Students took another slice of history on Saturday as they journeyed down to Richmond-upon-Thames to visit Hampton Court Palace. The Palace is one of only two surviving palaces out of the many owned and enjoyed by the infamous Henry VIII (that man of many wives, capricious faith, and formidable heft). Whilst the Palace was originally built under Henry’s reign in the 16th century, it was enlarged and developed by William III in the 17th―this has left the Palace rather confused architecturally, with traditional Tudor alongside European Baroque, but all in all it makes for a very pleasing spectacle.
So students found, as they wandered its vast and art-bedecked rooms, with particular attention paid to the dramatic Triumphs of Caesar by Italian Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna. The Cartoon Gallery, whilst at first not quite what some students expected, was also much admired; and students enjoyed testing the Palace actors to see if they could get them to break their Tudor characters.
There was also the tranquility of the grounds to be experienced and savoured. Students wandered down to the river, which runs through the grounds, and then discovered the maze. This maze, with its paths amounting to over half a mile in length, delighted students and staff alike, as they raced through it to try for ever new personal bests.
After everyone had taken all the pictures they wanted and eaten all the ice creams, students hopped back onto the bus for the return trip to Catz. It was a jolly ride, with everyone sharing their favourite bits of the visit, and, of course, comparing their maze solving times.