About Eltham Palace
Eltham Palace is a spectacular Art Deco palace built in the 1930's alongside a 15th Century medieval hall.
The medieval part of Eltham Palace is quite stunning for those who are interested in that era. The Great Hall of Eltham Palace is still extant and was originally built for the Yorkist king Edward IV in the 1470s and his grandson, Henry VIII, spent much of his childhood here. It is so atmospheric that you can almost see their ghosts walking its floors. This is the only part of medieval Eltham Palace which still exists.
However, the ‘new build’ at Eltham Palace, dating from the 1930s is a wonderful example of Art Deco. When Stephen and Virginia Courtauld built their 1930s Art Deco mansion beside the Great Hall of medieval Eltham Palace, they created a masterpiece of 20th century design.
When the 20th century building at Eltham Palace was completed in 1936, the red brick exterior of the house was built to mirror the older building without seeming to be out of place. The interior of the new Eltham Palace is a wonderful example of 1930s Art Deco and cutting-edge Swedish design. The dining room is most exotic, with pink leather, bird's-eye maple veneered walls, an aluminium-leaf ceiling, and black-and-silver doors.
The rest of the Eltham Palace is equally stylish, with gold plated bath taps, and central heating in the sleeping quarters (or cage?) of their pet lemur. Equipped with all the latest modern conveniences, the house featured underfloor heating, a centralised vacuum cleaning system and built-in audio. Upstairs is a display devoted to the Courtaulds, including original furniture and family photographs.
Visitors to Eltham Palace can also enjoy a restored original 10-minute Courtauld home movie, giving a glimpse of their family life.
Eltham Palace's 19 acres of beautiful gardens reflect both the medieval and 20th-century garden design. These include a rock garden, a moat, a medieval bridge, herbaceous borders, a rose garden and plenty of picnic areas. Always interesting and colourful, garden highlights at Eltham Palace include the Spring bulbs display and the wisteria cascading over the classical pergola in Summer.