Postcards from gardens past

Explore the gardens of Hampton Court Palace, Kew Palace and Kensington Palace through Victorian, Edwardian and early 20th-century photography.

By Historic Royal Palaces

Three Graces in the Hampton Court Palace Gardens (Early 20th century) by Walter L BourkeHistoric Royal Palaces

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace’s world-famous gardens include 60 acres of spectacular formal gardens and 750 acres (304 hectares) of parkland, all set within a loop of the River Thames.

The gardens are home to the world's oldest puzzle maze, a record-breaking grape vine, three National Plant Collections and a huge variety of wildlife, including the descendants of Henry VIII's deer herd.

BW image of Great Vine house (Late 19th century) by Underwood & Underwood (active 1881-1940s)​Historic Royal Palaces

The Great Vine
Late 19th century

The Great Fountain Garden, Hampton Court Palace (Early 20th century)Historic Royal Palaces

Autumn in the Great Fountain Garden
Early 20th century

The Maze, Hampton Court Palace (1900)Historic Royal Palaces

Attendant at the Hampton Court Maze
1900 

Great Gatehouse and West Front, Hampton Court Palace (Pre-1909) by WS LincolnHistoric Royal Palaces

The Great Gatehouse and the west front
Pre-1909 

Grace-and-favour residents, Hampton Court Palace (1905) by Madeline Helen KeyesHistoric Royal Palaces

Frank and Mary Stirling in the Pond Gardens
From an album of photographs taken by Madeline Helen Keyes, a grace-and-favour resident.
1905

Grace-and-favour residents and 'Bat' the dog, Hampton Court Palace (1903) by Madeline Helen KeyesHistoric Royal Palaces

Mrs Oliver, Fergus and 'Bat' in the palace grounds
From an album of photographs taken by Madeline Helen Keyes, a grace-and-favour resident.
1903

A grace-and-favour resident gardening, Hampton Court Palace (1904) by Madeline Helen KeyesHistoric Royal Palaces

Evelyn K F, a grace-and-favour resident, gardening in the Flower Quarter of the Pond Gardens
From an album of photographs taken by Madeline Helen Keyes.
1904

Rosemary Keyes, Hampton Court Palace (1907) by Madeline KeyesHistoric Royal Palaces

Rosemary Keyes in Base Court
From an album of photographs taken by Madeline Helen Keyes, a grace-and-favour resident.
1907

The Privy Garden, Hampton Court Palace (Early 20th century)Historic Royal Palaces

Visitors in the Privy Garden
Early 20th century 

The Maze, Hampton Court Palace (20th century)Historic Royal Palaces

The Maze
Early 20th century 

Great Fountain Garden, Hampton Court Palace (1909)Historic Royal Palaces

The Great Fountain Garden
1909

Great Fountain Garden, Hampton Court Palace (Early 20th century)Historic Royal Palaces

The Great Fountain Garden
Early 20th century

Three Graces in the Hampton Court Palace Gardens (Early 20th century) by Walter L BourkeHistoric Royal Palaces

The Great Fountain Garden and Three Graces statue
Early 20th century

The Three Graces and Long Water, Hampton Court Palace (1920s)Historic Royal Palaces

The Long Water and Three Graces statue
1920s 

Lion Gate, Hampton Court Palace (1920s) by HM Office of WorksHistoric Royal Palaces

Lion Gate
1920s

Privy Garden, Hampton Court Palace (c.1930)Historic Royal Palaces

The Privy Garden
1930

A View of the Lawn from the Palace with the Pagoda, the Temple of Victory, and the Colonade in the Royal Gardens at Kew (1750-1779) by William WoollettHistoric Royal Palaces

Kew Palace

Royal Kew was transformed during George III's lifetime. His mother Augusta created a world-garden, including the Great Pagoda, which became the foundation of Kew Gardens.

George had inherited his parents' passion for architecture and gardens, and as King he later demolished his childhood home at Kew, where he had been locked away by his doctors.

Kew Palace in 1900 (1900)Historic Royal Palaces

The palace from the south
1900

The Great Pagoda at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (Pre-1915)Historic Royal Palaces

The Great Pagoda at Kew Gardens
Pre-1915

Kew Palace in the early 20th century (1832) by Gale and Polden LimitedHistoric Royal Palaces

Kew Palace
Early 20th century

The White Tower, Tower of London (2014) by Paolo FerlaHistoric Royal Palaces

The Tower of London

Every night, when the gates to William the Conqueror's mighty stone fortress are locked, the Tower of London embraces a thriving community inside - and outside - its walls.

The Tower is still home to the Yeomen Warders and their families, the Resident Governor, and a garrison of soldiers, all of whom have the famous Tower moat in their back yard.

Yeoman Warders and Chelsea Pensioners, Tower of London (1929)Historic Royal Palaces

Yeoman Warders and Chelsea Pensioners playing bowls
1929

Yeoman Warders 'dig for victory' in the Tower of London moat (1945)Historic Royal Palaces

Yeoman Warders 'digging for victory' in the Tower Moat
1945

Credits: Story

Find out more and visit the gardens in our care at the Historic Royal Palaces website

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The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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