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NONSUCH PALACE

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The site of the Royal Palace of Nonsuch. Nonsuch estate, manor and park were built by Henry VIII on the site of the medieval settlement of Cuddington which was demolished in 1538 to make way for his new royal palace. Nonsuch was originally conceived as a royal hunting lodge however it developed into an important royal palace with associated ornamental gardens and parkland.
The palace may not have been completely finished by the time of Henry's death and further additions were made to it later, including the construction of the stables, barn and bakehouse in 1598. Nonsuch remained a royal residence until 1670 when Charles II granted it to the Countess of Castlemaine. It was subsequently demolished between 1682-4 and by 1710 the palace was said to have been in ruins.

Although no surface remains of the palace have survived, its plan has been reconstructed from contemporary descriptions, paintings, historical documents and archaeological excavations and surveys.
It was arranged around two interconnecting timber framed courts; the outer court and the inner court, each covering about 60m?. The palace was entered from the main gatehouse into the outer court which was surrounded by two-storeyed ranges with crenellated parapets. Service rooms including the kitchens came off this court and suites of rooms were accessed from central staircases. The basic plan of the inner court mirrored that of the outer court and the upper storeys were lavishly decorated with plaster-stucco panels.

As well as the palace buildings, Henry created two deer parks and extensive palace grounds including a walled privy garden, a wilderness, orchard and a "Grove of Diana". A banqueting house and a Tudor bowling green were also built in the palace grounds.

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