Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge

  • By C LITTLEJOHN
  • 06 Nov, 2015

It is great therapy to occasionally escape London and find yourself within a short time at a historic landscape.  


Originally known as the Great Standynge, Queen Elizabeths Hunting Lodge sits on the edge of Epping Forest in Chingford, Essex. Constructed in 1542-3 at the request of Henry VIII, it was a three-story open platform from which the hunt could be viewed. It was later restored by Queen   Elizabeth I, but despite this the building was never recorded as being used by the royal family.  


The appearance of the facade was originally very colourful with the timbers probably painted in red earth pigments, (traces of which are still found on the interior adjacent to the fireplace) with white infill panels. The windows are a later addition, and the building was open on much of the facade. Traces of the pigment blue bice (smalt) have also been found on the walls. 1


Up until recent years, the exterior was given the standard 'Tudor' treatment of black and white in high contrast, as seen in the hand-tinted postcard of 1906. By the late twentieth century the timbers were being negatively affected by an impervious coating (probably applied as a weatherproofing or consolidant, and similar to that recently observed on the Queens House, Tower of London), causing the wood underneath to rot. This was removed in the 1990s and the entire facade painted in white limewash.  


On the day I visited the air was thick with fog over the green, the light was fading. Down the hill a pair of Vikings fought in hand to hand combat, trailed by a camera crew. Strapped up in boots and gators, I took a muddy walk in the royal forest. Returning to the hunting lodge, the light was warm and inviting, and the building finally seemed out of time.  




  1. Reference City of London leaflet
  2. Queen Elizabeth's LodgePostcard, post marked August 1906. F Frith & Co
By C LITTLEJOHN 06 Nov, 2015

It is great therapy to occasionally escape London and find yourself within a short time at a historic landscape.  


Originally known as the Great Standynge, Queen Elizabeths Hunting Lodge sits on the edge of Epping Forest in Chingford, Essex. Constructed in 1542-3 at the request of Henry VIII, it was a three-story open platform from which the hunt could be viewed. It was later restored by Queen   Elizabeth I, but despite this the building was never recorded as being used by the royal family.  


The appearance of the facade was originally very colourful with the timbers probably painted in red earth pigments, (traces of which are still found on the interior adjacent to the fireplace) with white infill panels. The windows are a later addition, and the building was open on much of the facade. Traces of the pigment blue bice (smalt) have also been found on the walls. 1


Up until recent years, the exterior was given the standard 'Tudor' treatment of black and white in high contrast, as seen in the hand-tinted postcard of 1906. By the late twentieth century the timbers were being negatively affected by an impervious coating (probably applied as a weatherproofing or consolidant, and similar to that recently observed on the Queens House, Tower of London), causing the wood underneath to rot. This was removed in the 1990s and the entire facade painted in white limewash.  


On the day I visited the air was thick with fog over the green, the light was fading. Down the hill a pair of Vikings fought in hand to hand combat, trailed by a camera crew. Strapped up in boots and gators, I took a muddy walk in the royal forest. Returning to the hunting lodge, the light was warm and inviting, and the building finally seemed out of time.  




  1. Reference City of London leaflet
  2. Queen Elizabeth's LodgePostcard, post marked August 1906. F Frith & Co
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