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Richmond Palace was built on the site of the old royal residence of Sheen (named from the Old English word for a 'beauty spot') in Surrey along the banks of the Thames. The royal family had taken up residence at Sheen for Christmas of 1498, but a fire broke out on December 21 and destroyed the old building, along with many valuable royal possessions.

The king decided to build a new palace in Sheen's place. Most people think of Henry VII as a miser who pinched every penny of the royal treasury, but there were several examples to contradict this image, and Richmond Palace was certainly one. The palace featured an amazing number of windows and the roof contained a large amount of lead. The new palace was ready for the royal family's use within two years. The name of "Richmond" was given to the Palace from the earldom that Henry held when he won at Bosworth Field.

Henry VIII lived at Richmond until Wolsey gave him Hampton Court Palace. Anne of Cleves lived at Richmond after her divorce and both Henry VII and his granddaughter Elizabeth I died there.

Not much of Henry VII's palace remains, but a walk around the area between Richmond Green and the Thames reveals a few sections of the Tudor structure. What remains has been made into a private residence and is not open to the public.