Wolvesey Castle (Old Bishop's Palace)

Aerial view of the remains of Wolvesey Castle.
The remains of Wolvesey Castle.

Free Entry

Open 10am-5pm, daily, from April until October

Address:

Winchester, Hampshire S023 9NB

Before You Go

The medieval Bishops of Winchester were rich and powerful men, the relations and advisers of kings. Wolvesey, standing a stone's throw from Winchester Cathedral, was their main residence throughout the Middle Ages. The extensive remains date largely from the great 12th century palace of Bishop Henry of Blois, brother of King Stephen.

Though ruinous, the buildings still evoke an impression of their former grandeur. The last great occasion here was on 25th July 1554, when the East Hall was transformed with silk and gold hangings for Queen Mary and Philip of Spain's wedding banquet.

Read more about Wolvesey's history.

Before You Go

Access: Parts of the site are uneven and can become muddy.

Opening Times: The castle is open daily 10am-5pm from April until November. The castle is closed between November and March. View details.

Parking: There are a number of public car parks in Winchester, not managed by English Heritage. The closest one is Colebrook Street, a five minute walk from the site.

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Plan a Great Day Out

Continue your tour of the Bishop's Palaces by visiting Farnham Castle Keep and Bishop's Waltham Palace. You could also head to the coast and visit Portchester Castle, about a 45 minute drive from Winchester.  Enjoy a picnic in the castle grounds, or on the Solent shore, and find that special reminder of your day in the gift shop.

Guidebook: Three Palaces of the Bishops of Winchester

Price: £2.99

The sunrise through the conservatory at Witley Court.

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About us

English Heritage cares for over 400 historic buildings, monuments and places - from world-famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of empire to a Cold War bunker. Through these, we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million people each year. The English Heritage Trust is a charity, no. 1140351, and a company, no. 0744722, registered in England.

How We Are Funded

Our target is to become completely self-funding by 2023. Our confidence in achieving this is based on our track record. During the past 10 years, our commercial income has doubled and we have raised nearly £60m in donated income.

  • 66% Self-generated income
  • 20% One off capital grant
  • 14% Government funding
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