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Tudors and Stuarts

Enclosure in 1433

The 'Royal Manor of Greenwich' is listed among the possessions of Alfred the Great in the 8th century but it was not until 1433 that Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, Henry V's youngest brother, was granted a licence to 'empark 200 acres of land, pasture, weed, heath and furze'.
In the late 1400s Henry VII rebuilt most of Duke Humphrey's manor house as Placentia or the manor of Plesaunce.

The Tudors

The Tudors came to the throne with Henry VIII in 1485. Both he and his daughters Mary and Elizabeth were born in Greenwich and the palace continued as a favourite palace for Elizabeth I in the early years of her reign. The Park provided hunting grounds, pleasure gardens and an essential source of fresh water for monarchs and court.

The Stuarts

When James I succeeded to the throne he gave Greenwich Palace and the Park to his wife, Anne of Denmark and had it surrounded by a high brick wall, some of which remains today. In 1616, Anne of Denmark commissioned Inigo Jones to design as her palace the Queen's House, the first Palladian building in England. When Anne died, the king lost interest and gave the Park and palace to the Prince of Wales, later Charles I.

The remains of the Tudor palace were knocked down in the 1660s for Charles II's planned new Baroque palace on the river front with the Park as its pleasure gardens. While a shortage of funds brought the project to a close, Charles II's interest in science led him to commission Sir Christopher Wren to build the  Royal Observatory on the site of Duke Humphrey's mediaeval watchtower in the Park. Royal interest in Greenwich declined during the reign of William and Mary.