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Where is Elsyng Palace, what has the dig turned up so far and did Henry VIII’s live there?

THE exact location of Elsyng Palace was lost until archaeological excavations were carried out in the 1960s.

As Channel 5 prepares to air a documentary about a new dig at the site, here’s what you need to know about the former royal residence that was lost for centuries.

 The palace was used by Henry VIII to entertain visiting foreign dignitaries

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The palace was used by Henry VIII to entertain visiting foreign dignitaries

Where is Elsyng Palace and what has the dig turned up so far?

In the 1960s, excavations were carried out near Forty Hall in Enfield, North London, where the first evidence of a Tudor mansion came to light.

For ‘Henry VIII’s Lost Palace: Digging Up Britain’s Past’ presenters Helen Skelton and Alex Langlands join a new dig which is unearthing more clues to the palace’s architecture and splendour.

Finds include the remnants of a working oven, which would have been used to prepare banquets for visiting dignitaries.

 Helen Skelton and Andrew Langlands are joining a new dig at the site
Helen Skelton and Andrew Langlands are joining a new dig at the site

As guests recovered from their 14-course meals, the army of cooks would have slept next to the kitchens in an attempt to keep warm.

Other discoveries include a 16th Century ‘groat’ – worth about four pence in Tudor times – and featuring a portrait of Henry’s face.

Experts at the Royal Mint reveal that the King debased the coinage during his reign, gradually reducing the silver content, and earning himself the nickname ‘Old Coppernose’

His money troubles stemmed from his insatiable thirst for wars, wives and palaces.

Elsyng – which he acquired during his worst financial woes – was characterized by intricate brickwork along with fabulous ornamental features for the interior and exterior.

Did Henry VIII live there?

Elsyng Palace was one of nearly sixty royal residences owned by Henry Vlll – and an undoubted favourite home during his last decade of life.

As well as using it for hunting weekends with friends, it was a place to entertain and impress foreign monarchs and diplomats.

Although Elsyng can easily be reached by car today, it would have taken him at least half a day on horseback to travel there from one of his better-known palaces near the Thames.



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