RAS trip to Lesnes Abbey and Eltham Palace

See separate note for travel arrangements




Lesnes is a ruined Augustinian abbey site, which now overlooks the Thamesmead Estate. It was founded in 1178 by Richard de Luci, who was involved in the plot to murder Thomas Becket. The Abbey also has links with the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381. It was one of the earliest abbeys to be closed by Cardinal Wolsey in 1525. The site was excavated and published by Alfred Clapham in 1910, there are some finds on display in the Greenwich Heritage Centre. The LCC acquired the site in 1930 and has been a public park since then. What is there to see: most of the walls still exist and it’s a good opportunity to view a monastic abbey with its accompanying buildings in London. There are good descriptive boards, and an app which members can download on their mobile phone and I could talk to anyone who was particularly interested.


Eltham Palace Great Hall is a magnificent hammer beam roof built for Edward IV in the 1470’s Henry VIII spent much of his childhood there. Eltham Palace is probably better known for the 20th century mansion built and furnished by the Courtauld family in the 1930s. EH describe it as ‘a triumph of style, taste and ahead-of-the-time home comforts. The site has the usual EH comforts; a good café, a shop, audio tours etc.

The day does require comfortable footwear and some stamina