Hampton Court Maze

A hedge maze at Hampton Court Palace

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Hampton Court Maze
A diagram of the maze's layout showing a correct path to the centre

Hampton Court Maze is a hedge maze at Hampton Court Palace and the oldest surviving hedge maze in Britain.[1]

Commissioned by King William III, the maze, which is about one-third of an acre, is planted in a trapezoid shape and was designed by George London and Henry Wise.[1] It is located in the "wilderness" gardens of the palace.[2][3] Planted between 1689 and 1695, the maze is not particularly difficult,[2] taking about 20 minutes for a person to make their way to the middle.[1] It was originally planted in hornbeam, later replaced by yew.[1]

Psychologist Edmund Sanford took inspiration from the Hampton Court Maze in his idea to create mazes for laboratory rats to study learning.[4][5] The maze is referenced in some works of literature, including humorist Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat (1889) and Carol Shields' Larry's Party (1997).[2]


  1. ^ a b c d "Hampton Court Palace: The Maze". Historic Royal Palaces.
  2. ^ a b c Julie E. Bounford & Trevor Bounford, The Curious History of Mazes: 4,000 Years of Fascinating Twists and Turns with Over 100 Intriguing Puzzles to Solve (Wellfleet, 2018), p. 106.
  3. ^ RHS Garden Finder 2006-2007: More Than 1,000 Gardens to Visit and Enjoy (ed. Charles Quest-Ritson: Think, 2006).
  4. ^ C. James Goodwin, Research In Psychology: Methods and Design (Wiley: 2010), p. 110.
  5. ^ C. James Goodwin, A History of Modern Psychology (Wiley, 2015), p. 159.

Coordinates: 51°24′22″N 0°20′15″W / 51.4062°N 0.3376°W / 51.4062; -0.3376

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