Eltham Palace

Eltham Palace is the only English Art Deco home open to the public. Its mixing of architectural and design styles, along with its fascinating history, make it a unique London attraction.

The London Pass Normally £15.00 - Included with London Pass

Please note: this attraction is closed until 17 February 2020.

Take a look around historic Eltham Palace, the only English Art Deco home open to the public. Once the site of a royal retreat, Eltham Palace mixes medieval features with 1930s design in an intoxicating brew of British architecture, history and culture.

Enjoy access to Eltham Palace with The London Pass®

- Pay nothing at the door, simply show your pass.
- Admire the 20th-century millionaire’s mansion, designed in the ‘Renaissance’ style by architects Seely & Paget.
- Step back in time to the 1930s, with the rooms of the main home restored to look as they did when millionaire high society couple Stephen and Virginia Courtauld lived there.
- Take in the stunning medieval Great Hall, restored by the Courtaulds.
- Explore the 19 acres, award-winning gardens and the play area inspired by Stephen and Virginia’s global adventures.



Skip to

- Eltham Palace history

- Eltham Palace highlights

- Eltham Palace facts

- Don’t miss

- Know before you go

- Getting in

- Make the most of your London Pass

- How to get there



Eltham Palace history

Eltham Palace traces its history back to the 14th Century when, in 1305, the palace was gifted to Edward II by the Bishop of Durham. It was a royal residence until the 16th Century, during which time a young Prince Henry (later known as Henry VIII) spent much of his youth here and developed a real affection for the place. During the Tudor period, the royal courts often used Eltham Palace as the venue for their Christmas celebrations.

With the rebuilding of Greenwich Palace, Eltham came to be less and less visited by the royals, eventually falling into disrepair during the English Civil War. Charles II gave Eltham Palace to John Shaw after the Civil War, and was thus removed from royal hands. By the close of the 19th Century, just the Great Hall, built by Edward IV; a bridge crossing the palace’s moat, and some original walls remained.

The site was acquired by high society millionaires Stephen and Virginia Courtauld in 1933. They commissioned leading architects and designers of the time to create a lavish modern palace on the site. The exterior is designed in the ‘Renaissance’ style and takes architectural cues from Hampton Court Palace, but the interior is pure Art Deco modernism. The stunning Entrance Hall features a fabulous glazed dome through which light enters dramatically, illuminating the entranceway. Elsewhere, the dining and drawing rooms, along with Virginia’s bedroom and ensuite showcase cutting-edge 1930s design into a seamlessly orchestrated whole. The Courtauld's wished to keep as much of the original palace as possible, leaving derelict walls in the gardens, the 15th Century bridge across the palace’s moat and, most importantly, the Great Hall. They built their modern palace next to the Great Hall, creating a spectacular contrast between the medieval and 20th Century buildings.

The Courtauld's left Eltham Palace in 1944, handing the palace over to the Royal Army Educational Corps, who stayed there into the early 1990s. English Heritage took on Eltham Palace in 1995, eventually opening it to the public. The contrasting of the medieval hall and the 1930s palace, along with the rich and varied history of the site, make Eltham Hall one of the most unique architectural attractions London has to offer.

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Eltham Palace highlights

  • Bask in the light flooding into the Grand Entrance Hall, designed with a real sense of drama by Swedish designer Rolf Engströmer.

  • Take in all the state-of-the-art technology and unique features of the 1930s mansion, including the centrally-heated bedroom designed for the Courtalds’ pet lemur, Mah-Jongg.

  • Step into Virginia Courtauld's walk-in wardrobe to see fabulous dresses, hats and accessories from the 1930s. You can even try on some vintage replicas yourself.

  • Head down into the basement bunker where the household took shelter during the Blitz.

  • Visit the spectacular medieval Great Hall, dating back to the times of Edward IV.

  • Learn about the royal history of this unique site, where Henry VIII spent many of his formative years.

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Eltham Palace facts

  • Eltham Palace appears in the Domesday Book.

  • Eltham Palace features London’s oldest working bridge.

  • The Courtauld's were such keen travellers they had a map room where they would excitedly plan their exotic adventures.

  • Because of its characterful look, Eltham Palace has been used for the filming of many, many movies, TV shows and music videos over the years. See if you can spot it in Netflix’s The Crown, Hustle, Poirot, Brideshead Revisited and videos by Florence and the Machine, Marina and the Diamonds and Jessie Ware.

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Don't miss

Eltham Palace Gardens

The 19-acre gardens at Eltham Palace are not to be missed. The Courtauld's were keen to incorporate the palace grounds’ remaining medieval elements into their garden, making features of the moat and the ruined walls. The Rock Garden is a particular highlight, with a number of pools and cascades leading down to the moat, along with the sunken rose garden, children’s outdoor play area and the medieval bridge.

Check the official website to discover which seasonal garden highlights to see during your visit.

Special Events

Eltham Palace puts on a varied set of events throughout the year, including theatre performances in the Great Hall and kid-focused workshops and activities during the school holidays. Events included in the normal ticket price are available with The London Pass. Those which require additional tickets are not included with The London Pass. For event listings, check out the official website here. https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/eltham-palace-and-gardens/events/



Know before you go

Eltham Palace is usually closed on Saturdays. Opening dates and times change with the seasons and are extended during school holidays. Please note that different events, such as onsite filming, can lead to Eltham Palace being closed to the public.

The best thing to do is to check the timetable on the official website here.

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Getting in

Show your London Pass® at the door for entry.

Eltham Palace is largely accessible to wheelchair users, though the basement, Great Hall Dias and Minstrel’s Gallery are accessed by stairs only. For some access information, head to the official website here.

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Make the most of your London Pass

Save on entry costs to this fantastic attraction, rich in history and interesting architectural elements. London Pass holders also get access to multimedia guides, which feature both adult and family tour options. There’s even a touch-screen game included on the guide.

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How to get there

Train
- Mottingham Station - 10 minute walk from attraction

Bus
- Buses 124, 126, 160 and 161 stop just a short walk from Eltham Palace.

Car
There’s a large car park just off Court Road, used by visitors to the attraction. Charges apply for non-members of English Heritage. Use postcode SE9 5NP in your Sat Nav to reach the car park.

 

For more things to do in London, visit the London Pass® blog.

 

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The best bank for your money!! If you are going to spend any time in London this is the way to do it. The fact that the public transportation is a part of this is a no brainer. All the places you can get in with the LP more than pay for it. One of the things that was really helpfully is the booklet I got with the LP which helped me with my planning. Thanks London Pass, hope to hold you soon!!!
Carlos Armendariz from United States

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Getting to Eltham Palace

Getting to Eltham Palace

  • Eltham Palace Court Yard London SE9

Opening Times

Please note: Eltham House is closed until 17 February 2020.
Monday 10.00 – 18.00
Tuesday 10.00 – 18.00
Wednesday 10.00 – 18.00
Thursday 10.00 – 18.00
Friday 10.00 – 18.00
Saturday Closed
Sunday 10.00 – 18.00
Last Admission: 30 minutes before closing

Closed:

Please note: Eltham House is closed until 17 February 2020.

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