ABSTRACT

Henry VIII’s religious innovations of the 1530s changed the way that his courtiers were housed in and around London. Several of the former monasteries were turned into mansions, a process of adaptation which often turned the central conventual buildings inside-out, with both practical and political consequences. In the 1540s Henry acquired the bishops’ palaces between the Strand and the river Thames, the political main line of the metropolis. These were also passed on to leading court - iers. Late in the reign some courtiers were moving further out of town, constructing new country houses in a commuter belt around London. Others built houses clustering around the new centre of royal power at Greenwich Palace, and the local economies of Lewisham and Deptford were subordinated to the requirements of the Palace.