MONARCHS OF GREAT BRITAIN
Travel is people. You may go abroad to see the famous sites, but
what you remember best are the people you meet. Among them, like
unexpected treasure, are a few memorable contacts that will make
your travels unique, special, and delightful. "People" is devoted to some
of those you may come in contact with during your
Home At First
article first appeared in April, 2008.
Most Recent update: 2015.
EIGHT ENGLISH LOCATIONS
YOU CAN STILL VISIT WHERE TUDOR
MONARCHS LIVED, REIGNED, WERE IMPRISONED, DIED, AND ARE BURIED
The thousand-year-old fortress is right next door to
Home At First's
APARTMENTS AT ST. KATHARINE'S MARINA.
Tower has many associations with the Tudors, especially with the famous
ones imprisoned there, including Tudor Queens
The Tower of London
and Elizabeth I.
addition to the
TOWER OF LONDON,
many locations that figured in the
turbulent reign of Henry VIII and the other Tudor monarchs still stand.
The first seven locations (including the Tower) are easily reachable from
HOME AT FIRST’S LONDON
apartments near The Tower of London. The eighth,
Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire, about 100 miles west of London, is
easily visited as a day-trip by car from
HOME AT FIRST'S COTSWOLDS
Home At First London guests: walk to The Tower of London in 5-10
minutes. Entrance fee charged.
30 miles south of London near Edenbridge, Kent: the medieval Bullen
(Boleyn) family home where Mary and
grew up is well-restored and full of Tudor associations with the
Boleyns, King Henry VIII, and his fourth wife,
Anne of Cleves,
who was presented Hever Castle as part of her agreement to end her
marriage with Henry.
Home At First London guests: Tube from Tower Hill (9 stops; 14 minutes)
to Victoria Station. Take the train from Victoria Station 45 minutes to
Edenbridge Town, then take a taxi three miles to the castle. Trains run
hourly, with a change of trains necessary at East Croydon. Entrance fee
THE QUEEN’S HOUSE AT THE NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM
and University of Greenwich Maritime Campus, are
both located in Greenwich
(the home of the Prime Meridian) on the Thames about 30
minutes east of London. The
National Maritime Museum (NMM) occupies the site of the
medieval Greenwich Palace
of Placentia, which figured
greatly in the lives of Henry VIII, his wives (and especially
Catherine of Aragon,
Anne of Cleves), and their children.
Henry VIII, and his daughters Mary I and Elizabeth
The Queen's House
were born at the palace, and his son, the teenaged King Edward VI, died there. The
Queen's House was built during the reign of King James I (son of
Elizabeth I). The old palace was torn down after the Restoration, and
replaced with a new royal residence that is now the Maritime Campus of
the University of Greenwich. Visitors can wander the grounds where
medieval jousts were regularly held, and can explore the NMM, with its
treasury of art, including some of the best remaining Tudor portraits on
display in the Queen's House.
Home At First London guests: Docklands Light Rail (DLR) from Tower
Gateway DLR station (22 minutes) to Greenwich DLR station. Trains run as
frequently as every 7 minutes, with a change of trains necessary at
Westferry DLR station. Alternatively: travel by Thames river boat from
St. Katharine's Pier by the Tower Bridge to Greenwich (45 minutes; boats
depart as frequently as every 20 minutes). Entrance fee: free.
the 750+-year-old cathedral church in central London,
Anne Boleyn was crowned Queen, and where her daughter,
Queen Elizabeth I lays buried next to her half-sister Queen (Bloody)
Mary I. Fifteen other English monarchs (including the
Tudors Edward VI and
Anne of Cleves)
and numerous notables (including
Shakespeare, Chaucer, Dickens, Milton, Churchill, Tennyson, Blake,
Darwin, John & Charles
Wesley, Fox, Handel, Johnson, and Jonson, even Oliver Cromwell and Major
John André) are buried or commemorated in the abbey.
Home At First London guests: tube from Tower Hill (7 stops and 11
minutes) to Westminster. Entrance fee charged.
south of London near Maidstone, Kent: beautiful medieval castle
surrounded by water where King Henry VIII visited with his first wife,
Catherine of Aragon
on the way to a jousting tournament in France in
1520 where he met King Francis I. Mary Boleyn, formerly a courtier in
the French court and mistress to Francis I, was possibly a
lady-in-waiting to Catherine of Aragon when the English king stopped
at Leeds Castle. Younger sister
may have attended the jousts as
a lady-in-waiting of the French court. Maybe she first met Henry VIII
Home At First London guests: Tube from Tower Hill (9 stops; 14 minutes)
to Victoria Station. Take the train from Victoria Station 60 minutes to
Bearsted, then take the shuttle bus to the castle. Trains run hourly,
but specific trains are met by the shuttle bus. Entrance fee charged.
Hampton Court Palace
HAMPTON COURT PALACE,
in the south London suburb of East Molesey near Kingston upon Thames:
the former home of powerful Cardinal Wolsey became Henry’s when he
stripped Wolsey and split with the Church of Rome in order to divorce
Catherine of Aragon and wed
Henry's fifth wife,
was famously arrested
Hampton Court for infidelity, pursued running and screaming down the
corridors while chased by the king's guards. While the palace has
changed over the years, it still has much of its Tudor architecture.
Palace guides dressed in Tudor fashions lead tours of the Tudor
apartments and play the roles of major and minor castle residents from
the 16th century.
Home At First London guests at St. Katharine's Marina apartments: Tube
from Tower Hill (8 stops; 23 minutes; change at Embankment to Northern
Line direction Morden) to Waterloo Station. Home At First London guests
at The Brewery Apartments: Tube from London Bridge (2 stops on the
Jubilee Line; 6 minutes) to Waterloo Station. Take the train from
Waterloo Station 36 minutes to Hampton Court rail station, then walk 220
yards to the castle. Trains run half-hourly. Entrance fee charged.
in the small town of Windsor about 30 minutes west of London: final
resting place of
King Henry VIII (and 9 other monarchs).
Windsor is the world's oldest and largest
continuously occupied castle, and is loaded with historical and
architectural treasures. Henry's huge suit of armor is one of Windsor's
gathering points, and proves his
St. George's Chapel
at Windsor Castle
size and athleticism. Henry
VIII saw to the completion of the magnificent late-medieval St.
George’s Chapel at the castle,
one of many treasures you may visit there, if the current monarch is not
in residence. Henry himself lies interred in the
chapel, as does his third wife,
It is expected that Britain's current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, will
be laid to rest here when she dies.
Home At First London guests at St.
Katharine's Marina apartments: Tube from Tower Hill (11 stops on the
Circle Line counterclockwise; 25 minutes) to Paddington Station. Take
the train from Paddington Station (change trains at Slough) 35 minutes
total journey time to Windsor & Eton Central rail station, then walk 5
minutes to the castle. Trains run half-hourly.
Home At First London guests at
The Brewery Apartments: Tube from London
Bridge (2 stops on the Jubilee Line; 6 minutes) to Waterloo Station.
Take the train from Waterloo Station 53 minutes to Windsor & Eton
Riverside rail station, then walk 5 minutes to the castle. Trains run
Entrance fee to Windsor Castle charged.
near the small town of Winchcombe in the middle of the Gloucestershire
resting place of
6th (and last) of the wives of King Henry VIII. Sudeley, which in 1535
King Henry VIII and
became the home of Katherine after the death of Henry and her subsequent
marriage to Sir Thomas
Seymour (brother of Queen
She and Seymour tutored
two future Tudor queens: Princess Elizabeth and Lady Jane Grey. The
castle's history extends to Saxon times, but the castle itself dates to
Home At First Cotswolds guests: Drive about 30 minutes north from
Tetbury (South Cotswolds) or 30 minutes south from Chipping Campden and
other North Cotswolds locations to Winchcombe on the B4632 — 8 miles NE
of Cheltenham. Sudeley Castle occupies a large estate east of Winchcombe
on Castle Street or Vineyard Street. Watch for signs leading to Sudeley
Castle in Winchcombe. Entrance fee to Sudeley Castle charged.
HOME AT FIRST FAMILY
Diplomatic Relations Never
The Wilderoter Clan
For two weeks over the cusp of July and August 2007 the
population of England temporarily swelled with the invasion of Stanley &
Jane Wilderoter and their extended family of twenty-two, first for a
week in the Lake District, then for a week in London. Apparently England
survived with minimal wear and tear, despite reports that petrol prices
soared in the weeks following the family’s travels around England with
five Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs.
While in the English Lake
The invading force at a
rare moment of relative
inactivity in England's Lake District. Their
Scottish blue tee shirts sporting
"Wilderoter England Tour 2007".
District, the Wilderoter Clan
headquarters was Home At First’s
near the traffic-free village of
near Lake Windermere in the southern
(The family occupied all eight Lakeview Apartments plus a neighboring
After a week exploring the mountains and lakes of northwestern
England, the family drove their SUVs south to London’s Heathrow Airport,
where the cars were turned in. A bus collected the
family at Heathrow and negotiated London's notorious
Wilderoter Clan's fleet of five rented
SUVs, lined up in front of their Lakeview
Apartments near Hawkshead, Cumbria.
Photos courtesy Stanley Wilderoter
congestion without incident, delivering them to their
HOME AT FIRST’S ST. KATHARINE’S MARINA
location on the north side of the River Thames and one of Home At
First’s apartments near the Tower Bridge on the south side of the river.
In London the family used Underground (subway) trains and buses to get
around. Apparently none of the group became lost from the others, at
least not for long — everyone made their return flights home to the
Stanley and Jane had previously travelled (2005 & 2006) with
Home At First to
each time bringing some family members along, but for 2007
decided to bring along the whole clan. What about 2008? We hear
the whole clan is off to South America this year. We hope to
have the traveling Wilderoter family back with us again soon.