Pictures of Eltham
The attractive suburb of Eltham is part of the urban sprawl of Greater London. Eltham has a long history which goes back to Saxon times. It is situate in a region that was much used by early Monarchs travelling to and from Europe. A palace was created here by the Plantaganets who made great use of it as a favoured home. The Tudors were not so keen, they preferred Greenwich and eventually, following the Civil War, the Palace became neglected and left to the ravages of time. At one period it was used as a farm and a barn and of the rich parklands that surrounded the Palace, two eventually became farmland. The third park was taken by Sir John Shaw, friend and supporter of King Charles II who built Eltham Lodge in the park. It was not until the last century that the Palace was restored to glory.
In 1930, Stephen Courtauld, a millionaire of vision, bought the property as a private residence for himself and his Italian wife. Between them they lavished vast sums of money on the property and it is they who are responsible for the stunning Palace we see today. The Courtaulds restored many original features and added their own individual style, in particular the amazing Art Deco Hall. The Palace is now a vision of loveliness and it is easy to see the spectacular success it must have been for Stephen and Virginia Courtauld, who not only lived here but used the place extensively for entertaing the great and the good of the era. The grounds are beautifully landscaped and include a mix of the formal and informal. There is a fabulous Rose garden and special places have been arranged for visitors who wish to picnic in the gardens.
Eltham is within easy reach of all the glamour that is London. However, as a suberb it is very pleasant in its own right and a pleasure to visit. Interestingly, Eltham Lodge built by Sir John Shaw, is now the headquarters of a local Golf club and the Royal park is now Royal Blackheath Golf course.
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