Last Updated on
This is the place to search for places and things of interest to visit in Britain, by name, location, type, keyword – or just have a browse. It is a growing directory – over 750 entries as of February 2020. Most entries have links for further information.
Once known as ‘the Dutch House’, Kew Palace is the smallest of all the royal palaces. It was originally built in 1631 as a private house for a wealthy London silk merchant, Samuel Fortrey. George II and Queen Caroline were first attracted to ‘little Kew’, thinking it a perfect lodging for their three eldest daughters. After them, several generations of Georgian royalty used Kew and nearby Richmond Lodge as weekend retreats. George III, Queen Charlotte and their 15 children enjoyed a relatively simple domestic routine at Kew, the palace rang with laughter and fun, however in later years the atmosphere darkened as family rivalries become more intense and relationships soured. Later the house became a refuge for George III, when he fell ill and was thought to have become mad. The King survived being administered powerful emetics and laxatives, freezing baths and leeching. He was also put into a strait-jacket if he refused to co-operate.
Highlights include the princesses’ bedrooms, Queen Charlotte’s bedroom and the kitchens. You can also visit Queen Charlotte’s Cottage, a rustic country retreat in the grounds.
Entry to Kew Palace is included in the ticket price for Kew Gardens.