The Royal Palaces of Tudor England:
Architecture and Court Life, 1460-1547

Simon Thurley

Publicaton Date
May 1993
Standard Number
Yale University Press
294 pages

The royal palaces of the Tudor period - Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London, Greenwich Palace, St James' Palace, Nonesuch, Whitehall and Richmond Palace, amongst others - are the subject of this illustrated book, in which the author examines the way in which Tudor palaces functioned on the inside. Every aspect of palace life - from the deliberations of the Star Chamber to the tennis courts at Whitehall to the problems of providing sanitation for 800 people - is covered in detail, as well as the architectural history of not only the most important palaces, but also a selection of 'lesser' houses. Thurley begins with the castles and palaces of early medieval England and Burgundy, moves on through those built by Henry VII, focusing finally on the many palaces lived in and built by Henry VIII for his itinerant court. The result is both a study of the development of architectural style and form in the critical formative years of early sixteenth-century England and a work of social history which throws completely new light on the way in which Tudor government functioned and on the personality and changing habits of Henry VIII. The author is now responsible for Hampton Court Palace, Kew Palace and the Tower of London: he recently masterminded the restoration of the Tudor Kitchens and the King's Apartments at Hampton Court.