Category Archives: Castles and Palaces and fortifications

Hampshire’s ancient history has ensured the county has plenty of castles and palaces to explore, many of them ruined but an exploration of their history is the means to explore the history of England itself.

Beaulieu Abbey

Beaulieu Abbey

Beaulieu Abbey, in the New Forest was founded by Cistercian monks on land gifted to them by King John in 1204. The ruins and the house are a historical gem that capture the essence of Hampshire history during the turbulent Medieval period. Continue Reading

Netley Castle

Netley Castle

Netley Castle faces out across Southampton Water, it’s back turned on nearby Netley Abbey and looking out for signs of a possible French invasion Netley Castle started life as the gatehouse to the Cistercian Netley Abbey. The early grounds of the abbey spilled outside of it’s present day boundaries and road, down to the shore… Continue Reading

Bishop’s Waltham Palace

Bishop’s Waltham Palace

Bishop’s Waltham Palace, the name itself conjurers up the magnificent place it must have been 900 years ago. Bishop’s Waltham Palace lies just ten miles away from Winchester Cathedral and was the noble palace of it’s Bishop’s who built a splendid residence for themselves and a 1000 acre park. Henry de Blois, that inveterate builder,… Continue Reading

Basing House Before the Civil War

Basing House Before the Civil War

Basing House is a marvelous ruin, filled with five hundred years of history and intrigue, it’s history prior to the English Civil War is as fascinating as what followed. Continue Reading

Southampton Castle

Southampton Castle

When Winchester was the royal capital of England, Southampton, close by on the southern coast of England, was it’s chief port and trading centre. It was an obvious magnet for Danish and French raiding party’s and it’s defence became an issue. The castle was constructed first out of timber and then stone and it’s great city walls threw up a considerable obstacle to attack Continue Reading