Fulham Palace

Fulham Palace was the Manor House of the Bishops of London from c.11C and their country residence until 1973. I visited about ten days ago. (Here is a list of all the Bishops of London.)

Fulham Palace, seen from the Walled Garden
Fulham Palace, seen from the Walled Garden

This marvellous map (not dated) from the official website gives the layout of the Palace very clearly, and the map of 1872 (just ten years after Mr Bradshaw) amazingly shows the Palace still in the countryside.

Map of Fulham Palace
Map of Fulham Palace (unknown date)
Fulham Palace in the countryside, 1872, from Mapco
Fulham Palace in the countryside, 1872, from Mapco

The oldest part of the Palace is the quadrangle built by Bishop Fitzjames (1506-22), with marvellous diamond-patterning in the brickwork.

The Fitzjames Quadrangle of Fulham Palace
The Fitzjames Quadrangle of Fulham Palace
Looking out of the Fitzjames Quadrangle
Looking out of the Fitzjames Quadrangle

The Chapel was added by Bishop Tait in 1866-67, and next to the Chapel is one of the unusual trees in the garden, a cork oak. Several of the Bishops were keen gardeners, introducing trees and plants to England for the first time.

The Chapel at Fulham Palace
The Chapel at Fulham Palace

The site of the Palace has been inhabited for a very long time. The Palace was originally surrounded by a moat (now looking more like a ditch), and this has been suggested as a Danish, or even Roman defence.

A print of c.1880 showing the moat of Fulham Palace
A print of c.1880 showing the moat of Fulham Palace
Black Walnut Tree, Fulham Palace
Black Walnut Tree, Fulham Palace
The oldest oak tree at Fulham Palace
The oldest oak tree at Fulham Palace

I was at Fulham Palace to see the Walled Garden.

The gateway into the Walled Garden, Fulham Palace
The gateway into the Walled Garden, Fulham Palace
The avenue of apple trees inside the Walled Garden, Fulham Palace
The avenue of apple trees inside the Walled Garden, Fulham Palace
The Knot Garden
The Knot Garden
Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster' in the Knot Garden with Robinia Pseudoacacia 'Frisia' in the background
Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’ in the Knot Garden with Robinia Pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’ in the background
The newly restored greenhouses in the Walled Garden
The newly restored greenhouses in the Walled Garden
Japanese blood grass (Imperata cylindrica) and sedums
Japanese blood grass (Imperata cylindrica) and sedums
One of the last zinnias
One of the last zinnias

The bees had a good year at Fulham Palace – apparently you can buy the honey in Fortnum & Mason, but only in very small quantities.

The bee hives in the Walled Garden
The bee hives in the Walled Garden

And then there is the Bishop’s Tree, which is rather unprepossessing until you take a closer look. It is a cedar tree which was cut down, and has been carved with figures of past Bishops of London.

The Bishop's Tree
The Bishop’s Tree
The Bishops' Tree
The Bishops’ Tree

With the light facing it was time to leave, walking through the Bishop’s Park, with the avenues of plain trees alongside the Thames. Stupidly I did not visit the parish church at the entrance to Bishop’s Park.

The Thames at Fulham Palace
The Thames at Fulham Palace
Bishops' Park, Fulham Palace
Bishops’ Park, Fulham Palace
The Parish Church
The Parish Church
The gates into Bishop's Park
The gates into Bishop’s Park

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