History of the palace
In 1529, Cardinal Wolsey gave his home at Hampton Court to King Henry VIII, in an attempt to win the King's favour. William and Mary, who came to the throne in 1689, found the old Tudor buildings too dark and draughty, and commissioned the Surveyor General of the King's Works, Sir Christopher Wren, to design a new and modem Palace. Wren's original design would have resulted in the demolition of most of the original Tudor buildings, save the Great Hall. However, this scheme did not materialise, and the final scheme (rather less ambitious) - a brick and stone building on the site of the Cloister Green, surrounding what was to become known as Fountain Court - was constructed. King William's apartments were situated to the north and Queen Mary's to the south. Wren carefully related his design with the surrounding Tudor buildings and employed notable craftsmen and artists, of whom Grinling Gibbons, the carver, Antonio Verrio, the painter, and Jean Tijou, the ironsmith, were among the most prominent.
R. Dixon and P. Taylor