Despite his excesses in later life, Henry VIII was actually a renowned sportsman, so it’s fitting that his royal palace at Hampton Court has been selected for the Olympic Cycling Time Trials, to be held on 1st August.
There may not seem to be much of a connection between 15th century antique chests and Olympic cycling. Nonetheless the two come together in August, when Hampton Court Palace will be the venue for the men’s and women’s Time Trial events on the fifth day of the games. Even if you’ve got no interest in sport, it’s still worth coming down from Cumbria – because the antique dining chairs , crystal chandeliers and hanging tapestries will also be on display.
Hampton Court is one of the great Royal Palaces, housing many pieces from the Royal Collection. Reflecting the major periods of construction, the antique cabinets and other furnishings are mainly divided between the early Tudor, and the late Stuart to early Georgian period. Highlights in the collections include antique dining tables by Jean Pelletier, antique dining chairs by Thomas Roberts, and a rare early crystal chandelier. The King’s Privy Chamber Throne Canopy, and Queen Caroline’s State Bedchamber are also popular with visitors. The 1st of August is the day to plan your visit, because while the Palace will be open as normal for the Time Trials, all tickets will be reduced to just £5, with free entry to the formal gardens.
If you want Palatial furniture without paying a King’s ransom, visit an antique dealer in Preston for Victorian dining chairs and antique chests in the Revival style.
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