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Winchester Castle Great Hall

Visited April 2011

Location Winchester, Hampshire  
Entrance Fee No
Railway Station Nearby Winchester, approx 1/4 mile
Parking Yes- city centre parking
Facilities Exhibition, shop, toilets






Winchester was from very early times an important centre, capital of the kingdom of Wessex  and one-time capital of England, so it goes without saying that it would have had a castle. The first castle would have been built by William the Conqueror, but this structure burned down and was then re-built , undergoing extensive alterations by Henry III and Edward I. It was in Henry's reign that the Great Hall was added, this is the building that we see today. The remainder of the castle was slighted during the civil war, and with the exception of the Great Hall, all that remains of the castle today are a few fragments of masonry and the entrance to a sally port. The Great Hall houses a piece of artwork known as the Round Table- it dates from the 13th century but was once believed to be a genuine Arthurian artefact. 





There is a pretty garden at the back of the Great Hall- known as Queen Eleanor's Garden. it is not massive though, so I imagine it could get busy out there the during peak tourist season. There is a gallery just off the hall which houses an exhibition on the history of Winchester, there are also toilets and a gift shop on site. The Great Hall is right in the middle of Winchester, so it is a two minute stroll to find the shops and cafes of the city centre. It is a shame that more of the Castle did not survive , but what is left is one of the best preserved medieval halls in the country. It is also in the centre of a beautiful cathedral city, so well worth the effort to visit. There is free admission which is always a bonus!!!





More info:  Winchester Great Hall

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