Eltham, London (Greenwich Borough) is a strange place to find a palace. But nevertheless, you’ll find this hidden historical beauty. Eltham Palace is an unoccupied royal residence, owned by the Crown Estate that was handed over to English Heritage in the mid-1990s.
Historically the palace was given to Edward II, and was the favourite residence of Henry IV. With the restoration of Greenwich Palace, combined with the English Civil War, Eltham fell out of use altogether and was bestowed away.
Nothing of major note occurred until the 1930s when Stephen and Virginia Courtauld leased it, renovating the Great Hall and revolutionising the interior. This is why Eltham Palace is famous today. It’s a great example of Art Deco and is said to be “a masterpiece in modern design.” It was also one of the first examples of Swedish interior design in England. After the Courtauld’s moved away, they gave Eltham to the Royal Army Educational Corps who had the property until English Heritage.
This is hands down the most unique property that I have ever visited. When we were downstairs, I noticed a strange little ladder and hatch that led upstairs. It was only when we arrived upstairs that we learned that the Courtauld’s had a pet lemur named Mah-Jongg and that was his special path.
Sam is direly skeptical of pretty much everything. He doesn’t believe in ghosts, he’s not religious, he doesn’t believe in soul mates. (Just trying to paint a picture for you.) I walked into Virginia Courtauld’s bedroom and shivered, feeling immediately odd; as Sam simultaneously exclaimed, “Wow. It feels really strange in here, doesn’t it? An atmosphere or something…” How crazy that a room affected us both like that! It was only later, when I was reading up about Eltham on the train back to our house that I stumbled across an article naming Eltham as one of Britain’s “haunted” households. Spppoooookkkkkyyyy!