Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Great Hall (Winchester)

The Great Hall at Winchester is the remaining part of Winchester Castle, originally built by William the Conqueror.

The Hall itself comes from a rebuilding by Henry III in the 12th century, after the original had burned down in 1141, and after Matilda's rescue by the Duke of Gloucester, hidden in a coffin, during her Civil War with Stephen. Henry was Matilda's daughter, and was born in Winchester, probably in a predecessor to this building.

It is widely considered one of the finest mediaeval halls in the country, perhaps only bettered by Westminster Hall.

It is an aisled hall with a timber roof, which is supported by eight columns constructed from Purbeck marble.

After another fire in 1302, monarchs preferred to stay at Wolvesey Castle.

Sir Walter Raleigh was condemned to death in the Great Hall in 1603, and later in the same century Judge Jeffreys sat here on a number of occasions.

On one of the walls of the Great Hall is the famous Round Table, and the hall also contains a statue of Queen Victoria.

Behind the hall is the delightful mediaeval Queen Eleanor's Garden.

Outside are excavated remains of the earlier castle.

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