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Description: The Castle (The Inhabited Parts Only)
Date Listed: 4 June 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 269653
OS Grid Reference: ST2258124624
OS Grid Coordinates: 322581, 124624
Latitude/Longitude: 51.0158, -3.1050
(The inhabited parts only)
ST 2224 NE 9/4 4.6.52.
A very important complex of buildings which was originally the medieval castle
of the Bishops of Winchester. William Giffard between 1107 and 1129 converted
the bishop's hall into a castle of which the west wall, with its narrow clasping
buttresses, now looks out upon the modern Wyndham Hall to west. Henry of Blois,
his successor as bishop, built the keep. Bishop William Ralegh during 1245 to
1249 carried out the rebuilding of the great hall and chamber (now the Somerset
room) as well as the chapel of St Nicholas. In the room just over the inner gate
were the bishops' exchequer and treasury. The Castle was held by Robert Blake
when beseiged by Royalists 1644-5. The north wall still bears marks of damage
caused by gunfire from across the River Tone. In 1662 the keep was demolished.
Assize courts (including the famous "Bloody Assizes" of 1685) were held in the
great hall until 1858. Somerset Archaeological Society acquired the buildings
in 1873. Buildings include:- Round tower. Norman buttresses and window in west
range. Constable's tower with C13 windows at north-west angle. Great hall with
C15 windows. Walls of the Norman keep in the garden to the north of the Castle
Hotel (excavated 1924-O), Gateway of 1495. Cl7 house at south-east angle with
fine shell hood to doorway in courtyard. Small Adamesque library dating from circa
1785, when Sir Benjamin Hammet was Keeper of the Castle and did much restoration.
Recent Wyndham galleries. The uninhabited parts only are scheduled A.M.
All the listed buildings on Castle Green form a group together with Ina Cottage,
Listing NGR: ST2255524596
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.