Monday, March 14, 2011

Winchester Palace

Winchester  Palace

            Here stood the ruins of Winchester Palace which are the home of the powerful Bishops of Winchester. It is one of the largest and most important buildings in medieval London. It was founded in the 12th century by Bishop Henry de Blois, brother of King Stephen.  It was built to house the Bishops in comfort when staying in London. The visible remains were part of the Great Hall which formerly stood alongside the south bank of the Thames. To the right, the gable wall of the hall has doors which led to the buttery, pantry and kitchen, and it has a magnificent rose garden. Below the hall has a vaulted cellar where goods such as wine could be stored with a passage to the river wharf. The rest of the palace was arranged around two courtyards, and house many buildings, including a prison, brew house and butchery. The palace also had a tennis court, bowling alley and pleasure gardens. The palace remained in use until the seven century when it was divided into tenements and warehouses. The ruins were discovered in the 19th century following a fire and were finally revealed on 1980s during the development of the area.

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