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The Fountain Court

The Fountain Court - Hampton Court Palace - Joy of Museums

The Fountain Court

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.

Sir Christopher Wren, was called to design a new vast Palace. At this time, it was difficult for any sovereign to visualise a palace that did not emulate Versailles’ Baroque forms. However, Hampton Court, 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. This theme is repeated in the inner Fountain Court and the windows are given pointed pediments in the courtyard.

During the rebuilding effort, half the Tudor palace was replaced, and Henry VIII’s state rooms and private apartments were replaced. The new wings around the Fountain Court contained new state apartments and private rooms, one set for the King and one for the Queen. 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

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“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Charles Dickens

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Photo Credit: JOM