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Hampton Court Palace, The Tiltyard Towers

Phimester, Jane Hampton Court Palace, The Tiltyard Towers. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The Tiltyard Tower is a brick-built structure dating from the 16th century, and is the sole surviving example of a group of five towers, which comprised Henry VIII’s Tiltyard. A programme of conservation works was undertaken in the Spring/ Summer of 2006, which provided the opportunity to archaeologically investigate the building, which resulted in seven key phases of development. Phase 1, pre-c.1537 The tower may originally have served as a herber, used to embellish Cardinal Wolsey’s Great Orchard. Phase 2, c.1537 The exact date of construction is not known, but there is evidence that in 1537 substantial building work took place. The single storey Tower had a substantial stair turret facing north, and within the east and south elevations large projecting windows and diaperwork. Significant features identified include the plaster splays, putlogs and a possible shaft or drain constructed within the west elevation. Phase 3, 1600-1689 The function of the Tiltyard Tower changed to lodgings and with this came a major episode of reconstruction. A floor level was added, the Tudor jambs cut back, windows infilled and smaller casement windows inserted at first and second floor levels of the east and south elevations. The investigations in particular identified a plaster reveal, and joist pockets relating to earlier floor levels. Phase 4, late 17th-mid 18th century The use of the tower at this time is not known and it may have continued to serve as a lodgings, it was certainly occupied at this time as further building work continued. Investigations show that the casement window of the east and south elevations were infilled, and smaller windows inserted with arches at (the then) ground floor level. Structural works also occurred at this time with individual brick replacement, consolidation of the infilled stair turret and minor changes to the floor levels. Phase 5, 19th century The external phases of the parapets were rebuilt with Tudor and 19th century bricks, and the internal faces consolidated. Investigations revealed that the internal Tudor core of the parapets survive, but that the outer faces have been rebuilt. Phase 6, 1888-1924 The conversion of the tower to a tea-room resulted in the insertion of a third floor without hightening the structure. The larger windows were infilled and replaced by two tiers of smaller windows (as existing), and two smaller windows within the north elevation were also infilled. In the 19th and 20th centuries major consolidation work took place aimed at repairing structural faults, as well as repair and construction of floors/ ceilings. Internally, much of the décor dates from this period and externally the appearance was also enhanced. Several phases of pointing are extant which is predominantly black ash, although areas of paler mortar also survive which have been darkened. At this time the building was also painted in red which would have contrasted with the pointing, and improved the legibility of the building. Phase 7, 1932-1995 Kitchens were added to the north-west in 1932 and the existing tea-house was built in the 1960s.

Item Type:Client Report
Subjects:Geographical Areas > English Counties > Greater London
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
ID Code:1780
Deposited By: Scott
Deposited On:23 Jul 2014 08:58
Last Modified:23 Jul 2014 08:58

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