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Live and breathe the story of England at royal castles, historic gardens, forts & defences, world-famous prehistoric sites and many others.
The gardens at Eltham Palace are now open for you to visit. You now need to book your timed tickets in advance. We have introduced limits on visitor numbers to help keep everyone safe, and you won’t be able to visit without your booking confirmation. If you’re a Member, your ticket will be free, but you still need to book in advance. There are other new steps in place to ensure everyone’s safety, so your visit will be a little different.
We have introduced limits on visitor numbers to help keep everyone safe, and you won’t be able to visit without your booking confirmation. If you’re a Member, your ticket will be free, but you still need to book in advance. To book your visit, click here.
Although things might be a little different when you visit, you’ll still be able to enjoy exploring the places where history really happened. And you’ll still be given a warm and safe welcome by our friendly – if socially distant – staff and volunteers.
This summer, from 18 July, take your family on a free fun adventure with a historical twist. Follow the trail though the palace gardens and track down the clues - crack them all to claim your adventurer's certificate. Kick off your quest at Eltham Palace every day of the school holidays. Standard admission applies.Download your trail map
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