So you think Fulham is a dusty expanse of 19C century housing? Think again, for hidden away, down by the River Thames, are the remains of the great Mediaeval Fulham Palace, home to the Bishops of London since the 8C. Coming through the early 12C gate, we enter what appears to be a miniature Tudor Palace courtyard. Self-sufficent in what was then countryside way outside London, the Bishops would make their stately progress to the City, as occasion demanded, by barge upon the Thames. To them came Queen Elizabeth I, Charles I and George III, a reminder of the political importance of the Bishops. In the garden, We see the arboretum, the decaying Victorian kitchen gardens and – wonder of all – the enormous lilac wisteria pergola. En route to the Palace we pass the last Fulham Pottery kiln; Hurlingham Park where royalty gathered for games of polo, but all this comes after our start on the once aristocratic Parson’s Green where the widowed Catherine of Aragon was parked as she waited for her husband’s younger brother, Prince Henry, to be of an age to marry her. And in that act, the course of history of changed…
And afterwards, take tea in the elegance of the Palace or, if sunny and dry, sitting out in the spacious grounds.
Cost: £10 per adult, £8 concessions (seniors over 65, full-time students, Walkabout Card holders). Children under 15 go free if accompanied by their parent(s).
This walk is not part of my scheduled itinerary for Winter 2016/17.