Hector goes wild at magical Hampton Court Warren
The magical myths of Hampton Court Warren

The wild creatures of Hampton Court do say that Shakespeare came to visit on Midsummer's Eve to see the magical statues come to life, but because the event is a very private affair, he did not see the magic, and so instead wrote Midsummer Night's Dream.


Summer visitors to the Park watch the Shakespeare play Midsummer Night's Dream, a comedy telling how the Queen of the Fairies fell in love with a donkey.  Humphrey the Lord of the Hampton deer and Head of the Herd finds the play absolutely ridiculous.  He stamps his hoof during the performance and bellows loudly, "The queen of the fairies would never fall in love with an old donkey, not when the park is so full of such handsome deer with such magnificent crowns of horns."


Hector's midsummer madness Jo Rutherford 2010


Did William Shakespeare visit Hampton Court on Midsummer's Eve?


Over hill, over dale, through bush, through brier, over park, over pale,
through flood, through fire, I do wander everywhere, swifter than the moon's sphere

Midsummer's Night Dream, William Shakespeare

Resources for children - Shakespeare at Hampton Court










Humphrey the Lord of the deer and Head of the Hampton Herd

On Midsummer's Eve little Hector the house rabbit tried hard to stay wake all night in the hope of catching a glimpse of the mythical, magical beasts of Hampton Court who come to life once a year to parade around the grounds casting a spell of protection on the Palace.

Hector's midsummer madness

Hampton Court Palace in the moonlight, through Hector's french window
Hampton Court Palace in the moonlight
the golden statue of Diana comes to life

The King's Beasts and the Fountain of Diana at Hampton Court on Midsummer's Eve

Golden statue Diana comes to lifeThe King's Beasts Parade at Midsummer
Nannie in the hospital burrow of Hampton Court WarrenThe Lord and Lady of Hampton Court Warren
Nannie in her hospital at Hampton Court WarrenThe Lord and Lady of Hampton Court Warren

Hampton Manor purchased by the Order of St John's Hospitallers 1236

The 1338 Survey of Hampton
 Prepared for the Order of St John's Hospitallers


Nannie herbs and vegetables

Hector goes wild at Hampton Court Warren

Hector goes wild at Hampton Court

Hector is a happy house rabbit until Foxy chases him through the hedge and into the wild where he is saved by the wild rabbits of Hampton Court.

Hector goes wild Jo Rutherford 2010

The King's Beasts, magical creatures at Hampton Court Palace

the Lion of England

the Seymour Unicorn
Tudor DragonRichmond Greyhound
The Mortimer PantherThe Black Bull of Clarence
Beaufort YaleSeymour Panther
Mortimer LionRoyal Dragon

The King's Beasts at Hampton Court

The mythical magical King's beasts who come to life on Midsummer's Eve to cast a spell of protection on Hampton Court Palace


Cardinal Wolsey created Hampton Court Palace on the site of a Priory manor and farm.  The only remaining relic of the original building still rings for service in the chapel, and has the following inscription on it:-
(Mary most gracious, Star of the Sea, come to our assistance)


The date of the bell is fixed by the letters 'T. H.' stamped on it, which are the initials of a famous bellfounder, Thomas Harrys, who lived about 1479.

In 1528, Henry VIII took the palace and spent more than £62,000 on extensions.
In the Middle Ages, the park reared rabbits for food in artificial warrens. You can still see signs of the warrens. The best examples are at Warren Plantation and north of the junction between Lime Avenue and Chestnut Avenue.


Pine Cone Club badges

Pine Cone Club badges for the young Coneys of Hampton Court Warren

Hector goes wild with the wild rabbits of Pine Cone Club at Hampton Court

Hector the house rabbit becomes a proud Coney the Pine Cone Club of Hampton Court Warren

Hector goes wild Jo Rutherford 2010

Hector the house rabbit introduces the 3 secrets of success to the Coneys of Pinecone Club at Hampton Court Warren

Hector the house rabbit recites the 3 secrets of success to the Coneys of Pinecone Club at Hampton Court Warren


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