Friday, 3 June 2016

Farnham Castle

I visited this place with my wife back in 2014 along with Waverly Abbey. Both were religious sites as Farnam Castle was the home of the Bishop of  Winchester which seemed odd to me as the town was nearer London than Winchester. Some history from Wickipedia
Built in 1138 by Henri de Blois, grandson of William the Conqueror, Bishop of Winchester, the castle was to become the home of the Bishops of Winchester for over 800 years. The original building was demolished by Henry II in 1155 after the Anarchy and then rebuilt in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. In the early 15th century, it was the residence of Cardinal Henry Beaufort who presided at the trial of Joan of Arc in 1414. It is for this reason that St Joan of Arc's Church in Farnham is dedicated to her. The castle was slighted again after the Civil War in 1648. Since then more buildings have been constructed in the castle's grounds, the most impressive being those built by Bishop George Morley in the 17th century.
The architecture reflects changing styles through the ages, making it one of the most important historical buildings in the south of England. It is an impressive stone motte and bailey fortress, which has been in continuous occupation since the 12th century. The large motte was formed around the massive foundations of a Norman tower and then totally enclosed by a shell-keep, with buttress turrets and a shallow gatehouse. Attached to the motte is a triangular inner bailey, with a fine range of domestic buildings and a fifteenth-century brick entrance tower. The formidable outer bailey curtain wall has square flanking towers, a 13th-century gatehouse and a large ditch.
In the second World War it was the home of the  Camouflage Development and Training Centre The Castle is now under the care of English Heritage. I have written a previous blog but thought I would do one for my Exproation blog

I started taking my photos here in the moat leading to the bridge you see ahead, back in the day it would have looked like you see in the picture to the left

The climb up is steep but you can look out over the Bishops palace below

This is a view you get looking down from inside the keep to the bridge. On the right you can see the old fireplaces still in the walls

Looking down from the view point to the Bishops gardens

and you get an even better view of the palace

The top of the Keep

The building in the middle covers a pit that was dug and shows the various levels of it being built and some archaeology

on the left you cal look down to the old moat. on the right the walkway to one of the viewpoints

You can see the outlines of the various building that used to be in the keep

A quick look over the wall shows how steep they were while on the right a view down the pit in the middle

Anther view over to the Bishops garden and the pond

and the outer wall and beyond is a park

The view above along with the one to the right gives an idea to how sheer the walls to the keep are

This entrance leads to the Bishops Palace

which is this building her

that joins onto this Tudor building

The entrance door 

with the coat of arms 

Remember the steps from earlier, well this is the bottom of them

The Keep from the Bishops palace and another part of in in the photo to the left

The stained glass in the banquet hall was amazing

Which I could only take from the outside as when I went in to look they were preparing for a wedding but it looked stunning from the inside

That's it for Farnham Castle, the building above was probably an old carriage house but to the right where the door is open is a small museum showing the history of the place. It's worth a stop off if your in the area as it is quite interesting to see. More information here at Farnham Castle