Castle in Winchester
Winchester Castle, now in ruins, was constructed in 1067 during the reign of William the Conqueror. However, it met its demise in 1647 when Oliver Cromwell and the parliament ordered its demolition. Fortunately, in 1683, renowned architect Wren oversaw its complete restoration as a residence for Charles II.
This storied castle has witnessed significant historical events. William the Conqueror safeguarded the Doomsday Book within its walls, and in 1194, Richard the Lionheart sought refuge here prior to his second coronation in the cathedral. The castle holds the distinction of being the birthplace of future King Henry III in 1207, hosted Edward I’s inaugural parliament, and served as the site of Sir Walter Raleigh’s trial in the law hall for conspiring against James I.
Among the remnants of Winchester Castle, the Great Hall, constructed in 1236, remains remarkably preserved. Inside, visitors can admire its robust Purbeck marble columns, ancient stained-glass windows, and an exposed wooden roof truss that bear witness to the castle’s illustrious past. Notably, the back wall features the legendary table top believed to have been King Arthur’s Round Table. Engaging guided tours offer an entertaining exploration of the castle’s history.
Don’t miss the opportunity to venture into the Castle Passageways, also known as the “Sally Port.” These covert underground passages were ingeniously designed to allow defenders to surprise their adversaries and retreat to the safety of the castle. Embarking on this adventure will add an extra layer of excitement to your visit.
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Visiting Winchester Castle
10am to 5pm daily (last entry is 4.30pm). There is no advance booking, simply buy your tickets on arrival.
Adult: £4 Child (5-16 yrs): £3