Wednesday, 18 May 2011
Nonsuch HP paid a brief visit to Whitehall in Cheam today. This is a beautiful Tudor building, built in about 1500 as a farmer's house, which has now been restored as a museum. There are a fascinating collection of rooms on display to the public, reflecting the various "improvements" the house underwent during its life. From 1741 to 1963 it was home to the Killick family who were also closely associated with Cheam School. There are exhibitions about the family, the school and also Nonsuch Palace in several of the rooms - the Palace exhibition includes several Tudor jugs and pieces of crockery that were found when the site was excavated.
The most interesting thing in the museum is the "graffiti door". On it is written the word "Remember" - the last thing Charles I said before his execution, showing that the Killicks clearly had close sympathy with the royalist cause. Whitehall also used to be known as "The Council House" as it is said that Elizabeth I had an impromptu council meeting there to sign papers while she was out hunting from the palace. The house seems a little cramped for this sort of thing, but makes for a good story!
You can find out more about Whitehall (including opening hours) here. It's well worth a visit and also has a good tea garden!
PS: You can find out more about other interesting historic places in Cheam here.