Farnham Castle

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. This historic building marks the summit of Farnham's history and visitor attractions.



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.

THE KEEP

Built on top of the mound of a Motte and Bailey design castle, the construction of the original stone Keep has been dated to 1138, but it may be earlier. In 1154 Henry II demolished it to impose his control. Less than 50 years later the stone, Shell Keep you can see today was built as a stone wall around the entire mound area. The Keep was protected by the addition of round towers that gave improved lines of fire if under attack.

And the views over Farnham and the Surrey Hills are magnificent.



THE PALACE

Within the Bailey is a Palace built for and, over many years modified by, numerous Bishops of Winchester. It was also a Palace regularly visited by monarchs from King John to Queen Victoria. It comprises a number of interlinked buildings dating from the late 11th or early 12th century up to the 17th. The central Great Hall is linked by the Stone Hall to a medieval kitchen. The earliest building is a Norman chapel. Take a Wednesday guided tour to hear more of the Castle's story.


VISITOR CENTRE

The Visitor Centre provides user-friendly displays which give information on the Bishops who lived here and about the key events the castle has witnessed. It also includes a computer-generated display showing the stages in the castle's construction. It's a great source of information for history projects too.



Castle Street

Farnham

GU9 0AG


OPENING HOURS AND FEES



THE KEEP

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 - admission free


VISITORS' CENTRE

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 - admission free



THE BISHOP'S PALACE

Open Wednesdays 2-4pm for guided tours (last tour 3.30).

Adults: £3.50

Concessions: 15 years & below Free, Adults 65+ £2.50

Please phone Farnham Castle on 01252 721194 to reserve a space.


Website at https://www.farnham-castle.com/


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