|HCC Site ID:||1503||Parish:||Bishop’s Waltham|
|Designations:||CA, SAM House LB II*||Area:||Small|
|Access:||No Public Access||Ownership:||Private|
Location and Site
Palace House lies within the ruins of Bishop’s Palace, Bishop’s Waltham, in the south west corner.
The park belonging to the Bishop’s Palace was approximately 405 ha (1,000 acres) probably dating from Saxon times, as boundary hedges have been dated to this period. There was a deer park with the Palace being built by Henri de Blois about 1135 for the Bishops of Winchester. The Palace was destroyed in 1644 during the Civil War and never occupied again.
The ruins of the original Palace are in the care of English Heritage and open to the public during the summer. Much of Bishop Langton’s brick wall remains with ruins of two turrets. Parts of the fishponds also survive in the town though in need of some clearance.
The park was split up and leased out and the brick Palace House was built in the SW part of the walled enclosure. The main facade of the house is from 1690. There is an earlier wing (16th Century). The northern half of the house was added in about 1830. When the house was sold in 1857, it had a number of outbuildings and lawn, shrubberies, kitchen garden, orchard, carriage drive and young fruit trees: with a meadow and part of the ruins it covered 8 acres (3.25 ha). In 1869, the site passed to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners who sold it; then in 1889 it was placed in the guardianship of the Office of Works.
Only a few specimen trees remain from the 19th century. Palace House is now privately owned; the rose garden was re-designed in the 1990s by Michael Baron. A 14th century man-made water course was restored in 2006 with advice from Kim Wilkie.
Palace House in the SW corner of the ruins medieval Bishops Palace site, following the Civil War. 19th century additions; the rose garden redesigned in the 1990s, and in 2006 a 14th century man-made water course was restored. A 15th century wall and a part-filled moat surround the whole site.
Research: March 2003, updated 2008