I’m at the RSN in Hampton Court Palace!

Monday morning I was so excited that I woke up early – 6:30 in fact. It’s the usual time I get up for school but my class didn’t begin until 10 and I didn’t have to be there until 9:30. It was a long time to wait! A little after 9 am I caught the bus to Hampton Court and got off just past the front gates.


It was a beautiful, sunny morning – one of the very few lately in England – and as I came through the gates the palace was back lit by the sun coming up. I walked down the long drive soaking up the atmosphere and dreaming of kings and queens and courtiers.


Seeing all the chimneys in silhouette was magical.


The first stop was reception. This building is before the restricted area and all new students must stop there first. Prior to arrival I had to fill out paperwork so I could be given security clearance. That’s only reasonable considering all the priceless historical treasures that are in the palace!


At reception I was issued with a pass which I was required to wear at all times. Then I was met and taken upstairs to the RSN.


First we walked through this very small doorway  – I had to duck!  Can you imagine how old this door is? The stone surround?


On the other side of the door I found myself next to the privy kitchens of Henry VIII. Just on the right side in the photo are the kitchens. Of course, I arrived before the palace was open to visitors so no one was there. Magic!


Down a few hallways, around a corner, past a rope barricade and through a door to the stairs going up to the RSN classroom. Look carefully at the center of the steps. Can you see how it’s been replaced with new stone? Worn away from hundreds of years of people walking up them. These stairs are older than my country!


At the top, a small, unprepossessing door with a little sign on it. An old lock and newer brass knob. An antique doorbell on the wall. The RSN.


Up a few stairs where we have tea every morning – more about that next time – and through the library. Lots and lots and lots of embroidery books. Old and new.


Turn the corner and into the classroom! Trestles for 12 students, a big table in the middle for drawing, mounting, making notes and those wonderful round windows. The lights have daylight bulbs so the lighting is superb. The view from the window is of Hampton Court Palace gardens with the ancient yew trees standing in rows.


Students began to come in and the room filled up. The tutors arrived, said good morning and we got to work.  All I could think was “I feel so lucky!!!”

Is it what you expected? Can you imagine being there?




13 thoughts on “I’m at the RSN in Hampton Court Palace!

  1. My goodness, that looks like a long walk just to get to your classroom! Thank you so much for sharing your adventure. This is probably the closest I will ever get to actually being there myself. What a great experience for you.

  2. Lucky you! I’ve actually been there, but in April when the daffodils were in riotous bloom. I hope you have a wonderful time (well, I’m sure you will). Aren’t those kitchens amazing? You can fit a whole cow in some of those fireplaces. Maybe you can get a photo of yourself in front of the famous crewel wool wall.

  3. What a lovely place for your RSN course. The gardens are really impressive (just imagine clipping all that topiery!). I’ve been round the gardens and done the public tour of the house, but never been behind the scenes (although I know someone who works there – an archaeologist). I hope you enjoy the class…

  4. I toured Hampton Court back in 1978 on a high school tour. I remember being so very impressed. We only got to see the public areas though, it would be so exciting to go behind the scenes. Imagine Anne Boleyn sneaking into one of those kitchens for a midnight snack.

    The RSN certainly has an awesome location and a terrific setup. I love those round windows. I would probably spend my free time trying to locate those windows from the outside. lol What part of the palace does the RSN now occupy? And how long have they been there? I’m guessing it was a really long time, or the palace preservationists would have had a fit about the modernizations.

    Have a lovely time!
    Susan in Texas

  5. My mother, 2 daughters & I toured Hampton Court in 2005 and what a wonderful and memorable experience it was! It’s so delightful that you are sharing the class you are taking there with us. Thank you for the great pictures. Looking forward to your next post 🙂

    Jeannette from Saskatchewan, Canada

  6. Thank you for all those lovely photographs Kathy. I wish I could be there in person, and yes, I can imagine it.

    I hope you enjoy your course, and will show us some if not all of what you learned in due course.

  7. Hi Kathy, it was great to meet you a couple of weeks ago at HCP. I hope your canvas work went well. I’m back in on Tuesday for day 3 of my Jacobean Crewelwork module- you remember my hart with the enormous antlers? I can’t wait.

    Your photos are great and show the RSN just how it is- I feel so crazily lucky every time I go. Fingers crossed for sunshine this week too.


    • Hi Annette,

      How could I forget your charming hart with it’s beautiful antlers? I’d love to see a photo of it when it’s finished – I’m sure it will be stunning. Have a great three days and, I too, will cross my fingers for no more rain.

      Liebe Grüße,

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