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The Tudor Courtyard at Fulham Palace. Credit - Graham Lacdao.
The Tudor Courtyard at Fulham Palace. Credit - Graham Lacdao.

Making Full Use of Fulham Palace

16 April 2024

Fulham Palace is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a site with an incredibly long history, from evidence of Neolithic, Iron Age and Roman settlements to the archaeological remains of the original Bishop of London residences, which date from the 8th century onwards. Construction of the current palace buildings began in the 13th century.

The palace served as an official residence of the Bishops of London until the 1970s. During this time, it was a country retreat where visitors, including Queen Elizabeth I and King George III, were entertained. Throughout the World Wars, the house became a refuge for more than just the Bishops and their families, with much of it operating as a hospital for wounded soldiers and the gardens being used as allotments. During the Blitz, it became a temporary shelter for those who had been bombed out of their homes.

Fulham Palace Trust was established in 2011 to run the historic site and open the house and gardens to the public. Over the last 13 years, the Trust has been hugely successful in fundraising and delivering major conservation and enhancement projects across the site. It has successfully opened up the house and gardens to the widest possible audiences, with an annual programme of popular visitor activities and public events, including seasonal trails and tours, family fun days, an on-site Young Archaeologist Club, theatre productions and art workshops.

The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) is pleased to have supported the Fulham Palace Trust with both grant and loan funds since 2015. Most recently, the AHF provided the Trust with £400,000 of loan investment to support the conservation and refurbishment of the West Wing offices within the Tudor Quadrangle. These works were part of a much wider £1.8m National Lottery Heritage Fund-supported project to restore and open up new areas of the Grade I listed buildings and Grade II* listed park and garden. This included the repair of the Tudor Quadrangle and the renovation of the ground floor of the north wing to provide a new visitor centre and exhibition space.


Image: The West Wing of the Tudor Quadrangle at Fulham Palace after conservation work. Credit - Jamie White.

Works to the West Wing offices included the repair of internal spaces, such as damaged plasterwork, and provided improved heating, lighting and office facilities to ensure that the space has a viable future as an office let. These improved facilities in the West Wing offices will provide long-term income for the Trust and support the sustainability of the wider site. The AHF is pleased that the fully refurbished West Wing offices are now back in permanent use, and that the Trust has been able to repay its recent loan investment.


Image: The fully refurbished West Wing offices at Fulham Palace. Credit - Fulham Palace Trust.

Fulham Palace House and Garden is open to the public year-round and offers a variety of events and family-focused activities for visitors. To find out more, please visit: Fulham Palace House & Garden • Open Daily • Free admission

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