Cowdray ruins

Cowdray ruins

Members of the Friends
enjoyed a guided tour
of Cowdray

Friends Social Events

We organise members-only events which include walks, talks and visits to other historic sites. In recent years we have visited Eltham Palace, Fulham Palace and Historic Cowdray and held out-of-season walks to Woking Palace to see the wild daffodils in the copse.

Visit to Eltham Palace - October 2014

Several Friends visited Eltham Palace, a medieval moated house and Tudor Palace in South-East London managed by English Heritage.

We enjoyed a guided tour of the house which is one of the few important medieval royal palaces in the country to survive with substantial remains intact; the highlight was the magnificent Great Hall dating to the 1470s.

Eltham was the childhood home of Henry VIII who was the last monarch to spend substantial amounts of money or time there and thereafter the palace was used as a farm and the Great Hall became a barn.

In the 1930s the wealthy Courtauld family built their new home next to the remains of the palace. This is among the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in England with a stunning entrance hall, sumptuous bedrooms and luxurious bathrooms.

We had tea on the lawn and free samples of mead in the shop and then wandered around the gardens which cleverly incorporate elements of the medieval palace. Great thanks go to Pete Skinner who kindly drove us there in Woking’s community bus.

Fulham Palace

In November 2010 members of the Friends gathered at Fulham Palace for a behind the scenes tour by Keith Whitehouse, archaeologist. Fulham Palace was owned by the Bishops of London for over 1300 years and was once the largest moated site in England. Not surprisingly, for a building that has been occupied for many hundreds of years, there are architectural styles from many eras on view - most notably Tudor, Georgian and Victorian. Of particular interest to us were the Great Hall and Tudor courtyard and we were privileged to be able to visit the roof of the Great Hall. This is rarely seen by visitors as it is above the part of the building rented to local businesses. It was fascinating to see the original timbers from 1496. For more information visit http://www.fulhampalace.org/.

Trip to Historic Cowdray

The Friends of Cowdray hosted our visit to the historic Tudor ruins of Cowdray in October 2012. Cowdray is one of England’s most important early Tudor houses. This visitor attraction, visited by Queen Elizabeth I and King Henry VIII, was partially destroyed by fire in 1793. Its magnificent ruins are set in the stunning landscape of Cowdray Park, in the heart of the South Downs National Park.

Social at the Sovereigns

In 2010, we introduced monthly informal get-togethers at the Sovereigns pub in Woking where talk doesn’t have to be limited to Woking Palace. These evening meetings are open to members and anyone who is interested in the Friends or the Palace. The socials are held between 7pm – 9pm on the 3rd Thursday of the month.

Eltham Palace

Eltham Palace

Fulham Palace

Fulham Palace

The kitchen at Cowdray - escaped the fire

The kitchen at Cowdray - escaped the fire

Sovereigns pub in Woking

Sovereigns pub in Woking

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