Thursday, April 8, 2021

Henry VIII’s ‘Lost Palace’

 From The Express:

And the grandest of them all was revealed by historian Dr Suzannah Lipscomb during Channel 5’s ‘London: 2,000 Years of History’ documentary. She said: “Henry’s impact on London began in an area that is now called Whitehall, in Westminster.

“Today it houses government offices, but in the Tudor period, there was an enormous mansion here that belonged to the King’s advisor, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. 

“In Tudor London, he was the second most influential man after the King – he was Lord Chancellor, he was head of the Catholic Church in England and he built himself fantastic palaces.

“That was his first mistake, but added to that – in 1529, Henry wanted to marry his mistress Anne Boleyn and Wolsey failed to get an annulment of Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon – that was his second.

“In retaliation, Henry had Wolsey charged with treason and seized the Cardinal’s desirable London residence for himself.” 

The expert went on to explain how Henry made it his own.

She added: “He extended it massively, creating his Whitehall Palace – it was incredible – the largest palace in Europe and the new centre of power in the capital.

“Tragically, Henry VIII’s palace was gutted by fire in 1698, but not all of it was lost – I’m here at the offices of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) at Whitehall, and I’m very lucky to get access.

“I’ve been given permission to see something I’ve never seen before – this area is off-limits to the public and filming is very carefully controlled for security reasons.

“I’m going down below the MoD’s modern corridors to see what remains of Henry VIII’s lost palace.

“This is incredible, it is a vaulted chamber and it was Henry’s wine cellar from his Whitehall Palace.”

Whitehall Palace was the main royal residence from 1530 to 1698 when most of its structure was destroyed in a fire.

But Dr Lipscomb detailed how it was once a commanding complex and why it was one of Henry’s favourite spots.

She continued in 2020: “This is a palace that dominated this area of London and this is the only part that survives of it. It is a place where he lived, he married and he died. (Read more.)


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