The architectural period of William and Mary refers to the years of joint sovereignty over England and Scotland by William III (William of Orange) and his wife Mary II, daughter of James II. After Mary died in 1694, William ruled alone until his death in 1702. This period also includes the subsequent reign of Queen Anne.
Despite the continued use of the Renaissance-inspired style of Southern Europe there were also strong influences from the Netherlands and France. The Dutch style, that popularly seems to typify the era, include Dutch Gables, shaped with ogee parapets crowned with semi-circular or triangular pediments.
But perhaps the most significant influence of the period came from the throne. William and Mary commissioned some of the finest buildings in England, including Hampton Court, Kensington Palace, and Greenwich Hospital. This was a time of exceptional royal patronage, when the king and queen were the last sovereigns to build palaces in the Stuart tradition. Of equal importance, it was a time that coincided with the genius of Sir Christopher Wren.
Wren was asked to remodel Hampton Court. A new courtyard was built at the south-east corner of the existing palace, containing apartments for the King and Queen. The King's apartment was located in the south wing, while the Queen, had she survived, would have been accommodated in the adjoining east wing. Externally Wren built the additions to match the Tudor brickwork of the original palace.
In 1689 William purchased Nottingham House, a small villa in Kensington. This was renamed Kensington Palace and modestly extended - again in brick - by Sir Christopher Wren.
Following Mary's death, William abandoned work at Hampton Court and focused his attention on Kensington Palace. In the following year he ordered further additions, including an appropriately palatial facade.
In the same year the Royal Naval Hospital for retired sailors at Greenwich was founded. The project was intended to rival Charles II's military Hospital at Chelsea, and Wren was encouraged to design on the grandest scale. The outcome was to incorporate the pre-existing buildings on the Thames-side site by Inigo Jones and John Webb. Greenwich Hospital became arguably William's finest act of architectural patronage and remains one of the greatest architectural set pieces in Britain.