The Town of Bishop Waltham

Bishop's Waltham

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Twelve miles south east of Winchester lies the medieval town of Bishop’s Waltham. The bishop of the title was Henry of Blois, brother of King Stephen, who founded Bishop’s Waltham Palace in the 12th century. An important residence of the powerful Winchester bishops, the palace hosted many royal visitors including Mary Tudor while she waited for the arrival of her future husband, Philip II of Spain, prior to their marriage. The palace was destroyed in 1644 under Cromwell’s orders but the extensive ruins are worth a visit today.

The town itself boasts a fine Norman church, plus a host of boutiques and award-winning restaurants housed in 17th and 18th-century buildings. There’s also a vineyard and a working mill nearby, the latter featuring in Channel 4’s Salvage Squad.

Bishop’s Waltham has many interesting connections with the Napoleonic Wars; prisoners of war were once held here, including the French admiral at the Battle of Trafalgar. Discover more about the town’s fascinating past with the help of ‘Discover Bishop’s Waltham’, a free leaflet which features a circular walk around the historic streets.

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  1. Bishops Waltham Palace



    1 Oct 2024to29 Mar 2025