HAMPTON COURT PALACE: GENERAL VIEW.
Hampton Court is perhaps the most popular of the Royal palaces, as it is also the largest and since Queen Victoria threw the State Rooms open to the public they have been inspected by nearly eleven millions of visitors. Cardinal Wolsey founded this splendid pile in 1515, and when for politic reasons he gave it to Henry VIII., that monarch greatly enlarged it. The King spent much time here with his successive wives and from his day until the reign of George III. most of the English monarchs, as also Cromwell, resided at Hampton Court at one time or another. In these days some eight hundred of the rooms are occupied by beneficiaries of Her Majesty the Queen, belonging to the aristocracy. The present State Rooms were built by Sir Christopher Wren for William III. and Mary, who had most of Henry's additions destroyed.