Farnham Castle has sat on our doorstep for ten years and yet we have never visited. Well technically speaking it has sat on the hill just outside Farnham for 900 years but our doorstep has only been around the corner from it for ten years. On Sunday morning last week we decided to go for a mooch. Mr B has been sent a camera by Calumet Photographic to play with for the week and despite it being freezing outside we thought it would be fun to take it out and see what it could do. So Farnham Castle seemed like a good place to start. Mr B will be sharing his pics (and comparing them to those taken on his existing Canon) but these are mine, alongside a bit of history about the castle.
There are two parts to Farnham Castle: The Keep and the Bishop’s Palace. The latter is now a conference facility and stunning wedding venue, and so is generally closed to the public. English Heritage has guardianship of the Keep but on a day to day basis it is run by the Castle and a trusty bunch of volunteers. It is open all year round, and is free. You can find more information on it here: Farnham Castle Keep
Since it is a ruin, and accessed via steep steps it isn’t suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs sadly.
Built in 1138 by Henri de Blois, grandson of William the Conqueror, Bishop of Winchester, the castle was to become the home of the Bishops of Winchester for over 800 years. The original building was demolished by Henry II in 1155 after the Anarchy and then rebuilt in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. In the early 15th century, it was the residence of Cardinal Henry Beaufort who presided at the trial of Joan of Arc in 1414. It is for this reason that St Joan of Arc’s Church in Farnham is dedicated to her. The castle was slighted again after the Civil War in 1648. Since then more buildings have been constructed in the castle’s grounds, the most impressive being those built by Bishop George Morley in the 17th century
These were fireplaces apparently, the largest part of the Keep remaining today
Such a shame about the weather as this would be stunning on a sunny day
One of the only remaining arrow slits used to protect the Keep from marauders
After we left the Keep we turned right and headed away from Farnham to Farnham Park. Well worth a visit if you want a walk in the park. Attached to it is a bustling cafe staffed by a great bunch of people. We had a two cups of tea and two toasties for just £7 ! We saw some other people demolish huge plates of chilli and rice, for just £3. Definitely a place to stop off on a cold day for a cuppa and a slice of cake.
Note it is closed from Christmas Eve until February 1st.