Placement Opportunity: Historic Royal Palaces - 'Building the Tudor Palaces'

OrganisationHistoric Royal Palaces

Location of Placement: Bodleian Weston Library, Oxford; British Library, The National Archives, Tower of London/Hampton Court Palace, London; University of Nottingham.

Placement Duration: 3 months

Placement Dates: July - September 2024

Lead Contacts: Dr Alden Gregory, Curator of Historic Buildings, HRP; Dr Rachel Delman, Heritage Partnerships Coordinator, University of Oxford

About the Organisation

Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) is an independent charity that is responsible for six magnificent and historically significant royal palaces: HM Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London (a UNESCO World Heritage Site); Hampton Court Palace; Kensington Palace; Banqueting House, Whitehall (the sole surviving part of the historic Palace of Whitehall); Kew Palace, Queen Charlotte’s Cottage and the Pagoda (within Royal Botanic Gardens Kew); and Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, the monarch’s official residence in Northern Ireland. HRP is also an Independent Research Organisation (IRO) and undertakes research to inform the world class conservation and interpretation they deliver for all of their sites.

Placement Description

Building the Tudor Palaces:

Collectively, the Bodleian Library in Oxford, the British Library, The National Archives and the University of Nottingham Special Collections hold a series of original manuscripts detailing building work at the Tower of London, Whitehall Palace, and other English royal palaces, in the period 1532-44. Compiled by the Surveyor of the King’s Works, James Nedeham, the bound volumes contain quarterly accounts detailing the work of masons, bricklayers, joiners, carpenters, plumbers and other craftspeople in a period when Henry VIII was investing vast sums into art and architecture. The records, therefore, represent an invaluable resource for architectural, royal, and social history in this period. Working in-person in the relevant archives, the successful candidate will produce summaries of the content of all the volumes to act as a calendar or finding aid for them, and a report with suggested next steps for turning the calendar produced into a usable online resource for researchers. The final outputs will be shared with senior curatorial staff at Historic Royal Palaces and the Oxford Heritage Partnerships team as a reference point for HRP staff, and will inform future research on the people, places and goods documented. The candidate will have the opportunity to meet regularly with the supervisory team and HRP staff, both in-person in Oxford and on-site in London, and via Teams video calls. The placement will provide the candidate with key insights into curatorial research for a leading UK Heritage organisation.

Skills, Knowledge or Experience needed

The candidate will require experience of handling archival materials and proficiency in early modern English palaeography for this project. They will be required to undertake a related recruitment task as part of the selection process, and will need to state their experience of handling and transcribing late medieval/early Tudor documents in their application materials.

Much of the work will need to be carried out in person in the relevant archives in Oxford, London and Nottingham. It is estimated this may require between 1 and 3 weeks on site at each location. It is envisaged that the student will photograph archival documents and analyse them remotely where possible to save travel and accommodation costs (which will be costed and approved by the DTP once the home location of the successful candidate is known). Please write to if you have questions about the content or logistics of this placement.

Enthusiasm for a career in the Heritage sector and/or Libraries and Archives would be an advantage.

How to Apply

Please send a CV and a short statement of interest to by 5pm on Monday 6 May 2024.