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Historic England Research Records

Bishops Waltham Palace

Hob Uid: 234520
Location :
Hampshire
Winchester
Bishops Waltham
Grid Ref : SU5520017350
Summary : The remains of Bishop's Waltham Palace, constructed in the 12th century. The earliest surviving buildings date to the episcopate of Henry of Blois (1129-1171). These include the kitchen, hall, tower and chamber, and the chapel crypt. Excavations have revealed evidence of a smaller stone building underlying the hall and great chamber. This may be the castle built by Henry of Blois at Waltham and slighted (partially demolished to render it indefensible) in 1155-6. The kitchen and brewhouse were rebuilt in 1252 and extra chambers were added in 1339/1340. The palace was rebuilt by Bishop William of Wykeham from 1378 until 1404. Wykeham was succeeded by Henry Beaufort (1404-47) who added a new storey to the west tower in 1406. A new chapel was built between 1416 and 1427 and in 1438-43 a new gatehouse and the major range of buildings on the north side of the inner court were constructed. Bishop Langton (1493-1501) subsequently refaced many of the timber framed buildings and rebuilt the gatehouse into the wall of the inner court.The palace was used as an active residence until the English Civil War. It was considerably damaged after the royalist garrison surrendered. After the Restoration in 1660 some buildings were used for agricultural purposes while others were used as a source for building materials. The ruined palace is now under the guardianship of English Heritage.The palace buildings are arranged around a single large courtyard defined by a moat. The lodgings, the majority of which survive below ground only, were ranged along the inner edge of the northern side of the moat, with the bakehouse and brewhouse along the most northerly part of the eastern arm of the moat. To the south of these lie the chapel and crypt, which occupy the southern part of the inner court and extend alongside the western arm of the moat. The southern buildings include the bishop's great chamber, the west tower, cloisters and the hall with, to its north, the service rooms and kitchen.
More information : (SU 55201735) Palace (remains of) [NAT] (1)

The Bishop's Palace, first built on the site of a cemetery c1135 by Bishop Henry of Blois, appears to have been reconstructed c1160-80. Various alterations were carried out until the 15C when extensive rebuilding took place. Occupied until the early 17c, it was then damaged in the Civil War and allowed to fall into ruin. Fragments of a moat remain. (2)

Plan with brief history and description. (3)

Excavations by Portsmouth City Museum adjacent to the mill-pond revealed a stable, a Tudor malt-house and a barn overlying a large Medieval centre post barn. These are on top of late Saxon timber structures. (4)

Area centred SU 552 175. (5)

The main Palace complex is as described.
Published 1:2500 revised.
Nothing remains above ground of the structures revealed by the 1967 excavations. (6)

Bishops' Palace (NR) remains of (7)

The ruins of the Bishops of Winchester's Palace. Grade I. (8)

Scheduled No. 99. (9)

This source is a full report of the excavations carried out between 1967 and 1978. The findings include a mesolithic working site, late Saxon hall and C 11 - C 12 settlement. (10)

This source includes discussions on the economy of the Bishop Waltham's fishponds. (11)

This source includes discussions on the rooftiles and their sources. (12)

The Palace was probably originally built as a castle, first mentioned in 1138, and dismantled in 1156. (13)

Bishop's Waltham Palace, a magnate's residence, was constructed in the 12th century and in use until its ruin in the Civil War.
The buildings of the palace are arranged within an inner court, a rectangular area defined by a moat. The buildings of the inner court are arranged around a single large courtyard, entered through a gatehouse on the causeway in the north west corner of the moat. Ranged along the inner edge of the northern side of the
moat were the lodgings. The bakehouse and brewhouse lie along the most northerly part of the eastern arm of the moat. To the south of these lie the chapel and crypt, the most easterly elements of the complex of buildings which occupies the southern part of the inner court and extends alongside the western arm of the moat. The southern buildings include the bishop's great chamber, the west tower, cloisters and the hall with, to its north, the service rooms and
kitchen.

Beyond the inner court, to the south and east, lies the Lord's Garden, an area of park or garden enclosed by a brick wall which incorporates corner turrets on its south west and north east angles.
To the west of the Inner Court and Lord's Garden lie the remains of the fishponds.

The first evidence of an Episcopal residence dates to the 12th century. The earliest surviving buildings, which provide the core of the kitchen, hall, tower and chamber, together with the chapel crypt, date to the episcopate of Henry of Blois (1129-1171), the nephew of Henry I. Excavation has produced evidence of a smaller stone building underlying the hall and great chamber. This may be the earlier castle built by Henry of Blois at Waltham and slighted in 1155-6 after the accession of Henry II. The kitchen and brewhouse were rebuilt in 1252 and extra chambers were added in 1339 and 1340.

In the late 14th century the palace was transformed by the rebuilding begun in 1378 by Bishop William of Wykeham and carried on almost until his death in 1404. There was a second phase of rebuilding between 1387 and 1393. A new pantry, buttery and serving place
were then built together with a chamber above them. The kitchen was heightened and enlarged and a new larder was added. The third stage of reconstruction in 1394-6 involved the rebuilding of the lord's great chamber to the east of the tower, together with remodelling and rebuilding on the tower itself. In 1401 major alterations were carried out in the inner court.

Bishop Wykeham was succeeded by Henry Beaufort (1404-1447) who, in 1406, added a new storey to the west tower in which lay his private accommodation. Work was underway on a new chapel in 1416 but was not completed until 1427. Beaufort's last major programme of work was in 1438-1443 when a new gatehouse and the major range of buildings on the north side of the inner court were constructed.

Subsequent works by Bishop Langton (1493-1501) involved facing many timber framed buildings, including Beaufort's range of lodgings, with brick. He also rebuilt the gatehouse into the wall of the inner court and may also have been responsible for the construction of the wall with turrets which encloses the Lord's Garden.

The palace was maintained as an active residence until the English Civil War when considerable destruction was caused after the surrender of its royalist garrison. After the Restoration in 1660 some buildings were used for agricultural purposes while others acted as quarries for building materials. (14)

A detailed description of the palace can be accessed in these two sources. (15-16)

Antiquity Models. (17-18)

A palace used by Bishops and senior clergy of Winchester as they travelled through their diocese. Winchester was the richest diocese in England and this is reflected in the buildings of Bishops Waltham palace. Much of the structure visible today was built by Bishop William Wykeham who was bishop from 1367. (19)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1962
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
Source details :
Page(s) : 105-108
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 125-138
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 42 (1986)
Source Number : 12
Source : Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society newsletter
Source details :
Page(s) : 19-20
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 7 (1987)
Source Number : 13
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the islands. Volume I : Anglesey - Montgomery
Source details :
Page(s) : 188
Figs. :
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Source Number : 14
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 29-Oct-97
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 15
Source : Bishop's Waltham Palace, Hampshire: William of Wykeham, Henry Beaufort and the transformation of a Medieval episcopal palace
Source details :
Page(s) : 222-254
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : Vol 145
Source Number : 16
Source : Bishop's Waltham Palace, Hampshire [official guide to palace of 12th century and later]
Source details :
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Source Number : 17
Source : SU 51 NE 1 (Bishops Waltham Palace) (1968)
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 18
Source : SU 51 NE 1 and LINEAR 245 (RR 420) (SU 5415) (1968)
Source details :
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Source Number : 19
Source : English Heritage Visitor Handbook 2009/10
Source details :
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Ministry of Public Buildings Works pamplet 1966
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Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : MOW Etc 1967 (K J Barton)
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Source Number : 5
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : KJ Barton Curator Portsmouth Museum
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Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 CFW 29-SEP-68
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 7
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 25" 1971
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Source Number : 8
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Droxford Rural District 1960
Page(s) : 10-Nov
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : List of ancient monuments in England: Volume 1, Northern England; Volume 2, Southern England; Volume 3, East Anglia and the Midlands
Source details :
Page(s) : 102
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2
Source Number : 10
Source : Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 81-126
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 41 (1985)

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built pre 1155
Monument End Date : 1155
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Slighted 1155-6
Monument End Date : 1156
Monument Start Date : 1155
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Slighted in the Civil War
Monument End Date : 1645
Monument Start Date : 1644
Monument Type : Bishops Palace
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Change in function 1660
Monument End Date : 1660
Monument Start Date : 1660
Monument Type : Quarry, Agricultural Building
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built 1156 to 1171
Monument End Date : 1171
Monument Start Date : 1156
Monument Type : Bishops Palace
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Rebuilt in 1252
Monument End Date : 1252
Monument Start Date : 1252
Monument Type : Brewhouse, Kitchen
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Addition in 1339/40
Monument End Date : 1339
Monument Start Date : 1339
Monument Type : Bishops Palace
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Rebuilt 1378 to 1404
Monument End Date : 1404
Monument Start Date : 1378
Monument Type : Bishops Palace
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Addition in 1406
Monument End Date : 1406
Monument Start Date : 1406
Monument Type : Tower
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Added 1416 to 1427
Monument End Date : 1427
Monument Start Date : 1416
Monument Type : Bishops Palace, Chapel
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : 1438 to 1443
Monument End Date : 1443
Monument Start Date : 1438
Monument Type : Bishops Palace, Gatehouse
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Alterations 1493 to 1501
Monument End Date : 1501
Monument Start Date : 1493
Monument Type : Bishops Palace
Evidence : Ruined Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : HA 99
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 26721
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : EH Property Number
External Cross Reference Number : 174
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : UAD Number (Winchester)
External Cross Reference Number : MWC4503
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 51 NE 1
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 234572
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 832023
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1182599
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1182605
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 511601
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, BISHOP'S PALACE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1890-01-01
End Date : 1890-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BISHOP'S PALACE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1957-01-01
End Date : 1963-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BISHOP'S PALACE (SITE 1)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1967-01-01
End Date : 1968-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BISHOP'S PALACE, (SITE 2), ("RIVER OF THE LORD")
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1967-01-01
End Date : 1968-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE PALACE DITCH (SITE 3/4) ("RIVER OF THE LORD")
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1967-01-01
End Date : 1968-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BISHOP'S PALACE STABLES (SITE 5)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1967-01-01
End Date : 1969-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SU 51 NE 1
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1968-09-29
End Date : 1968-09-29
Associated Activities : Primary, BISHOP'S PALACE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1986-01-01
End Date : 1986-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BISHOPS WALTHAM PALACE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 1995-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BISHOPS WALTHAM PALACE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BISHOPS WALTHAM PALACE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2002-12-31