Trains to Eltham Palace
To get to Eltham Palace, it’s about a 15-minute walk through leafy suburbia from Mottingham railway station, which is served by London Charing Cross and Cannon Street stations. From Mottingham station (stop MN), the 161 bus takes you to Eltham Church Court Yard (stop J), from where it is a short walk to the palace, or you could call a cab for a three-minute drive. For the more energetic, Eltham Palace is on the National Cycle Network.
About Eltham Palace
First recorded in the Domesday Book, the Eltham estate was presented to King Edward II in 1305 and became a favourite royal residence, with Henry VIII spending much of his childhood here. Some of the medieval palace still survives, including the great hall, with its magnificent wooden hammer-beamed roof.
But what makes Eltham Palace unique is the glamour built into the house by the Courtauld family in the booming 1930s. Working with the Swedish designer Rolf Engströmer, they incorporated the medieval elements into an ultra-modern home, which now stands as one of the finest Art Deco dwellings to be seen anywhere. The entrance hall, with light cascading in through its glazed dome and illuminating its sleek modernist furniture and fittings, shares memories of opulent parties and a swinging social scene. The Courtaulds embraced the technologies of the new century, incorporating electric fires, a loudspeaker system, a private internal telephone exchange – and even a centrally heated room for their pet lemur, Mah-jongg.
The gardens are also a fantastic blend of medieval and modern, with London’s oldest working bridge reaching across to the ornamental gardens, shrubberies and water features created by the Courtaulds tucked around the remains of the medieval fortifications.
020 8294 2548
Monday to Sunday: 10:00 to 17:00
Winter opening times vary.
Check the website for details.
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