Henry VIII and Nonsuch
In 1538, Henry VIII purchased a chunk of Cheam, and immediately set to work building the fabled Tudor palace of 'None such', later known as Nonsuch, which he planned to use as a hunting lodge. It was bigger than a football pitch, with octagonal towers and breathtaking stucco panels.
Designed to symbolise the King's power and wealth, it was constructed using only the finest materials. An entire village and church were destroyed to give it the space it merited, on the site that is now called Nonsuch Park. However, as fate would have it, the much-married king died shortly before completion of his architectural masterpiece.
Did you know? 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of the archaelogical dig that unearthed the remains of Nonsuch Palace
I'm Henry VIII, I am
So what happened to the Palace? It was passed down through the Royal Family and a few generations later, Charles II gave the palace to his mistress, Lady Castlemaine – who promptly gambled her way into such debt that she had it pulled down in 1682-3, and sold off everything she could. It was probably the most spectacular royal palace in England; now nothing remains above ground. If only he'd given her a bunch of flowers instead...