ABOVE: Hampton Court's experimental
archaeologists research the past by living the way the Tudors did, and they
enjoy sharing what they've learned. INSET BELOW: Creating fire the old-fashioned
way, with a flint and steel.
The Tudor Kitchens of Hampton Court Palace are popular
with visitors of all ages, but they're more than a tourist attraction. In these
reconstructed kitchens, which once occupied 50 rooms of the palace, a team of
"experimental archaeologists" study everyday palace life in Henry VIII's time by
cooking, eating, and working with implements and techniques from the 1500s. They
even make their own clothes, which they wear both on the job and in their living
quarters within the palace.
team is directed by J. Marc Meltonville and Richard Fitch, who have been working
in the royal kitchens since the early 1990s. Neither man fits the image of a
dusty academic: Marc appeared in the muddy opening battle of Gladiator,
while Richard, a trained leatherworker who once made a briefcase for Prince
Charles, appeared in the Robin Williams film Being Human.
Note: Hampton Court Palace recommends that you allow 20
minutes for a quick walk through the Tudor Kitchens or 25 minutes if you're
using the free audioguide.
© HRP. Used by permission.