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The palace of Cardinal Wolsey and Henry VIII, Hampton Court is a vast complex of courts, state rooms, chambers and staircases, and is set in beautiful grounds.
Wolsey's imposing Tudor mansion, handed over to Henry VIII in 1528, was converted and extended on the orders of successive Royals by Wren, Vanbrugh, Kent and others.
The palace offers rich rewards for visitors of all tastes, from the splendid decorations for the King's staircase by Verrio, depicting William III as Alexander the Great and Wolsey's imposing entrance facade, featuring medallions of Roman emperors by Giovanni da Maiano, to idiosyncratic treasures such as the recently restored astronomical clock and the beautifully decorated Wolsey Closet.