On Saturday, the students in Jowett Walk travelled to Hampton Court Palace for a glimpse at a heart of English culture and history.
The palace has seen the rise and fall of figures of power, monarchs, and governments: it has stood through the Reformation and through the Blitz. It was begun to be built in 1515 for Thomas Wolsey, a Cardinal and favourite of King Henry VIII— attentive students might have recognised his name from the tour of Christ Church College, originally called Cardinal’s College, which he also founded. When he fell from the favour of the King, Henry took the palace for himself and substantially enlarged it; successive monarchs, some with more gusto than others, have built more onto it in the years since then, and it is now a very large site resplendent with things to see and learn about.
The students rambled across the expanse of the lawns, strolling along the enormous facades and gazing up at the crenelated architecture of the courts and winding walls. They were particularly impressed by the maze, a mess of convoluted paths between hedges stretching for over half a mile, and by the gardens, which were awash with summertime colour.
In the evening, there was a medley of activities to choose from. Some opted to decorate cupcakes, with Lucile, from France, perhaps taking inspiration from the Palace to create a towering ‘crown’ cupcake which caused wide eyes from friends when she attempted to eat it! She had declared that she came to Oxford to find a career about which she is passionate— and if she wants it, I’m sure the cupcake-decorating world would be happy to have her.
Others took the chance to practice their routines for the Talent Show on Wednesday: it looks like the audience will be in for a treat.