Elizabethan Sites in England
Where can you find sites associated with Elizabeth I in England today? Due to her habit of making royal "progresses" throughout the realm, it might be harder to find places that have no Elizabethan connection! Unfortunately, many of the houses which she would have known were later replaced by newer stately homes.
That is true of Hatfield House (Hertfordshire). Hatfield was Elizabeth's home before she gained the throne, but the house that she lived in was torn down and replaced with a brick mansion by Robert Cecil the Younger, her chief minister. The present house has a hat, pair of gloves, and a pair of stockings belonging to her on display.
Woburn Abbey houses the famous "Armada Portrait" of Elizabeth. Hever Castle in Kent was the family home of Anne Boleyn, though the interior of Hever has been altered considerably in this century by the American John Jacob Astor.
In Portsmouth, you can see the fascinating Mary Rose exhibit. The Mary Rose was Henry VIII's pride and joy, the greatest ship built in Britain to that time, but it sank in front of the horrified gaze of the entire royal court just off Portsmouth harbour. Elizabeth was present to watch the Mary Rose sink, but now the ship has been raised from the depths and you can see it being restored in a special humidity-controlled display, and see objects recovered from the vessel.
Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire, richly associated with various Tudor personages, was visited by Elizabeth three times; the last of these visits was a three-day affair commemorating the defeat of the Armada and has been described as one of the longest parties in history. A stained glass window depicts Elizabeth, and the castle houses other portraits and textiles relating to the Queen.
There is a range of Elizabethan sites in and around London. Elizabeth was born at Greenwich Palace, site of the present Queen's House, now home to the National Maritime Museum. She was imprisoned for a time at Hampton Court Palace by her sister Mary, and later she added to the gardens at Hampton with plants brought from the New World.
Then there is the Tower of London, where Elizabeth was held prisoner. Apparently she baulked at entering through the infamous Traitor's Gate, and sat down on a stone before the portcullis, refusing to budge despite the pleas of the soldiers escorting her.
Elizabeth is buried in Henry VII's chapel at Westminster Abbey. Just beside the Abbey is Westminster School, founded by Elizabeth.
She once lived at Cheyne Walk in Chelsea, though her manor is now demolished, there are beautiful 18th-century houses there now. And Elizabeth died at Richmond Palace, but all that remains of the Palace is a Tudor gateway on Richmond Green.
As a final suggestion, I must add the new Globe Theatre on the South Bank of London. Although Elizabeth obviously did not visit this 20th-century theatre, the new Globe is a good model of the type of theatre common during Elizabeth's lifetime.
Can you suggest a site to add to this list?
Tudor Britain - from 'A History of the British Nation' (1912)
Tudor attractions in Britain (places to see tagged with 'Tudor')
Places to see associated with Elizabeth I (places to see tagged with 'Elizabeth I')