Bricks, Botany and Bishops!

Fulham Palace will relaunch on 25 May 2019 with a brand new museum, restored rooms and new planting.

Following a major restoration project, Fulham Palace will be officially reopening on
25 May with a brand new museum, a painstakingly restored Tudor courtyard and
expanded collection of historically significant plants. The newly restored Palace is
the result of a £3.8 million project, including £1.9m from The National Lottery Heritage
Fund, to revitalise the Palace and help more people discover its long and varied
history.

The Palace is free to visit and the restoration has doubled the size of the museum,
which has been completely reinterpreted and includes historic rooms never before
opened to the public. It provides insight into both the long history of the site, and
also the most notable residents, the Bishops of London, who called the Palace home
from AD 704 to 1973.  In just four months, visitors can marvel at
the restored Tudor Great Hall, decide who to invite for dinner at the table in
Bishop Sherlock’s dining room, explore the history of Bishop Compton and his
legacy to British gardens and discover the Victorian chapel’s past through
interpretation hidden in hymn books. Wherever you go, there are interactive
elements, and a ‘mood room’ explores the history of the building through sound and
light.

The first temporary exhibition in the new museum will celebrate the
archaeological finds unearthed during the restoration project and celebrate the
contribution made by volunteers in the restoration process. The Palace shop will
relocate to the new museum, stocking an array of beautiful items.

The landscape itself has also been transformed, with the addition of new beds in the garden filled with 400 plants. All were originally grown at the Palace in the 17th century by plant-loving Bishop Compton, including the first magnolia in Europe, Magnolia virginiana. Old paths and gateways have also been put back, returning features which successive Bishops of London would have recognised, as well as making the whole site more accessible.
Visitors can purchase fresh produce grown in the Palace gardens from the ‘market
barrow’ in the walled garden. At the heart of the Palace, the Tudor courtyard once again looks proud and ready to welcome guests. It had been somewhat neglected over the years, and a patchwork of repairs scarred the brickwork façade. The restoration of the walls was
painstakingly carried out over many months, with perished bricks being replaced
with new ones made and fired using traditional Tudor techniques.

Sian Harrington, CEO of Fulham Palace Trust said: “The project marks a real change in the way Fulham Palace is enjoyed and understood for generations to come. We look forward to sharing the stories of the Palace, which was home to the Bishops of London for well over a millennium, with our visitors. This huge restoration project has really brought the soul back to the Palace and wouldn’t have been possible without a major grant from The National
Lottery Heritage Fund as well as our core supporters and volunteers, all of whom I would like to thank for their support in helping us realise our vision for the Palace.”
Since 2005, Fulham Palace and its landscape have benefited from £9m raised by National Lottery players. In addition to this project, £3.2m enabled the restoration of Bishop Sherlock’s dining room and £3.9m to transform the adjacent Bishops Park.

Stuart Hobley, Head of The National Lottery Heritage Fund London, said: “National Lottery players have helped create an exciting future for Fulham Palace and it’s fantastic that they in turn can now enjoy, for free, 1,300 years of history. This project has opened the doors to hidden rooms, restored important Tudor heritage, explored botany and hymns and put
all of those stories at the heart of its brilliant new museum. Congratulations to the project team, volunteers and supporter, we can’t wait for the opening.”

The Palace reopens on 25 May, and on 26 May the Palace will host a Free Tudor Fun
Day where visitors will be encouraged to dress up, make music, create a May crown
or a suncatcher and keep their eyes peeled for Katherine of Aragon, who may be
making an appearance!

Visitor information  www.fulhampalace.org

Entry is free
The Palace and garden are open throughout the year – please see website for
details of opening times for the museum, café, botanic garden and walled garden.
Access
The Palace and garden are accessible to people with disabilities and assistance
dogs are welcome. Limited disabled parking is available to book.
How to get there! 
Fulham Palace is located on Bishop’s Avenue, Fulham, London SW6 6EA just off
Fulham Palace Road (A219). It can be reached easily by tube to Putney Bridge
Underground Station (District Line) and train to Putney Station (Southwest Trains,
travel time approximately 15 minutes from central London) and by local buses
stopping on Fulham Palace Road, Fulham High Street or Putney Bridge Approach
(14, 22, 39, 74, 85, 93, 220, 265, 270, 414, 424, 430). Metred parking is available on
Bishop’s Avenue