A Short History of Kensington Palace


Anyone planning a trip or a holiday break in the near future should put London at the top of their list of places to visit. The historic capital is a treasure trove of culture and beauty with an architectural skyline that has become one of the most iconic sights in the world.

If you’re looking for luxury budget accommodation, London is the best place to go. Our Lancaster Gate hotels put you right at the heart of the most beautiful architecture in the city. Among the historic buildings and captivating structures, Kensington Palace is one of the most iconic royal buildings in London. We’ve put together this quick history lesson so you can find out more about the palace and its significance to London’s history.

The 1600s

Built in 1605 by Sir George Coppin, the building now known as Kensington Palace was initially a two-level mansion called Nottingham House. Its first notable owner was Heneage Finch, 1st Earl of Nottingham, who bought it in 1619. It was from then on that the building was named Nottingham House. For 70 years the house stayed under that name and remained in the earl’s estate. It wasn’t until 1689 when newly succeeded monarchs William and Mary bought the property in order to seek alternative residence from Whitehall Palace.

That summer work was immediately started to renovate and expand the house in order to make more room for the new king and queen. The famous architect and artists, Christopher Wren was tasked with designing the expansion plans and did so by adding three-storey pavilions at each corner of the property. The work was finished by the end of the year and the building, which then became known as Kensington Palace, remained the preferred residence of British monarchs for 70 years.

Changes through the years

Since the creation of what is now Kensington Palace, there have been a number of significant alterations and changes to the building and grounds. An extension was made to the official apartments and after a fire in 1691 and the grand staircase was rebuilt and expanded. The most notable changes to Kensington Palace are the addition of the Queen’s Gallery and the King’s Gallery. Both of which were created to house a selection of the current resident’s favourite pieces from the Royal Collection.

Kensington Palace today

Today both of these galleries are open to the public which means guests at our Lancaster Gate hotels can get an inside look at the history of London and its cultural art scene. Kensington Palace has been home to some of the most famous British monarchs in history and was the birthplace of Queen Victoria. Currently, it is the official home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who took up residence in 2011.

Not only is Kensington Palace an official home of members of the Royal Family, it is also a treasure trove of history and culture. It has become one of London’s most popular tourist attractions drawing in hundreds of people every day. Anyone planning a trip to London will not want to miss out on a stroll through the beautiful Kensington Gardens and a chance to browse one of the most renowned art collections in the world.