Hampton Court Palace
The Knights Hospitallers of St John Jerusalem acquired the manor of Hampton in 1236 and used the site as a grange - a centre for their agricultural estates – where produce was stored and accounts kept.
Excavations and early documents suggest that the Knights had a great barn or hall and a stone camera (room) that they used as an estate office. There was probably very little, if any, residential accommodation.
Early royal visitors
By the 14th century, the Hampton estates of the Knights Hospitallers sat rather conveniently between royal palaces at Sheen and Byfleet.
The grange was a perfect staging post for royal visitors. And new building works at Hampton Court reflected its new use as a high-status guest house. Byfleet was dismantled in the early 1400s, and the importance of Hampton Court declined at the same time.
The Knights Hospitallers already rented out a lot of their other estates and it seems that Hampton Court first became a tenanted property at about this time.