Christopher Wren’s South Front
Christopher Wren’s south front as viewed from the Privy Garden was built for William and Mary. Sir Christopher Wren, was asked to design a new vast Palace at a time when it was difficult for any sovereign to visualise a palace that did not emulate Versailles’ Baroque forms. Hampton Court however unlike Versailles, is different with its contrast between the pink brick and the pale Portland stone quoins, frames and banding. Further differences include the circular and decorated windows of the second-floor mezzanine.
In 1689, shortly after Louis XIV’s court had moved permanently to Versailles, William III and his wife, Mary II embarked on a massive rebuilding project at Hampton Court. The intention was to demolish the Tudor palace a section at a time while replacing it with a vast modern Palace in the Baroque style.
During the rebuilding effort, half the Tudor palace was replaced, and Henry VIII’s state rooms and private apartments were replaced. After the death of Queen Mary, King William, lost interest in the renovations, and work ceased. Thus the rest of the Tudor palace was not replaced with Versailles Baroque.
The Fountain Court
- Name: The Fountain Court
- Dates: 1690’s
- Designed by: Sir Christopher Wren
- Historic Site: Hampton Court Palace
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Charles Dickens
Photo Credit: JOM