Royal Mail will issue a set of six stamps and a four-stamp miniature sheet devoted to Hampton Court Palace on July 31.

Located beside the River Thames west of London, this is the most extensive surviving Tudor building in England, and one of the grandest palaces in Britain, ranked among its top historic tourist attractions.

Given by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey to King Henry VIII, who loved it as a place to hold court and go hunting, it was developed into the most modern royal residences of the early 16th century.

King William III and Queen Mary II brought a new Baroque style to the Palace in the late 17th century, with the aid of the architect Sir Christopher Wren. Since Victorian times it has been a visitor attraction, popular for its Baroque gardens and maze as much as for its interior architecture.

Designed by Osborne Ross, and printed in litho by International Security Printers, the stamps come in two se-tenant strips of three.

1st class SOUTH FRONT

Built for William and Mary by Sir Christopher Wren, the South Front overlooks the Privy Garden.

1st class WEST FRONT

The grand Tudor architecture of Wolsey’s Great Gatehouse is a notable feature of the West Front.

1st class EAST FRONT

Designed in the same Baroque style as the South Front, the East Front overlooks the Great Fountain Garden.

£1.55 POND GARDENS

The pools in these gardens originally held freshwater fish, such as carp, which were eaten at Tudor banquets.

£1.55 MAZE

Planted at the behest of William III in the late 17th century, this is the world’s oldest hedge maze.

£1.55 GREAT FOUNTAIN GARDEN

This ornate garden was simplified by Queen Anne, who was keen to reduce expenditure on the royal gardens.

 

MINIATURE SHEET

1st class GREAT HALL

Rebuilt in 1532, featuring tapestries telling ‘The Story of Abraham’ and a hammer-beam roof, this vast space was a dining room for the Tudor court and the setting for plays staged by William Shakespeare in the early Stuart period.

1st class KING’S GREAT BEDCHAMBER

Rarely used for sleeping in, this was principally a ceremonial room for welcoming and impressing visitors. Its ceiling was painted by Antonio Verrio and its ornate woodwork crafted by Grinling Gibbons.

£1.45 CHAPEL ROYAL

Henry VIII transformed this chapel with a blue and gold vaulted ceiling, decorated with carved and gilded pendants, best seen from the elevated balcony from which the King and Queen worshipped.

£1.45 KING’S STAIRCASE

The official route to the King’s Apartments boasts spectacular wall and ceiling paintings by Antonio Verrio, commissioned by William III.

 

OTHER PRODUCTS

Written by Lucy Worsley, the Joint Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, the presentation pack reflects on the various stages in the evolution of Hampton Court’s history and its main attractions to today’s visitors.

A limited-edition press sheet of uncut miniature sheets is available in addition to the usual stamp cards and first day covers.

 

PRICES

Set of 6 stamps   £6.66

Miniature sheet   £4.24

Presentation pack    £11.40

Stamp cards   £4.95

Press sheet   £46.64

First day cover (stamps)   £8.41

First day cover (mini sheet)   £5.51

 

VERDICT

COMMEMORATIVE WORTH   3/5

No particular anniversary is being celebrated, but this is one of Britain’s most iconic buildings

QUALITY OF DESIGN   2/5

All the designs are based on photography, albeit beautifully captured

WOW FACTOR   3/5

Seeing the stamps on cover would surely encourage people to visit this impressive attraction