Hampton Court Visit

On a bitterly cold and fiercely windy spring day, the Lower Sixth History students of Guildford County School arrived at Hampton Court ready and raring to go for an exciting day of historical activity. On the cards was a tour of parts of the Palace relevant to our current Tudor history course, a meeting with Cardinal Wolsey, and free time to explore our own interests.

The day began with a short coach trip and walk to reach the Palace. We then split up into two groups, one took the guided tour whilst the other made use of free time, before  swapping. The tour of the grounds consisted of some notable features before moving into the Henrician quarters where we were lucky enough to see some of the original paintings that regularly feature as sources in our exams.  This meant we could view them in much more detail than ever before. One particularly interesting piece was the painting of the Field of the Cloth of Gold, regarded as one of Wolsey’s greatest achievements.

The meeting with Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (or Roland) was almost as riveting and enlightening as one of Mr Houghton’s lessons. Venturing high into one the Palace's private rooms, the Sixth Formers had to bow as Wolsey came into the room. The meeting gave great insight into how Wolsey regarded his loyalties to both Henry and the Pope, his ideas on reforms, and even his perfect Sunday.  The students learned so much from  the meeting, and left no stone unturned with their questioning. 

The trip was a massive success with the Sixth Form students who sang “we love you Wolsey, we do” on the way home.  Everyone came away with an improved knowledge of the Henrician era.

We would like to say a massive thank you to Mrs Bednarczyk for organising the day, and all the other staff who helped to make the day the success that it was.