Eltham Palace

Attractions , Historic buildings and sites Eltham
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Two palaces for the price of one. The remains of the Tudor palace (a favourite with the royal family until Henry VIII decided he preferred Greenwich) include a bridge over the moat, as well as the impressive Great Hall. The biggest draw now, though, is the art deco property (one of London's architectural treasures) erected adjoining the Great Hall in 1936 by textiles heir Stephen Courtauld. Like his more famous brother Samuel (who founded the Courtauld Institute of Art in 1932), he was a collector of the arts. Stephen and his wife Virginia created a masterpiece, and the house was the scene of many a lavish party before World War II broke out and the building was commandeered by the War Office.

The furniture and fittings look like a film set – check out the pink leather chairs, ornate black and silver doors and moulded maple veneer in the dining room, or the onyx and gold-plated taps in Virginia's glamorous vaulted bathroom. The house was way ahead of its time when it came to mod cons, including underfloor heating, ensuite bathrooms and a quirky vacuum-cleaning system. Upstairs there's a chance to look at the Courtauld family's photos and artefacts, and enjoy a home movie of Stephen and Virginia with their pet lemur, Mahjong (who had his own, specially designed quarters). The quaint tearoom and shop have a distinctly 1930s flavour.

In Spring 2015 five rooms in the art deco building were opened to the public for the first time following a £1 million renovation. A rare 1930s 'map room' has been carefully unveiled by a team of English Heritage conservators, and a luxury wartime bunker, basement billiards room, two new bedrooms and a walk-in wardrobe are open for exploring. A new visitor centre, shop and café are open in the former glasshouses, too.

Venue name: Eltham Palace
Contact:
Address: Off Court Rd
London
SE9 5QE
Opening hours: Check website
Transport: Rail: Eltham
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nicknickn
Tastemaker

If you like historic buildings and Art Deco furniture and style, then you will not find anywhere better in London.

Many of the Kings of England lived here, including Henry VIII. It was lovingly redeveloped in the 1930s by Stephen Courtauld.  He restored the palace and added a new Art Deco house, decorated and furnished in the fashion of the time.

Currently it is in the care of English Heritage. The circular entrance room is stunning and the art deco decoration and appliances throughout the house are exquisite. The gardens are beautifully kept, they have lovely views of the house and over London.

This is a fantastic day out within half an hour from central London.

The photos are of a marble bath in Virginia Courtauld's en suite bathroom and a view of the house from the lower garden.

Kritt N
Tastemaker

How curious are you? Eltham Palace may be quite a long way away from where you live but for the curious explorer among you, making the trek to this stately art deco mansion/stately palace is well worth it. It is simply incredible and easily one of my favourite places to visit in London.



Located in Eltham, south-east London, Eltham Palace is a glamorous and opulent art deco mansion/medieval palace which started life as a grand manor house in the 13th century. After it was bequeathed to the crown, it quickly became a favourite among medieval Kings and Queens who subsequently gave it the royal treatment, medieval style adding a Grand Hall which still stands proudly today. Did you know King Henry VIII spent much of his childhood here? It later became out of favour throughout the 17th-19th century before being rescued by the Courtaulds who transformed it into the mansion you see today.



Once you’ve collected your touch-screen multimedia guide and enter the grand mansion, you’ll be transported back in time to the glamorous height of the 1930’s and into the a luxury and opulent mansion of Mr and Mrs Courtaulds. Explore more than 15 rooms inside the luxurious mansion including the lady of the house personal wardrobe. You can admire the architecture in the many rooms including the dining room, study, and main concorde designed by pioneering Italian architects at the time too, and on the other side of the spectrum, the basement bunker that protected the Courtauld family from air raids during the WWII. Eltham Palace is the perfect insight into life in the 1930’s of a cosmopolitan couple.  Step back further in time and enter the stately Grand Hall which co-exists beside the opulence of the mansion next door. Stately medieval meets cutting edge 1930’s design and luxury.



Once you’re done having a look inside, there’s a vast and stunning 19 acre garden to explore that surrounds the palace where nature and woodland animals live in harmony. Once used as a hunting ground for Kings and Queens of the past, it’s now open to visitors to stroll and unwind. On a sunny day it is the perfect place to have a picnic. There’s also light refreshments provided by the onsite cafe.



Explorers with an insatiable thirst for adventure will love this, as will historians, naturally. Families will love it too. The kids will love glamming up 1930’s style in the personal wardrobe or running around the gardens. It’s a long way away from central London. But there’s so much to explore, to learn, to wonder and admire. This is another gem that you must visit if you ever get the chance.

Anaelle
Tastemaker

Ok, you have to venture past zone 2 but it’s well worth it.

Odd, bizarre, unusual. It’s a little-known curiosity you’re going to discover. Outside, all medieval and Tudor looking, with a bridge built over a moat. Inside, all art deco furniture and décor. And the patchwork works! You’ll enjoy wandering around going through the ages and looking at changing centuries.

Don’t forget the gardens too. On a sunny day it’s a lovely spot to enjoy the warmth and look at the moat fishes.

Anna
Staff Writer

Very bizarre and atmospheric place that we've all seen in so many films without realising it. It all started in gothic style as a church or maybe a small castle. And then over the time, more rooms were built around it, some of the others redecorated and modernised and so it happened that these days, we can walk from Art Deco to gothic architecture all in one house. And somehow, it works together beautifully. There are also lovely gardens outside that are big enough for a small stroll after visiting the house.


I haven't visited this place in years but I'd love to go back and would definitely recommend it to anyone who doesn't have anything to do at a sunny weekend!

Catalina

thank you TimeOut London for suggesting the Elthon Palace and Gardens.. had a lovely Sunday stroll through the palace and gardens and on my way back to the train station I found an adorable little parc (Torn) filled with friendly squirrels, ducks and a sleepy turtle :P A wonderful oasis of peace and serenity :D