St James’s Palace

Another in the series on historic secular buildings of London …

The Tudor Gatehouse and Chapel Royal
Chapel Royal
Friary Court

St James’s Palace was originally built by Henry VIII between 1531-6, on a  site where, according to Stow, “the citizens of London, time out of mind, founded an hospital … for leprous women”.  It became one of the principal residences of the royal family for the next several hundred years.

The Queen’s Chapel

The palace has been considerably extended subsequent to its original construction. The Queen’s Chapel was built by the famous Palladian architect Inigo Jones between 1623-7, and was first used as a chapel by Charles I’s queen, Henrietta Maria, who was a Catholic. During the Civil War, it was used as a barracks by Parliamentarian forces. After the Restoration of the Monarchy, it was again used as a chapel by Charles II’s queen, Catherine of Braganza, who was also a Catholic, and who established a friary adjoining.

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