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We have changed the opening arrangements of our sites to play our part in stopping the spread of COVID-19. The gardens of Eltham Palace are open to local visitors and Members to use for exercise during the lockdown period. You will need to book in advance in order to visit, and we ask everyone to bear in mind the government’s latest advice on travelling before you plan your visit. All the interior spaces including the House will be closed, but the grounds remain open. We have additional safety measures in place at all of our sites including social distancing, enhanced cleaning and limits on visitor numbers to protect the health of all our Members, visitors, staff and volunteers. Thank you for your understanding and patience during this difficult time.
Please note: the gardens at Eltham Palace are open Sat - Sun. To comply with government guidelines, all interior spaces including the House and Great Hall are currently closed. The toilets and play area will be open and the cafe will be open for takeaway light refreshments.
We've made some changes to help keep you safe, and things might be a little different when you visit. Here's everything you need to know.
One of London’s best kept secrets, Eltham Palace has seen centuries of lavish entertaining – from minstrels playing for royalty to 1930s millionaires hosting celebrities of the day. Its eclectic make-up creates a setting that combines ancient and modern to dazzling effect.
When textile magnates, bought Eltham in the 1930s, they built an ultra-modern home adjoining the medieval palace. Sparing no expense the house’s sleek design is the epitome of Art Deco luxury. Three interconnected rooms lend your event an instant air of sophistication. While the medieval hall with its magnificent hammerbeam roof and the beautiful moated garden provides a host of options for events of every size.Find out more
The manor of Eltham is held by Hamo, sheriff of Kent, on behalf of Bishop Odo of Bayeux, William the Conqueror’s half-brother.
Find out more about the history of Eltham Palace
Antony Bek, Bishop of Durham, builds a grand manor house at Eltham.
Bishop Bek dies and Eltham becomes one of Edward II’s royal palaces.
Major building work including new kitchens and lodgings.
Henry IV welcomes Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaeologus to Eltham over Christmas.
Edward IV remodels the palace, building the Great Hall that survives to this day.
Read a description of Eltham Palace
The future Henry VIII spends his childhood at Eltham.
Major rebuilding of king's and queen's lodgings, and a new chapel built for Henry VIII.
Parliamentary troops stationed at Eltham ransack the palace and the royal park.
Palace ruins used as farm buildings, and the Great Hall as a barn.
Great Hall repaired by the architect Sir Robert Smirke.
Palace site leased by Stephen and Virginia Courtauld, who start to build a new house next to the medieval Great Hall.
The Courtaulds – and their beloved lemur Mah-Jongg – move into their new home.
The Great Hall is damaged by German incendiary bombs during the Blitz in the Second World War.
The Courtaulds leave Eltham, moving to Scotland and then onto Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
Eltham becomes the home of the Royal Army Educational Corps.
The Royal Parks Training School starts training apprentice gardeners at Eltham.
English Heritage takes over the management of the house.
Learn more about Eltham Palace and Gardens