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Historic England Research Records

Winchester Palace

Hob Uid: 404707
Location :
Greater London Authority
Southwark
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : TQ3257780377
Summary : Winchester Palace was known as 'Winchester House' before the 19th century. There was a substantial timber and stone building circa 20 metres from the river, probably owned by the merchant Ogar. This was bought by the bishops of Winchester in 1144-1149 to add to the property built for Bishop William Giffard in 1109. This was his London residence for carrying out royal or administrative state business. Major construction work occurred in the 13th century, and a long two storey range was built with a new wharf, north of the original buildings. A hall connected to a chapel, and a large drain that emptied into the dock. Two further ranges created a courtyard open on the south side and fed into the palace's outer courtyard. The outer buildings included stables, stone gateway, kitchen garden, and pleasure gardens. The north range was remodelled in the later 13th and early 14th centuries. The hall's west gable wall was reconstructed in the early 14th century with a rose window above three doorways. A south range enclosed the inner courtyard in 1319-20. New bishops' apartments were built in 1356-7, and later in the 14th century a large kitchen block was built to provide one north range. In 1424, James I of Scotland and Joan Beaufort held their wedding reception here, and in 1540, Henry VIII probably met Catherine Howard at the house. The last bishop to live there was Lancelot Andrewes who died in 1626. In 1642 it was converted to a prison for royalists, and after five years was then sold to Thomas Walker of Camberwell. At the Restoration it was returned to the See of Winchester but was in such a bad state that the Bishop let it out as tenements and it deteriorated even further. In 1814, a fire destroyed most of the building. The surviving remains are mainly early 14th century in date, standing on the foundations of the earlier palace. These include the east gable wall with its rose window, and part of the Great Hall, now in the care of English Heritage.
More information : Winchester House or Palace, the residence of the Bishops of Winchester, is said to have been built by William Gifford (1107-1129). It is unlikely that any 12th century work remains, but portions of the 14th century great hall are incorporated in warehouses. The house fell into disrepair temp.Henry VIII and in 1642 was turned into a prison.

TQ 32578039. The remains of Winchester Palace were excavated 1962-3 by the Southwark Archaeology Society. The remains of the great hall are scheduled.

The rose window in the great hall, 13ft in diameter, was found in a warehouse in Clink Street.

Winchester Palace was the largest palace of the Bishops of Winchester for over 500 years. It was built for William Giffard, Bishop of Winchester, in 1109 as a London residence when carrying out royal or administrative state business. The Great Hall and adjoining parts of the house of the Bishops of Winchester were rebuilt in around 1340. The bishops usually held high office from the 14th century until 1550 and many important visitors were entertained here. In 1424, James I of Scotland and Joan Beaufort held their wedding reception here after their marriage in Southwark Cathedral. In 1540, Henry VIII probably met Catherine Howard, his fifth bride, at the house. The last bishop to live there was Lancelot Andrewes who died in 1626. In 1642, when the episcopacy was suppressed by order of Parliament, it was converted to a prison for royalists. It remained a prison for five years and was then sold to Thomas Walker of Camberwell. At the Restoration it was returned to the See of Winchester but was in such a bad state that the Bishop let it out as tenements and it deteriorated even further. In 1814, a fire destroyed most of the palace. The site was excavated between 1962 and 1863 by the Southwark Archaeology Society and in the 1980's. The surviving remains are mainly early 14th century in date, standing on the foundations of the earlier palace. These include the east gable wall and part of the south return of the Great Hall. However the main surviving feature is the rose window and its tracery in the Great Hall, measuring 13 feet in diameter. This forms part of a wall standing to a height of 50 feet. (1-8)

Winchester Palace: Stave and Rosings Wharves, Clink Street, Cathedral Street, SE1.
TQ 32608035. Site code: WP83c.
Excavation in 1983 within the site of the medieval palace revealed the remains of the palace at the west end of the site; it comprised three principal phases of chalk and ragstone wall foundations defining the south-east corner of the 13th-14th-century courtyard ranges, fronting onto the Great Hall of the palace. The third building phase involved considerable modification of the south end of the east range in the 14th century for the insertion of a garderobe pit, which continued in use until the 17th century. The medieval courtyard buildings probably continued in use into the 19th century; a brick-lined cellar was constructed at the south end of the east range in the 18th century, and at about this time cellared buildings encroached upon the courtyard and the north part of the garderobe area.
Winchester palace: St Mary Overy Wharf and Dock, Clink Street, SE1.
TQ 32618037. Site code: WP83b.
Excavation in 1983-4 revealed two medieval features, probably forming part of the main structural phases of the palace of the bishops of Winchester. These consisted of a heavily robbed east/west aligned stone wall and a parallel line of stake-holes of probable 12th century date, and, across the north half of the area, the massive stone wall footings of the east end of the Great Hall of the palace, constructed in the early 13th century. The internal dimensions of the hall were 40.8 x 8.7 metres north/south; and south of the hall was a large stone drain, also found at Pickford's Wharf D to the west. Observations during the widening of St Mary Overy dock recorded two medieval timber revetments and a possible Tudor riverwall and were part of the same features investigated more fully at Pickford's B 40 metres to the west.
Winchester palace: Pickfords Wharf D, Winchester Square, SE1.
TQ 32598037. Site code: WP83a and WPPC83.
Excavation in 1983 on the site of the palace revealed a fragmentary east/west aligned foundation, built of ragstone on timber and dated to AD 1095-1125, which was cut by a chalk foundation also aligned east/west and probably dating to the mid 12th century. This extended beyond the limits of the site and possibly formed part of the palace, built by Henry of Blois. Stone foundations of a 13th century hall, lying to the east of the partially standing west wall, were exposed, together with a large 13th century stone drain running east/west across the site.
Winchester palace (site of the Great Hall), Clink Street, SE1.
TQ 32578039 WIN85, WP86
A survey was made in 1985 of the standing remains of the palace, including a wall containing a large rose window, at the west end of the original Great Hall of the palace. (9)
Winchester palace, Clink Street, SE1.
TQ 32578039. site code: CKN02
In 2002, contractors cleaned and carried out conservation repairs to the east and north faces of standing walls to the south of Clink Street, originally internal to the 1st-floor hall of the palace. The opportunity was taken to examine the masonry, and augment and revise existing records. This allowed the profile of the mouldings of the frame of the rose window to be reconstructed, informing the restoration of the badly weathered lower part of the frame. (9-10)

The site of Winchester Palace was known as 'Winchester House' before the 19th century. Settlement at the Southwark bridgehead was present by the 11th century, and a substantial building on timber and stone foundations circa 20 metres from the river was probably owned by the merchant Ogar, and was bought by the bishops of Winchester in circa 1144-1149. The earliest evidence for the development of the bishop's residence was a 12th century east boundary wall and a stone building, with a second building which had an undercroft added. The 13th century Winchester pipe rolls contain further details about the site. Major construction work occurred in the 13th century, and a long two storey range was built with a new wharf, north of the original buildings. A hall connected to a chapel and a large drain that emptied into St Mary Overy Dock is the 'great gutter' of 1253-4. Two further 13th century ranges created a courtyard open on the south side and fed into the palace's outer courtyard. The outer buildings included stables, a stone gateway, kitchen garden, and pleasure gardens. The north range was remodelled in the later 13th and early 14th centuries. A passageway from the hall gave access from the waterfront to the inner courtyard, and the east end was the bishop's private bedchamber. The hall's west gable wall was reconstructed in the early 14th century with a rose window above three doorways that probably led into the buttery and pantry and the kitchen. A south range enclosed the inner courtyard in 1319-20. New bishops' apartments were built in 1356-7, and later in the 14th century a large kitchen block was built to provide one north range. The site remained in the bishops' ownership until the 1640s, and was returned to them after the Civil War. By 1720 the palace was falling into a ruinous state with the development of the industrial use of the waterfront. A fire in 1814 revealed medieval masonry, and today the standing building remains comprise the west gable wall with its rose window. (11)

Winchester Palace was founded in the 12th century by Bishop Henry of Blois, brother of King Stephen. It was much extended in the early 13th century by Peter des Roches, Chancellor of England, and tutor to Henry III. The bishop's prison in the 17th century the name gave rise to the name 'The Clink' for the street name to the northern side of the palace. In the late 18th century and early 19th centuries the area of the Great Hall and kitchen was let to Lingard and Sadler, manufacturers of mustard. The premises were gutted by fire on 28 August 1814, revealing medieval masonry which inspired several artists and antiquarians to record the site in drawings. Almost immediately new brick warehouses were built, and in 1941 there was mine damage which eventually led to their demolition. (12)





Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Survey of London, volume 22 : Bankside (the Parishes of St. Saviour and Christchurch Southwark)
Source details :
Page(s) : 45-55
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Source Number : 2
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : G.J.Dawson - Asst.Curator, Cuming Museum, S.E.17.
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Source Number : 11
Source : Winchester Palace: excavations at the Southwark residence of the bishops of Winchester
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Source Number : 12
Source : Heritage Unlocked: London and the South East
Source details :
Page(s) : 15-17
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Source Number : 3
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Southwark, 17-SEP-1998
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Vol(s) : 636-1
Source Number : 4
Source : The London encyclopeadia
Source details :
Page(s) : 966
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Source Number : 5
Source : Excavations at Winchester Palace, Southwark
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Source Number : 6
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 01-Jan-73
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Source Number : 7
Source : English Heritage Members' and Visitors' handbook 2008/9
Source details :
Page(s) : 40
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Source Number : 8
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : Link to Visitor Information on the English Heritage website [Accessed 23-SEP-2008] http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/server/show/nav.12861
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Source Number : 9
Source : Archaeology in Greater London 1965-1990 : a guide to records of excavations by the Museum of London
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Vol(s) : vol.2
Source Number : 10
Source : Museum of London Archaeology Service [assessment & evaluation reports]
Source details : 'Winchester Palace, Clink Street, London, SE1: Report on standing masonry recording, December 2002', by A Westman
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built in 1109
Monument End Date : 1109
Monument Start Date : 1109
Monument Type : Bishops Palace
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : 1340 Rebuilt
Monument End Date : 1340
Monument Start Date : 1340
Monument Type : Bishops Palace
Evidence : Ruined Building, Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : 1642
Monument End Date : 1642
Monument Start Date : 1642
Monument Type : Prison
Evidence : Ruined Building, Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : From 1649
Monument End Date : 1814
Monument Start Date : 1649
Monument Type : Tenement House
Evidence : Ruined Building, Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : 1814 Fire damage
Monument End Date : 1814
Monument Start Date : 1814
Monument Type : Tenement House
Evidence : Ruined Building, Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : LO 28
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 470785
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : EH Property Number
External Cross Reference Number : 113
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TQ 38 SW 175
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, WINCHESTER PALACE, CLINK STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1962-01-01
End Date : 1963-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WINCHESTER PALACE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1972-01-01
End Date : 1972-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WINCHESTER PALACE (PICKFORD'S WHARVES C & D)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1983-01-01
End Date : 1983-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WINCHESTER PALACE (STAVE AND ROSING'S WHARVES)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1983-01-01
End Date : 1983-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WINCHESTER PALACE (PICKFORD'S WHARF B)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1984-01-01
End Date : 1984-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WINCHESTER PALACE (ST MARY OVERIE WHARF)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1984-01-01
End Date : 1984-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WINCHESTER PALACE, CLINK STREET
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1985-01-01
End Date : 1986-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, HORSESHOE WHARF, CLINK STREET
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1990-01-01
End Date : 1990-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WINCHESTER WALK, SITE E
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1996-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BANK END ENVIRONMENTAL IMPROVEMENT WORKS
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1999-01-01
End Date : 1999-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CAR PARK SITE, CORNER OF CLINK STREET/STONEY STREET
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WINCHESTER WHARF, CLINK STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2001-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CLINK STREET (CABLE TRENCH)
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, 16 WINCHESTER WALK/PONTIFEX WAREHOUSE, CLINK STREET
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2002-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WINCHESTER PALACE, CLINK STREET
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2002-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CLINK STREET/STONEY STREET CAR PARK
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2002-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BLOWS YARD, 15 WINCHESTER WALK
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2009-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BLOWS YARD, 15 WINCHESTER WALK
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2010-01-01
End Date : 2010-12-31