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Wolvesey Castle

Visited April 2011

Location Winchester, Hampshire
Entrance Fee No
Railway Station           Winchester, approx 3/4 mile
Parking Yes- on street
Facilities None


Wolvesey Castle is the Old Bishop's Palace for the Bishops of Winchester. Most of the ruins today date back to the 12th Century. The Palace was used to host the wedding feast of Mary Tudor to Philip of Spain in 1554. Next to the ruins is the large house, built in the 1680's, which is still the residence of the Bishop of Winchester.






The first thing to say about visiting the castle is that if like us you arrive by train, the walk from the station is a lot further than it seems on the map. This is due to the entrance to the castle being the other side of the Cathedral, so as the crow flies it looks like an easy walk, but in reality it is further than our tired little legs would have liked (especially on the way back!) The second thing to say is if you do find yourself walking from the station, take the time to visit the Cathedral , as you have to walk straight past it anyway and it  is certainly worth it. The crypt is especially interesting.


Back to the castle, its heyday seems to have been the royal wedding of 1554, when the castle was a luxurious palace with stables, barns, a wool store and the Bishop's prison. It is quite ruinous now , none of the buildings have upper storeys anymore ,  however there is a wooden viewing platform to give you some height to get a better view. There are some interesting nooks and crannies for exploring, and there is a pleasant area of grass at the entrance for those wishing to have a picnic. There are no other facilities, although it is in the middle of Winchester so there is plenty of choice for refreshments in the city centre. On the day we were there there was an ice cream van outside doing a roaring trade, but I do not know how often it is there. The site has free admission.





More info:  English Heritage Wolvesey Castle

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