Palace House
Palace House

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A Wretched House on a dirty Streete

Palace House > Simply click to enlarge... then use the [Back] button to returnThus was the Kings Palace of Newmarket described by John Evelyn in 1670, and he had even more scorn to pour upon this building, although he liked the arches of the Cellars, says "the rest meane enough, and hardly capable for a hunting lodge". When the Count of Tuscany saw it he recorded that the Kings House, "compared with the other country houses of England, does not deserve to be called a Kings residence". So what house were they describing ?

newn01tmp.jpg (24501 bytes)Lets look back to find out the History of this Palace.

Early in the 17th Century, King James I came to Newmarket, his favourite pastimes of Hawking and Coursing were well suited to the countryside around the town, and initially he lodged in the town, later he purchased a building and built his house upon this site, thought to be around where the Marlborough Club and Moons toyshop are situated. After James , Charles I used this palace, until his despatch at the hands of the headsman. 

newn02.jpg (25701 bytes) Now England was in the grip of Civil War, and the Palace suffered greatly during this period. So it happened that after the Restoration of the Monarchy, Charles II came to Newmarket, and built his Palace further East from the ruins of the previous Palace.

 

newn03.jpg (237227 bytes)Occupying a space from the High Street, back to Palace Street, previously occupied by a house belonging to the Earl of Thomond, and an Inn next door, thought to be the Griffin. This Palace House served Charles II and on into the reign of William III who stayed there with his wife Mary, they were responsible for the redesign of the Gardens, along the lines of Hampton Court Palace.

newm04.jpg (26554 bytes)In 1992, the District Council acquired the surviving part of this building, and has restored it, to its original proportions, including vaulting, which required craftsmen relearning old skills to enable the job to be done effectively. Now Palace House is the Tourist Information Centre, the lower floor and gardens are open to the public, and the Palace House Stables opposite will hopefully follow the house itself in being restored, these stables are believed to be the oldest training establishment in the world

see also Floor Plan and details
Barrie Goodman 2000

 

A Forest Heath District Council (Suffolk) Project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Millennium Festival 2000 Designed by ArtAtac