Eltham Palace, close to Eltham
High Street, is a combination of a 1930s Art Deco country
house and a medieval royal palace.
In the 14th century kings traditionally
spent Christmas at Eltham and the Tudors later used the palace
as a base to hunt deer. Eltham Palace was the boyhood
home of Henry VIII.
After the Civil War, from 1642-
60, the building fell into disrepair and by the 20th century
all that was left was the ruined Great Hall and the bridge
over the moat.
In 1934 Stephen Courtauld, a
member of the textile family and patron of the arts, purchased
Eltham Palace and restored the Great Hall to its former glory.
Then Courtauld grafted a modern
country house onto the restored old hall. The feature
of Eltham palace is its great Art Deco interior which uses
geometry, line and contrasts of light and dark to great effect.
The light-filled entrance hall has a stunning concrete and
Eltham Palace is surrounded by
gardens with views towards London and out to the countryside
of Kent. Near to the moat is the 15th century house
of Cardinal Wolsey.