Even by the standards of the powerful medieval Bishops of Winchester, Bishop's Waltham in Hampshire was a grand residence. Much remains of the 12th and 14th century buildings, which were begun by Bishop Henry of Blois, brother of King Stephen. Set within attractive grounds, they include the impressive three-storey tower and the fine windows of the great hall built by William of Wykeham, bishop from 1367 and founder of Winchester College and New College, Oxford.
The palace's lodging range later became a farmhouse and it now houses the Bishop's Waltham Museum - visit their website for details.
Read more about the history of Bishop's Waltham Palace.
Before You Go
Access: Parts of the grounds may be uneven and can become muddy in wet weather. The first floor of Bishop's Waltham Museum is accessed via a wooden staircase.
Parking: There is a car park and it is accessed off the B2177 just east of the junction with Station Road.
Opening Times: The grounds are open daily between April and September from 10am to 6pm, and daily between October and March from 10am to 4pm (apart from Christmas Day). View details.
The Bishop's Waltham Museum, a small local museum housed in the farmhouse buillding, is open from noon to 5pm at weekends and bank holidays from May to September. Exhibits include objects from Bishop's Waltham and the surrounding area from prehistoric times to the modern period - please visit the museum's website for more details.
Plan a Great Day Out
Why not pack a picnic for an abbey exploration day and take in nearby Titchfield Abbey, Southwick Priory and Netley Abbey? Or visit nearby Portchester Castle with its long and exciting history. You can enjoy a picnic in the grounds, or on the shore of the Solent and make sure to browse the gift shop.
The Bishops of Winchester owned a number of palaces throughout the country. Wolvesey Castle is just eight miles from Waltham Palace. A bit further afield you can also find Farnham Castle and Winchester Palace, Southwark.