Kew Palace

London, United Kingdom

Kew Palace

9.2

Kew Palace is a British royal palace within the grounds of Kew Gardens on the banks of the River Thames. Originally a large complex, few elements of it survive. Dating to 1631 but built atop the undercroft of an earlier building, the main survivor is known as the Dutch House. Its royal occupation lasted from around 1728 until 1818, with a final short-lived occupation in 1844. The Dutch House is Grade I listed, and open to visitors. It is cared for by an independent charity, Historic Royal Palaces, which receives no funding from the government or the Crown. Alongside the Dutch House is a part of its 18th-century service wing, whilst nearby are a former housekeeper's cottage, brewhouse and kitchen block – most of these buildings are private, though the kitchens are open to the public. These kitchens and Queen Charlotte's Cottage are also run by Historic Royal Palaces.

Beneath the Dutch House is the undercroft of a 16th-century building. This was on land owned by John Dudley and restored to his son Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, childhood friend and court favourite of Queen Elizabeth I, in 1558. It belonged to a west-facing brick building and may be identifiable with a house in Kew in which Robert Dudley entertained Elizabeth in 1563 – one of Elizabeth's main palaces at that time was the nearby Richmond Palace.

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