Fulham Palace was the episcopal retreat of the Bishops of London. The present building was built in Tudor times, with later significant Georgian and Victorian additions. It would be more accurate to call it a manor house than a palace, but it gives a fine glimpse into the changing lifestyles and architecture of nearly 500 years, from the Tudor hall to the Victorian chapel; try out the echo in the courtyard. Guided tours of the palace and grounds (£5) take place at 2pm on the second and fourth Sunday and the third Tuesday of each month. Garden walks take place on the first and third Sunday of the month at 2pm (£5). The grounds offer some lovely spots to take a picnic, or indulge in a classy cake from the café. There's also access to a glorious stretch of riverside walks. Best of all, the delights of Fulham Palace still seem largely uncovered by the majority of Londoners.
|Venue name:||Fulham Palace||Contact:|
|Opening hours:||Museum: Mon-Thur 12.30-4.30pm, Sun & Bank hol Mons noon-5pm (summer); Mon-Thur 12.30-3.30pm, Sun & Bank hol Mons noon-4pm (winter) ; gardens open daily dusk till dawn|
|Transport:||Tube: Putney Bridge|
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Half-term at Fulham Palace
Fulham Palace was used by the Bishops of London as their country retreat. Now it's a thriving visitor attraction with a busy programme of activities, many of them for kids. This half-term there's a hands-on archaeology session examining the Bishops' use...Classes and workshops Sunday May 27 2018 - Thursday May 31 2018 Free
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I absolutely love this little known museum in a tranquil spot behind Bishop's Park in Putney. Many people don't realise that this historic house with its beautiful mix of Tudor, Georgian and Victorian architecture was the home of the Bishop of London for many hundreds of years! There is also much archaeological evidence to suggest Roman habitation! Until a few years ago it was closed to the public but has recently undergone major conservation to reinstate the building and beautiful walled gardens to their former glory. It now has a lovely café, fascinating lecture series, community archaeology and events programmes, outdoor theatre & cinema in the summer and plenty of stuff on for families all year round as well. Fulham Palace is a rare true example of the overused phrase 'hidden gem' as it is literally hidden away from the main road by the huge trees that line the embankment along Bishop’s Park. Despite being slap bang in between Putney and Fulham hardly anybody knows it's there, but this should change as there is plenty of room for more visitors and it has huge potential to become even more of a hub for the local community than it currently is. A perfect place to spend a lazy summer day with a good book.
Having lived in the area for 13 years I can't recommend a trip to Fulham Palace enough. The actual museum is pretty small but interesting and they will even do a private tour if there are enough people and you arrange it in advance. I went with my NCT group and the guide was great. The best thing about Fulham Palace though is the cafe and garden. The food is generally pretty good but you don't actually need to buy anything to enjoy the garden. I've regularly just taken a picnic and enjoyed the huge open space. It feels really safe for children to play and is a great spot to meet up with friends.
I came to Fulham Palace to walk in the beautiful gardens and was very pleased to find the museum to be informative and interesting. It is small, but manages to tell the story of the Palace very well, with nicely presented cabinets for children (I especially loved the Victorian dollhouse). It seems like everyone was here at one point! The Neolithic, Romans, etc. Even though the weather was cold and rainy, the gardens were at their autumnal best with beautiful colours and plaques telling about the trees. I had a lovely visit and warmed up in the café afterwards, which serves a very nice cup of tea. Fulham Palace is a hidden gem and I recommend a visit if you want to see more of West London for free. It makes for a very nice afternoon indeed.