For those of you who know the history of Hampton Court Palace, you will know of its reputation for ghosts who wander the dark corridors at night. While we have all been focused on our personal experiences during the recent coronavirus lockdown, have we neglected the spiritual world? Perhaps they have been enjoying their new environment with no human visitors wandering around to distract them, but even ghostly people and animals in royal palaces have problems with lockdowns and, as we now discover, several of them have mysteriously escaped from inside the Palace out into the Gardens.
Strange things have been happening during the lockdown. Tobias Gibbons, who was the molecatcher to Elizabeth I, has come alive and appeared with a task to find the animals and courtiers who have mysteriously escaped from the paintings inside the Palace, broken free, and hiding in the Gardens. Hampton Court is indeed a mysterious place….
The Gardens have now re-opened to visitors, who are invited to help Tobias in his task, while the lights will come back on in the dark, empty State Rooms when they re-open in a few weeks time. Presumably Tobias has to complete his task and have everyone back in their right places before that happens…..
Well done to HRP for taking up the challenge of reopening the Gardens while the great apartments in the Palace remain closed with two trails for visitors – one focused on the imaginative story of Tobias the molecatcher, the other for gardening experts, with Graham Dillamore, the Gardeners Manager, providing a guided tour of the gardens. If you are clever, you will combine the two.
It was an imaginative idea to bring some of the characters shut in the closed and darkened inside out into the open sunshine of the gardens.