Rainbow Portrait

Elizabeth 1’s lost dress at Hampton Court Palace

There’s rare and there is the only surviving item!   Elizabeth 1 is such a famous part of our history that I assumed we had many examples of her gowns tucked away in the royal collections. But it seems that is not the case and her finery has been lost in the centuries since her death in 1603, until something happened!  The Bacton Altar cloth, which has just gone on display in Hampton Court Palace, may just be the missing piece of history.

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Even the vegetables have great stories to tell at Hampton Court Palace!

The humble pea came to the rescue of a city under siege! Back in 1644 during the English Civil War the city of Newcastle was under siege and the people were starving to death when a consignment of Carlin peas came through just in time to keep the city’s population alive. Vicki Cooke, the wonderfully titled Kitchen Garden Keeper, delighted in telling us this story as we stood next to several rows of Carlin peas,  which are clearly no ordinary pea! Continue reading