"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Posted on February 29, 2016 by Sioux under General
5 Comments

 

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The area I am currently working in is known as a ‘Medieval Market Village’ and is complete with river and palace!

 

The town’s name comprises three parts ‘walt’ – forest; ‘ham’ – settlement’; and ‘Bishop’s’. It started off as an Anglo-Saxon village, and steadily grew to become one of Hampshire’s largest villages, despite being burnt to the ground by Danes in 1001 AD. The village was ‘given’ to the Bishop of Winchester, by the king of the time, in 904. There are still a number of Georgian buildings in the town alongside the Norman parish church.

 

The town still has a very unique character, with a number of small local businesses (such as a butchers, bakery and fishmonger) including an off-licence which was established in 1617. The famous High Street in the town is also home to a couple of more modern chain stores, however the owners of these and other stores have fought to prevent larger chains from threatening their businesses and, they argue, the character of the town. Unusually for the United Kingdom, there is a vineyard nearby.

The palace, although a ruin now, must have at one stage been

a grand residence. As the grounds are locked up during the

winter, I wasn’t able to get in, so walked around the outside

perimeter, getting whatever photos I could

 

The image (left) of how the palace could have looked at the

time, is courtesy of Google, and I have indicated with yellow

arrows where I was standing when I took the photos, other than the one with the dam in front of the palace, which was taken from the opposite side of the small fishing dam. 

The  Bishops Waltham Palace was one of the finest residences of the

Bishops of Winchester, who were ranked among the richest men in

Europe. There is still a lot that remains of the 12th and 14th century

buildings, which were started by Bishop Henry of Blois in the early

12th century; remodelled and extended in the 14th and 15th centuries; becoming a palace fit for a king and did indeed house the king of the time and his court.

 

Built within a stunning wooded area, the buildings included an impressive three storey tower, and many fine examples of stained glass as was the custom of that period. 

The palace was badly damaged during the 1642-49 Civil War and subsequently abandoned. One of Britain’s most distinguished modern time naval officers, Admiral Sir Andrew Browne Cunningham, lived there for a while after the end of WW2.

 

The ground floor currently houses the Bishops Waltham Town Museum.

Over the road from the palace grounds is a small private fishing dam. Sneaking in under the fence, I managed to get a photo of an old fellow sitting quietly with his rod in the water. I watched in amazement as he caught fish after fish, put them in a holding net, and after about the 10th catch, released them all again! Great to catch and release but the holding net? I dared not disturb his reverie and ask why, as I was on private property.

 

5 responses to “Medieval beauty”

  1. Chez says:

    Very interesting thank you take care Sioux x x

  2. Paul says:

    A pity that such a grand building has fallen into ruin, but the cost of upkeep would be horrendous?

  3. Cindy says:

    sounds like a fascinating place to live and work. I love discovering these old palaces, albeit in ruins. I laughed when I read about the off-license being established in 1617….that’s just unreal. Clearly the town doesn’t have an issue with alcohol LOL.
    Looking forward to your next adventure

  4. Pauline Smith says:

    Lovely history lesson and yes, you shouldn’t disturb people when you are sneaking in….

  5. Yvonne Louw says:

    looks wonderful and full of intrigue

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