Oatlands palace

Remains of Oatlands Palace

Our next stop is just a stone's-throw from the previous. From Monument Green, as you carry on down this road, take the turning for Grotto Road. Eventually, this leads round to a footpath called Tudor Walk, on the right-hand side of the road. Half-way along Tudor Walk is a grand red-brick archway, one of the only remaining visible features of the Tudor Oatlands Palace.

Built in 1538, over the years Oatlands often acted as a temporary home to the two Tudor Queens, Mary and Elizabeth. The latter of these residents in particular, Queen Elizabeth I, cultivated the foundations of what would eventually become Britain's empire. It was under her reign that Sir Francis Drake claimed New Albion on the West coast of America - the area that is modern-day California - and other parts of the newly discovered American continent. At the same time, before his journey of discovery, Drake had been part of some of the earliest English slave trading voyages from Africa, under the leadership of his cousin Richard Hawkins, a practice encouraged by the English Crown.

Many see Tudor England as an insular landscape which formed its own unique English identity. But in reality, this was a time in which outside influences were strong, many people of African descent lived in the country, and the foundations for Empire were already being laid through the exploration of new international relationships and the goods which Africa had to offer. To Elizabeth, African countries like Morocco were  critical allies to have, in order to counteract the threat from Spain under King Phillip II. This came to heavily influence the Elizabethan landscape and the mindset of Queen Elizabeth I, herself - as well as the history books on our shelves.

Sadly, the grand palace was demolished brick-by-brick in the 1650s, after it was sold  to Robert Turbridge by the Interregnum Government. However, extensive excavations in 1968 and 1983 uncovered its huge foundations and many Tudor treasures, which are now housed in the Elmbridge Museum collection.

Elmbridge and Empire
  1. Cesar Picton's House
  2. Thames Ditton Bronze Foundry
  3. Britannia Statue
  4. Claremont House
  5. Painshill Park
  6. William Whiteley's Statue
  7. Weybridge War Memorial
  8. E.M Forster's House
  9. Remains of Oatlands Palace
  10. Mount Felix
  11. Ashley Park