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date: 18 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter revises the concept of ‘palaces’ as residences, their uses and evolution, stressing the role that archaeology can play in their understanding and study. Royal palaces in rural settings are associated with specialized landscapes and generate a distinctive archaeology because of their intermittent use and purpose; medieval kings and their queens could be exceptionally mobile and households left little behind. Elements of European design, some of which are considered here, could be influential and architectural practice was often in the vanguard of fashionable taste. Personal taste too played its part but by the mid-fifteenth century the more remote residences were less visited, while the sixteenth century brought new residences into royal hands. Current projects and themes are all outlined as well as threats to sites and standing buildings.

Keywords: royal residences, episcopal palaces, parks, Westminster Palace, royal material culture

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