Eltham Palace

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Eltham Palace

What you'll do

The only English Art Deco home open to the public, this former royal retreat at Eltham Palace in Eltham, London mixes medieval features with 1930s design.

Enjoy access to Eltham Palace with The London Pass®

  • Pay nothing at the door, simply show your pass.
  • Admire the 20th-century millionaire’s mansion, designed in the ‘Renaissance’ style by architects Seely & Paget.
  • Step back in time to the 1930s, with the rooms of the main home restored to look as they did when millionaire high society couple Stephen and Virginia Courtauld lived there.
  • Take in the stunning medieval Great Hall, restored by the Courtaulds.
  • Explore the award-winning 19-acre Eltham Palace Gardens and the play area inspired by Stephen and Virginia’s global adventures.


Eltham Palace history

Eltham Palace traces its history back to the 14th Century when, in 1305, the palace was gifted to Edward II by the Bishop of Durham. During the Tudor era in the 15th and early 16th centuries, Eltham Palace in Eltham, London was a popular Christmas destination for royal festivities. Lavish feasts, jousts, and pageants were held annually at the palace for Henry VIII and his family and court.

However, after this period, Greenwich Palace became the favored royal residence, and Eltham Palace fell into disrepair and lost royal favor in the mid-1500s. The palace deteriorated significantly during the 17th century and the English Civil War from 1642-1651. After the restoration of the monarchy, Charles II gave Eltham Palace to John Shaw in the late 1600s, taking it out of royal hands. By the end of the 19th Century, only the Great Hall, a bridge, and some original walls remained.

In 1933, the wealthy Courtauld family took ownership of Eltham Palace. They hired top architects and designers to build a luxurious new home attached to the ruins, preserving as much of the original medieval palace as possible. This included the walls in the gardens, the 15th Century bridge, and the Great Hall.

The Courtaulds lived at Eltham Palace until 1944. After their departure, the Royal Army Educational Corps used the palace until 1992. In 1995, English Heritage took over management and opened Eltham Palace and Gardens to the public. Today, visitors can tour the Courtaulds' 1930s mansion as well as the 15th century Great Hall and maze-like gardens on the palace grounds. English Heritage continues to actively conserve and restore this unique combination of medieval, Tudor, and Art Deco architecture and design.

Eltham Palace Opening Times and Tickets

For details on Eltham Palace opening times, check the official website. The Eltham Palace Court Yard, London location is also provided there, helping you to plan your journey. You can buy discounted pass tickets with The London Pass®,

Eltham Palace highlights

  • Bask in the light flooding into the Grand Entrance Hall, designed with a real sense of drama by Swedish designer Rolf Engströmer.
  • Take in all the state-of-the-art technology and unique features of the 1930s mansion, including the centrally-heated bedroom designed for the Courtalds’ pet lemur, Mah-Jongg.
  • Step into Virginia Courtauld's walk-in wardrobe to see fabulous dresses, hats, and accessories from the 1930s. You can even try on some vintage replicas yourself.
  • Head down into the basement bunker where the household took shelter during the Blitz.
  • Visit the spectacular medieval Great Hall, dating back to the times of Edward IV.
  • Learn about the royal history of this unique site, where Henry VIII spent many of his formative years.

Eltham Palace facts

  • Eltham Palace appears in the Domesday Book.
  • Eltham Palace features London’s oldest working bridge.
  • The Courtauld's were such keen travellers they had a map room where they would excitedly plan their exotic adventures.
  • Because of its characterful look, Eltham Palace has been used for the filming of many, many movies, TV shows, and music videos over the years. See if you can spot it in Netflix’s The Crown, Hustle, Poirot, Brideshead Revisited, and videos by Florence and the Machine, Marina and the Diamonds, and Jessie Ware.

Don't miss Eltham Palace Gardens

Eltham Palace Gardens shouldn't be overlooked. The Courtauld's were keen to incorporate the palace grounds’ remaining medieval elements into their garden, making features of the moat and the ruined walls.

The Rock Garden is a particular highlight, with a number of pools and cascades leading down to the moat, along with the sunken rose garden, children’s outdoor play area, and the medieval bridge. It's an oasis in Eltham, London

Check the official website to discover which seasonal garden highlights to see during your visit.

Special Events

Eltham Palace puts on a varied set of events throughout the year, including theatre performances in the Great Hall and kid-focused workshops and activities during the school holidays. Events included in the normal ticket price are available with The London Pass®. For event listings, check out the official website.

Know before you go

For more information visit the Eltham Palace website.

Getting in: simply show your pass at the entrance.

Where you'll be

Operating hours

Sunday - Friday: 10AM - 6PM

Closings & holidays


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Plans can change, we get it. All non-activated credits packages are eligible for a refund within 90 days of your purchase date.

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