Eltham Palace is famous for its links with royalty and national events over a period of three and a half centuries, between the reigns of Edward I and James I. This richly illustrated book follows these important moments in the building's history, along with the parallel stories of its architecture, gardens, vineyards and parks. The staff responsible for its upkeep and the effects on the local community of having a royal building in its midst are also chronicled here. What remains of the Palace's former splendour today are the moat bridge, part of its outer court and the magnificent great hall, built for Edward IV, which survived long years of use as a barn after the Civil Wars. A 1930s mansion now adjoins the hall and both buildings are administered by English Heritage. Eltham Palace was central to its local community as well as to the aristocratic levels of international society. While the court was at Eltham the palace was the centre of administration for the whole country as far as that part of the royal government which travelled round the country with the monarch was concerned. During such visits a great many people came to Eltham on official and personal business, the largest numbers arriving at Easter when alms were distributed to the poor. Surviving records are numerous and document many aspects of the royal manor and the parish, including sports and ceremonies and the activities of the home farm. The book traces the palace from its medieval and Tudor beginnings, with court visits, the arrivals of foreign royalty and ambassadors, and the tournaments and festivities, through the unfortunate destruction of many of its royal buildings in the 17th century, up to Eltham Palace's state and purpose today. Containing many details concerning the palace and people of Eltham which do not appear in earlier descriptions of its history, this vivid and in-depth work will be of great interest to local and tourists, as well as those interested in such a rich royal heritage and architectural history.