Standing on the crest of a hill overlooking the town of Farnham are the impressive motte and 'shell keep' of a castle founded in 1138 by Henry of Blois, Bishop of Winchester and brother of King Stephen. In medieval times the diocese of Winchester was the richest in England, and Farnham was a favourite residence of the bishops. The castle was rebuilt in the late 12th and early 13th centuries, but a viewing platform reveals the buried remains of an earlier tower.
Managed by Farnham Castle, a wedding and events venue. Other parts of the wider site are privately owned.
Before You Go
Parking: There is parking for blue badge holders at the castle, subject to availability. Other visitors are welcome to park at neighbouring Farnham Park. There are also some car parks in Farnham town centre within half a mile.
Opening Times: The keep is open daily from February to Christmas Eve from 9am to 5pm, or dusk if earlier, on weekdays, and from 10am to 4pm at weekends and on bank holidays. Last admission is 30 minutes before closing. Closed between 25 December and 31 January. See details.
Access: The keep is accessed by steep flights of uneven steps but wheelchair access is possible to an exhibition about the castle.
Facilities: There are toilets at the castle, including some with wheelchair access. There are no other facilites but Farnham town centre is a 1/2-mile walk downhill from the castle, and has a range of shops, and places to eat and drink.
Exhibition: There is an free exhibition of the 900 years of Farnham Castle history located close to the keep entrance.
Guided tours: Tours of the Bishop's Palace are available for an additional fee on Wednesday afternoons from 2pm to 4pm, with the last tour starting at 3.30pm. Please phone Farnham Castle on 01252 721194 to reserve a space.
Occasionally it may not be possible to operate tours of the Bishop’s Palace so, to avoid disappointment, please phone in advance.
Dogs: Assistance dogs only.
Plan a Great Day Out
Just a couple of miles away from Farnham stand the remains of Waverley Abbey, the site of the first Cistercian abbey in England.