Last night as I was on the phone a cheeky Mink walked along the concrete bank alongside the boat and disappeared into a drain from the palace, would not have expected to see one here.
This morning we took it in turns to visit the Palace as it was too hot to take Jimmy with us. So June and Carolann went first and I went after lunch. I decided to explore the gardens first as the heat was building up and it would be cooler in the house later on. They have a wonderful Kitchen Garden with all sorts of vegetables, herbs etc. which would have been grown in Henry XIII time. This dipping pool was the only source of water for the garden in the 18th Century and is fed by gravity from the river Longford.
The Maze is over 300 years old and is the oldest puzzle maze in the UK. The girls made it to the centre as this photo proves. Not sure how long it took them to get out though.
I called in to have a look at the Real Tennis Court, where two men were playing. It is a very different game from the Tennis we know today. As a youth Henry was a very keen player and Anne Boleyn was betting on a game when she was arrested and then complained about not being able to collect her winnings.
The flowers and trees in the Great Fountain Garden were magnificent and whilst I walked around I bumped into William II and two ladies. Chatting to them was great as they played in character even to speaking German.
The Great Fountain is in a driveway heading to Home Park and has an impressive long lake. It provides a majestic view from the Palace windows.
Here are a few views of the Palace from different aspects.
The staff have recreated the gardens as they used to be and they are a mass of colour and amazingly you can find Oranges, Lemons and even Pomegranates growing outside.
Just a few shots of inside the house, here are the Kitchens with a real fire blazing away, and enormous Wine and Beer Cellar and the oldest Vine in the world with masses of bunches of grapes on it. they are harvested in September and sold in the shop.
The magnificent Great Hall which was used by everybody for eating, like school dinners, and then used on Special occasions for the large banquets. One of the special aspects of the table was the Linen Napkins made into animals and fruit etc. to show off on the table. The dresses have been reproduced in white paper and look amazing.
I won’t spoil anybody’s visit by going into more detail about the house and gardens save to say I spent 2.5 hours in there and only scratched the surface.
I could not resist this picture of the Kings Loo as it is always a boaters topic. I could do with this radio controlled lawn mower to play with; and in the right hand picture you can just see the tip of our boat moored behind the cruiser right outside the Palace River Gates making it a memorable way to visit for us.