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Buildings and locations of historical interest relating to Tudor and Elizabethan Britain
Do you want see where it all happened? Want to walk the paths of history for yourself? Well as you can't time-travel, here's the next best thing: our suggestions for places Tudor fans might like to visit. Many architectural and historical treasures have been lost over the centuries, but there's still plenty to see.

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Royal Residences & Connections
Palaces, houses and other buildings created, owned or lived in by the Tudor dynasty.
The Tower of London
Not just a high-profile prison, the Tower was a palace and a seat of government.
Windsor Castle
A royal residence from medieval times, Windsor Castle has always been a favourite royal home and sprawls ancient and dignified in beautiful English countryside.
Greenwich: National Maritime Museum & Royal Observatory
A favourite residence of Henry VII, Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, little remains of the Tudor palace but it now houses the National Maritime Museum and is definitely worth a visit for the whole family.
Hampton Court Palace
Originally built by Cardinal Wolesey, then acquired by Henry VIII and revamped, this is one of the most beautiful of Britain's historic buildings. Much of Henry's Tudor palace remains and many costumed cookery demonstrations are held in the Tudor kitchens by costumed interpreters.
Hatfield Old Palace
The nursery palace of Henry VIII's children and Elizabeth I's refuge during her sister Mary's reign, an important part of Hatfield Old Palace remains largely intact and the gardens have been beautifully restored. Hatfield House itself is a Jacobean mansion built by the son of Elizabeth I's first minister.
Kenilworth Castle
The ruins of a royal medieval castle, altered by successive generations. Elizabeth I gave it to her favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, who renovated it lavishly ahead of his queen's famous visit in 1575. English Heritage are restoring his Elizabethan gardens.
Leeds Castle
A royal residence from the early Middle Ages, Henry VIII transformed this medieval castle into a palace fit for his first queen, Katherine of Aragon. Truly a jewel in a romantic and beautiful setting.
Sudeley Castle
A medieval castle, Sudeley remained a royal residence until Edward VI gave it to his uncle Thomas Seymour, who married Katherine Parr, Henry VIII's widow. They lived here with Thomas' ward, Lady Jane Grey and after their deaths Elizabeth I visited three times.
Tilbury Fort
A mainly seventeenth century replacement for the original fort built by Henry VIII in 1539. Near this site in 1588, Elizabeth I spoke to her troops before they faced the Spanish Armada.
St James Palace
Originally built in the early 1530s, though renovated since, this is still the official residence of the British Sovereign and cannot be visited by the public though you can see it online. The park's quite nice though!
Sheffield Manor Lodge
Built by the fourth Earl of Shrewsbury as an alternative to the now ruined Sheffield Castle, Thomas Wolsey stayed here on his way back to London to stand trial, while the imprisoned Mary Queen of Scots and her entourage would be housed here and in the castle by the sixth Earl and his wife, Bess.
Holyrood House
A Stuart dynasty residence rather than a Tudor one, this Scottish palace nevertheless played an important part in the histories of England, Scotland and Britain.

Historic Houses
The homes of nobles, gentlefolk and commoners, some of which were visited by Tudor monarchs on their summer 'progresses'.
Hever Castle and Gardens
Childhood home of Anne and Mary Boleyn, later owned by Henry VIII's fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, the castle was beautifully restored by William Waldorf Astor in 1903.
Hardwick Hall
Home of the ambitious and strong-willed Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury - best known as 'Bess of Hardwick'. Thanks to her foresight many of the original Elizabethan textiles have survived.
Hatfield House
This once royal estate was given by Elizabeth I to Sir William Cecil. His second son Robert, Earl of Salisbury, built a dignified Jacobean house in 1611, by the side of the old palace.
Burghley House
Built by Sir William Cecil, and probably partly designed by him too, this palatial house is possibly the finest Elizabethan mansion in England. It descended in the line of his eldest son Thomas, Earl of Exeter.
Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust
Five houses in Stratford-upon-Avon, all connected with Shakespeare and his family, and all with unique exhibitions. The house where Shakespeare was born, and the mansion he bought with his earnings as actor and playwright are particularly worth seeing.
Melford Hall
A beautiful Tudor country mansion which been hugely altered in the following centuries, Queen Elizabeth I stayed here on her summer progress in 1578. In later centuries it was visited by Beatrix Potter and Florence Nightingale.
Kentwell Hall
Very near Melford Hall, this smaller mansion is well-known for costumed recreations of life on an ordinary English Tudor manor, from gentry to peasants, re-enacted by skilled and knowledgeable unpaid volunteers. Not cheap but worth seeing for details of daily life in action.
Tudor Merchant's House
A late fifteenth century merchant's house in Tenby, restored by the National Trust to recreate the atmosphere of family life in Tudor times.
An early Tudor timbered house, once home of a merchant and now owned by the National Trust.
Barley Hall
This early Tudor period house has been restored so that visitors can handle items and 'feel at home'. No royal connection but a valuable insight into how the less-exalted but comfortably-off lived.

Religious Foundations
Cathedrals, abbeys and churches.
Westminster Abbey
Also the traditional site of the coronation of the monarchs of England, and later Great Britain.
St. Paul's Cathedral
The medieval cathedral with its pointed spire was burnt down in the Great Fire of London, in 1666 but you can still visit the famous domed replacement by Sir Christopher Wren built on the site of the original.
Peterborough Cathedral
A beautiful Norman cathedral, burial place of Katherine of Aragon and Mary Queen of Scots, though Mary was later reinterred in Westminster Abbey by her son James I.
Fountains Abbey
Britain's largest monastic ruins.

Other Historical Venues
Other places you may like to visit.
The Mary Rose
Henry VIII's famous warship that sank in 1545. Painstakingly being conserved, it is now the only original 16th century warship on display in the world. The website is excellent.
The Golden Hinde
The Golden Hinde in Southwark, London, is a 1970s reconstruction of Sir Francis Drake's famous galleon, and previously sailed 140,000 miles (or 225,000km) around the world.
The Golden Hind
Moored in Brixham harbour, Devon, the Golden Hind Museum ship is another reconstruction of Sir Francis Drake's famous galleon. Educational and very child-friendly with an excellent website.
Southsea Castle
Part of the coastal fortifications built by Henry VIII and said to have been designed by him too.
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
An accurate reconstruction of the famous Elizabethan theatre, built only 200 yards away from the original site on London's South Bank. Many productions are designed and costumed authentically for a real taste of the original Tudor stage experience.
The Rose Theatre
The first theatre in London's Bankside, predating the Globe. The Rose Theatre Trust raises funds to fulfill plans to 'uncover and develop the site of London's most cherished theatre' and excavations are underway.
Birthplace of William Shakespeare and home to the world-famous Royal Shakespeare Company. A beautiful English market town with many medieval and Tudor buildings.
Lavenham, Suffolk
Once an wool-making centre of the Middle Ages, many of the buildings in this quiet English village remain as they were in the sixteenth century, including a fine timbered guildhall.
The William Turner Garden
This garden in Carlisle Park, Morpeth, is a tribute to William Turner, the 'Father of English Botany' and features a Physic Garden of Tudor medicinal plants and a border of plants introduced to England during the sixteenth century, as well as the ubiquitous Knot garden.

Museums with sixteenth century art and artefacts.
The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
Fascinating and fun with plenty of interest for all the family.
The British Museum
One of Britain's oldest and most venerable museums.
The Museum of London
Fascinating displays of Tudor and Elizabethan artefacts. The website is excellent for students and children.
The National Portrait Gallery
There's a whole section devoted to portraits from the sixteenth century, so you can see pictures of the famous and not-so-famous incredibly close-up!
Tate Britain
The Tate has a small but fine selection of Tudor and Stuart portraits, both the often-reproduced and some lesser known personalities.
The Victoria and Albert Museum
The British Galleries contain rare surviving artefacts and clothing. Again, an excellent website.

More Suggestions
There are more sites of historical interest in Britain than we have space to list. For more ideas for Tudor visits and places of other eras, check out these sites.
Time Travel Britain
A regularly updated online magazine with articles on period buildings and areas of historical interest you can visit all around Britain. They also have an index for all the articles featured in previous issues.

Maps etc for help finding your way around.
Street Map (UK)
Multi Map (UK)

You can now buy Tudor-related books and more through our Tudor Books US or Tudor Books UK aStores.