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Hampton Court Palace moat floods for the first time in a decade
A dry moat surrounding Hampton Court Palace has filled with water for the first time in a decade.
After what was one of the wettest years on record the clay lined moat at Henry VIII’s red brick Tudor palace flooded last week.
A spokesman for the palace said the moat had flooded once before in recent memory, in about 2003, but she said it wasn’t a regular occurrence and it was extremely rare to see it so full.
The spokesman said with less rain forecasted they expected the water to drain naturally over the next few days.
Palace visitors took to Twitter to write about their experience of seeing the flooded moat.
Georgina Moore wrote: "Happy day touring Hampton Court Palace, & I became a member, & there is water in the moat for 1st time in 10 years."
Roger Niven said: "Hampton Court moat is full of water - first time for 50 years, amazing sight. Palace front quite beautiful at night with skating and lights."
The moat has existed since Cardinal Thomas Wolsey made improvements to the palace after taking it over in 1514 and its main purpose was purely ornamental rather than as a defence system.
The moat was originally much larger and over time it has been filled in and dug-out again.
It is believed to have become a dry moat at the beginning of the 20th century when the moat and drawbridge were reinstated.
During Henry the VIII’s day the moat served as a tidal sluice to clean away human waste from the palace’s former public toilets, which were located to the right of the main entrance over the moat and could house up to 28 people at a time.