Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace can be found in the Richmond area of London, England, and was infact built in 1514 as a gift from King Henry VIII to his trusted friend and almoner, Cardinal Wolsey. However, Wolsey soon met his downfall when he fell out of the King's good books due to his failure to secure an annulment between Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. As a result, King Henry VIII reclaimed Hampton Court Palace as his own. Believe it or not, during his time there, King Henry VIII actually had several bowling alleys, tennis courts, and a 36,000 square foot kitchen within the walls of the palace!
Interestingly, ever since the mid 1600's, the palaces garden fountains have been supplied with water from the Longford river, which was dug out by King Charles I during his reign. He was later held captive for three months at Hampton Court Palace, after his deposition and before he was executed. The last monarch to live at the palace was George II.
The Palace's unique character comes from its multi-layered design - The original palace built in 1514, along with an extension made to the building by famed architect Christopher Wren (the same architect who designed St Paul's Cathedral in London), in around the year 1690. Also during the 1690's, William III of Orange (England) commissioned the palace gardens famed feature maze. However, the palace wasn't opened to the public until nearly 150 years later, when Queen Victoria officially opened its doors to visitors in 1838.
To this day, thousands of people still flock to Hampton Court Palace for a history-rich, family-friendly day out. Entry is £17.60 for adults and £8.80 for children below the age of 16.