Hampton Court Maze

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Hampton Court Palace maze
Known as the world-famous trapezoidal Maze, it is the only surviving part of a huge network pf paths and
labyrinths that made up William III's 'Wilderness Garden'. The only surviving hedge maze still in use, it was first planted with hornbeam from the Netherlands in 1689 and 1695 by <a href="/wiki/George_London_(landscape_architect)" target="_self" title="George London (landscape architect)">George London</a> and <a href="/wiki/Henry_Wise_(gardener)" target="_self" title="Henry Wise (gardener)">Henry Wise</a> for <a href="/wiki/William_III_of_Orange" target="_self" title="William III of Orange">William III of Orange</a> at <a href="/wiki/Hampton_Court_Palace" target="_self" title="Hampton Court Palace">Hampton Court Palace</a>. Here courtiers could escape the politics of palace life, and probably never to be seen again. In the 1960's the hedge was replaced with Yew, but now once again the hornbeam has returned to the middle of the maze after fourty years of being away.

In May 2005 a new audio installation was added. Called 'Trace', it is made by sound artist Greyworld who have created a gentle soundtrack triggered by motion sensors based on the idea of conversation. Visitors may hear a snatch of music, a burst of laughter or the rustle of fine silks and whispers of secret conversations that will vanish mysteriously round the winding paths. In the middle of the maze, touch sensitive benches also make sounds as visitors sit down (not farting, if that's what you are expecting, you may be dissapointed).

The maze streaches a third of an acre and has half a mile of paths. It may be that the present design replaced an earlier maze planted for Thomas Cardinal Wolsey. It still attracts people from all over the World, and every year thousands of them are happy to be wandering about in it. This is one place where you can really tell someone to 'get lost!'

The answer to the maze is to turn to the left on entering, and from then on to keep the hedge on the left, even into and out of dead ends. Would it be a good idea to do a sponsored walk in the maze (has wicked twinkle in eye).

Hampton Court Palce maze

There was a young teacher from Hayes
Took her class to the Hampton Court Maze
They got thoroughly lost
At a reasonable cost
The children and teacher from Hayes. I think their still in there wandering about, har har!

Opening times:
Summer - Daily 10.00 - 18.00 (last admission 17.15)
Winter - Daily 10.00 - 16.30 (last admission 15.45)

Hampton Court Palace maze