The rise and fall of Thomas Wolsey

Updated 2 July. Following government guidance, some of the outdoor spaces at Hampton Court Palace are now open Wednesday-Sunday. Palace interiors will reopen 17 July. The Magic Garden and Maze remain closed. Please read our visit information

About this session

Key Stage 5 | Subject: History | Topics: Tudors | Session Type: Depth study

Explore and deconstruct the key factors that contributed to Thomas Wolsey’s spectacular fall from the highest echelons of power.

In this session, students will use the remaining traces of Wolsey’s palace and contemporary opinions of Wolsey to analyse how the Cardinal presented himself and his position and his relationship with King Henry VIII.

Through the palace he created, students will evaluate why Wolsey was able to rise so high, and why ultimately he fell from grace. 

Exam board links

This session has been designed to complement the study of the Early Tudors, and particularly the following exam boards:


  • Unit 1C The Tudors: England, 1485–1603 part one.


  • Unit 1B England, 1509–1603: authority, nation and religion.


  • Unit 1 Y106 England, 1485–1558: the Early Tudors (Enquiry topic: Mid Tudor Crises 1547–1558).


  • Unit 3 (A2): Poverty, protest and rebellion in Wales and England, c.1485-1603 - The Mid Tudor crisis in Wales and England c.1529-1570.
  • Unit 2 (AS): Part 1: Problems, threats and challenges c.1529-1553.
  • Unit 4 (A2): Part 2: Challenges facing Mary and Elizabeth c.1553-1570.


Booking information

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
10.30, 13.00
90 minutes
Up to 35 students
£12.58 per student
If you plan to bring 11 students or fewer a minimum price of £151 will be charged for your group.

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Session notes for teachers

Key information for your school visit to Hampton Court Palace.

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