall Palace, the Court and its support staff, lodged in over a thousand rooms, heated by fireplaces and blue ceramic stoves using sea-coal.  The building was Tudor in architecture, using local materials, in low Gothic style. Its key features were oriel windows and gatehouses.  Whitehall was not unlike Tudor parts of Hampton Court which has survived.

Continue reading here.

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