Tudor England

Perhaps the best-known family in English royal history, the Tudors helped to make England one of the world’s leading colonial powers. Discover more about how the Tudor dynasty helped to shape Britain, from promoting global trade and industry, to establishing England’s first national navy.

Find out more about Henry VIII

Find out more about Elizabeth I


Henry VIII (1491–1547) is one of the most famous kings in English history. An important part of his legacy was his establishment of the Royal Navy, encouraging shipbuilding and creating dockyards.


Entertainment at court in Elizabethan times included jousting, dancing, poetry-reading, dramatic performances, hunting, riding, banqueting and concerts. 

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On 22 July 1588 the Spanish Armada, a force of 130 ships and 18,000 men, left northern Spain and headed for the English Channel. Its objective was to rendezvous with a large army assembled in the Netherlands, commanded by the Duke of Parma.

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The iconic Armada portrait of Elizabeth I commemorates the most famous conflict of her reign – the failed invasion of England by the Spanish Armada in summer 1588.

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Do you know your Spanish farthingale from your Drum? Or your English hood from your French? Types of Tudor fashion evolved throughout the period.

Henry VII

Henry VII is known for being the first Tudor King, and for being the father of King Henry VIII. A shrewd king, he gathered huge wealth for the Crown. 

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Greenwich has been a key location for the royal family for over 500 years. 


The Armada Portrait is one of the most famous portraits of Elizabeth I - but did you know that there are actually three versions of the same painting? Find out more about the different 'Faces of a Queen'...

Palace of Placentia

Conveniently situated beside the River Thames, Greenwich had been a popular royal residence for centuries. However, during Tudor times the area became a vital hub for the royal family.

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The Spanish Armada of 1588 was the defining moment of Elizabeth I's reign. Spain's defeat secured Protestant rule in England, and launched Elizabeth onto the global stage.