Kew Palace

Surrey, TW9 3AB

The smallest and most private of the English royal palaces, Kew was the royal family's favourite country retreat in the late 18th century.

Exterior of Kew Palace

The palace was built in the early 17th century by the merchant Samuel Fortrey. The fourth of a line of palaces at Kew, it was distinguished by its carved, ornamental brickwork and rounded gables.

It became an intermittent royal residence in the 18th century, when George II and Queen Caroline, who rented a number of buildings in the hamlet, took out a lease on the property.

The palace tells the story of George III and his family at leisure. The second-floor bedrooms have been untouched for 200 years, giving visitors an intimate insight into the domestic lives of Princesses Augusta and Amelia. A new permanent exhibition, the Royal Kitchens at Kew, recaptures the atmosphere in the kitchens following George III's first episode of 'madness'.

Art we’ve helped buy at Kew Palace

A cabinet containing jigsaw maps, bought with help from the Art Fund in 2007, was used to teach geography to King George III's children, including future kings George IV and William IV. The maps are some of the earliest known educational toys.

Venue information

Opening times

24 Mar – 25 Sept
Daily, 11am – 5pm

"Art Fund" is the operating name of the National Art Collections Fund, a charity registered in England and Wales (209174) and Scotland (SC038331)