Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge in the historic woodland of Epping Forest is a hidden Tudor gem.
Originally built for Henry VIII in 1543, this hunting lodge used to be known as the ‘Great Standing’ where it was constructed as an open-sided viewing platform from which guests could view the hunt and shoot deer from the upper floors.
The former lodge, now a three-storey building, has been extensively restored and is now a museum, which has been managed by the City of London Corporation since 1960. Grade II listed.
Although the lodge was in fact built in the reign of Henry VIII, it will always be associated with Elizabeth I. As can be seen by the picture the spaces between the studs on the upper floors were left open at breast height for the convenience of viewers.
Elizabeth certainly used it as did James I but gradually it ceased to be used for its original purpose and in the eighteenth century the upper viewing spaces were filled in.
Today the hunting lodge is open as a museum. On the ground floor, visitors will find a display of Tudor food and kitchenware, and the upper floors contain displays on Tudor carpentry joints and costumes. Not to mention the stunning view over Chingford Plain and Epping Forest! A view that many Tudor courtiers would have enjoyed all those centuries ago. The hunting lodge is also home to many Tudor events throughout the year including historical re-enactments and musical events.