Winchester Castle

Winchester Castle

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Winchester Castle is a medieval building in Hampshire
Hampshire
Hampshire is a county on the southern coast of England in the United Kingdom. The county town of Hampshire is Winchester, a historic cathedral city that was once the capital of England. Hampshire is notable for housing the original birthplaces of the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force...

, England. It was founded in 1067. Only the Great Hall exists now; it houses a museum
Museum
A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary. Most large museums are located in major cities...

 of the history of Winchester.

Great Hall


Between 1222–1235, Henry III
Henry III of England
Henry III was the son and successor of John as King of England, reigning for 56 years from 1216 until his death. His contemporaries knew him as Henry of Winchester. He was the first child king in England since the reign of Æthelred the Unready...

 (who was born at Winchester Castle) added the Great Hall
Great hall
A great hall is the main room of a royal palace, nobleman's castle or a large manor house in the Middle Ages, and in the country houses of the 16th and early 17th centuries. At that time the word great simply meant big, and had not acquired its modern connotations of excellence...

, built to a "double cube" design, measuring 110 ft by 55 ft by 55 ft (approx. 33.5m by 16.8m by 16.8m). The Great Hall is built of flint
Flint
Flint is a hard, sedimentary cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz, categorized as a variety of chert. It occurs chiefly as nodules and masses in sedimentary rocks, such as chalks and limestones. Inside the nodule, flint is usually dark grey, black, green, white, or brown in colour, and...

 with stone dressings; originally it had lower walls and a roof with dormer windows. In their place were added the tall two-light windows with early plate tracery
Tracery
In architecture, Tracery is the stonework elements that support the glass in a Gothic window. The term probably derives from the 'tracing floors' on which the complex patterns of late Gothic windows were laid out.-Plate tracery:...

. Extensions to the castle
Castle
A castle is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble...

 were made by Edward II
Edward II of England
Edward II , called Edward of Caernarfon, was King of England from 1307 until he was deposed by his wife Isabella in January 1327. He was the sixth Plantagenet king, in a line that began with the reign of Henry II...

. In 1873 the roof of the Great Hall was completely replaced.

An imitation Arthurian Round Table hangs in the Great Hall. The table was originally constructed in the 13th century, and repainted in its present form for Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

; around the edge of the table are the names of King Arthur
King Arthur
King Arthur is a legendary British leader of the late 5th and early 6th centuries, who, according to Medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early 6th century. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and...

's knights.

Behind the Great Hall is a re-creation of a medieval garden called Queen Eleanor's Garden.

History


In 1302, Edward I
Edward I of England
Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

 and his second wife, Margaret of France
Marguerite of France (born 1282)
Margaret of France , a daughter of Philip III of France and Maria of Brabant, was Queen of England as the second wife of King Edward I, who was her father's first cousin.-Early life:...

, narrowly escaped death when the royal apartments of the castle were destroyed by fire.

Margaret of York
Margaret of York (1472)
Margaret of York was a namesake niece of Margaret of York, Duchess of Burgundy. She was the fifth child and fourth daughter of Edward IV of England and Elizabeth Woodville....

, daughter of King Edward IV
Edward IV of England
Edward IV was King of England from 4 March 1461 until 3 October 1470, and again from 11 April 1471 until his death. He was the first Yorkist King of England...

, was born here on 10 April 1472.

On November 17, 1603 Sir Walter Raleigh
Walter Raleigh
Sir Walter Raleigh was an English aristocrat, writer, poet, soldier, courtier, spy, and explorer. He is also well known for popularising tobacco in England....

 went on trial for treason
Treason
In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's sovereign or nation. Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife. Treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a...

 for his supposed part in the Main Plot
Main Plot
The Main Plot was an alleged conspiracy of July 1603 by English courtiers, to remove King James I from the English throne, replacing him with his cousin Arabella Stuart. The plot was supposedly led by Henry Brooke, Lord Cobham, and funded by Spain...

 in the converted Great Hall.

The castle was used by the Royalists
Monarchism
Monarchism is the advocacy of the establishment, preservation, or restoration of a monarchy as a form of government in a nation. A monarchist is an individual who supports this form of government out of principle, independent from the person, the Monarch.In this system, the Monarch may be the...

 in the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

, eventually falling to Parliamentarians
Parliament of England
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066, William of Normandy introduced a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws...

 in 1646. Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

 then ordered the castle's destruction.

In the 17th century, Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

 planned to build King's House adjoining the site, commissioning Christopher Wren
Christopher Wren
Sir Christopher Wren FRS is one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history.He used to be accorded responsibility for rebuilding 51 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666, including his masterpiece, St. Paul's Cathedral, on Ludgate Hill, completed in 1710...

 to design a royal palace
Palace
A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence or the home of a head of state or some other high-ranking dignitary, such as a bishop or archbishop. The word itself is derived from the Latin name Palātium, for Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills in Rome. In many parts of Europe, the...

 to rival the Palace of Versailles
Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles , or simply Versailles, is a royal château in Versailles in the Île-de-France region of France. In French it is the Château de Versailles....

. The project was abandoned by James II
James II of England
James II & VII was King of England and King of Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685. He was the last Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland...



Another notorious trial took place in the Great Hall, on 15 March 1953; the 3rd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu Edward Montagu
Edward Douglas-Scott-Montagu, 3rd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu
Edward John Barrington Douglas-Scott-Montagu, 3rd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu is a British Conservative politician well known in Britain for founding the National Motor Museum, as well as for a pivotal cause célèbre in British gay history, his 1954 conviction and imprisonment for homosexual sex, a...

 along with Michael Pitt-Rivers and Peter Wildeblood went on trial on charges of having committed specific acts of indecency.

The Castle today


Since 1889 Winchester Castle has been the seat of Hampshire County Council
Hampshire County Council
Hampshire County Council is the county council that governs the majority of the county of Hampshire in England. It provides the upper tier of local government, below which are district councils, and town and parish councils...

 whose offices neighbour the Great Hall. Nearby, the excavated remains of the round tower
Round tower
Round tower may refer to:Types of tower:* Irish round tower, a type of early mediaeval stone tower* Broch, a type of Iron Age drystone structure found in Scotland* Round-tower church, a type of church found mainly in England...

 with Sally port
Sally port
The primary modern meaning for sally port is a secure, controlled entryway, as at a fortification or a prison. The entrance is usually protected in some way, such as with a fixed wall blocking the door which must be circumvented before entering, but which prevents direct enemy fire from a distance...

s and Guardrobes in the medieval
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 city wall
Defensive wall
A defensive wall is a fortification used to protect a city or settlement from potential aggressors. In ancient to modern times, they were used to enclose settlements...

 can also be seen.

Winchester Castle is also the name of a local football team
Winchester Castle F.C.
Winchester Castle F.C. are an English football team based in Winchester. The club was reformed in 2006 after originally going out of existence at the end of the 2001–02 season when the former club was merged with their local rivals Winchester City. They are currently members of the Hampshire...

.

See also

  • Castles in Great Britain and Ireland
  • List of castles in England
  • Three Castles Path
    Three Castles Path
    The Three Castles Path is a 60-mile long-distance footpath in England from Winchester Great Hall, Hampshire to Windsor Castle, Berkshire via the ruins of Odiham Castle ....


Sources



External links