Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace State Apartments and Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection
The Broad Walk Kensington Gardens
London W8 4PX
Tel: 0844 482 7799
Fax: 020 3166 6110

Kensington Palace stands at the western end of Kensington Gardens and is perhaps the finest building in the Borough. Originally called Nottingham House, it passed into royal ownership in 1689 when it was acquired by William and Mary.

The King's asthma dictated a move from Whitehall Palace to the healthier air of Kensington. Sir Christopher Wren was engaged to design improvements to the house and the Clock Court and the South Front, including the 96-foot Long Gallery were added.

After William III's death in 1702 the palace became the residence of Queen Anne. Wren designed the Orangery for her and a 30-acre garden was laid out by Henry Wise.

Further extensive alterations were carried out for George I and William Kent painted the elaborate trompe l'oeil ceilings and staircases. The last monarch to live at Kensington Palace was George II, whose consort, Caroline of Ansbach, influenced the development of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. For her, Charles Bridgman created the Serpentine, the Basin and Grand Vista and the Broad Walk.