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Hampshire Map

Not a lot seems to be known about Bishop's Waltham Palace. It appears to have started life as a castle built by Henry de Blois in 1135. It then became a bishop's palace used by the bishops and senior clergy of Winchester as they travelled through the diocese, from their main base at Wolvesey Castle in Winchester.

Most of what we see today is the work of William of Wykeham, who was Bishop of Winchester from 1367.

Further additions were made in the fifteenth century by Bishop Henry Beaufort, and Bishop Thomas Langton who built a wall around the site and erected the garden house.

The remains today consist of two ranges of buildings: to the east, closer to the car park are the Farmhouse (formerly the Guest Lodgings) build by Bishop Beaufort in 1438-43, and the combined Bakehouse and Brewhouse build by Bishop Wykeham in 1378-81, and subsequently heightened by Bishop Beaufort.

The latter is huge, and to my untrained eye looks more like a tithe barn, but then, what do I know. Bishop's Waltham Town Museum occupies the ground floor of the Farmhouse.

The South Range consists of the West Tower and the Great Hall both of which date back to the twelfth century, but were modernised and extended by Bishop Wykeham.

To the south of the site is the Chapel built by Bishop Beaufort, little of which remains.

There is a small car park adjoining the site. Admission is free; for opening times, please see English Heritage's official site detailed below.

A peaceful spot, clearly popular with local families, but it could do with a few on site display boards.