Built on top of the mound of a Motte and Bailey design castle, the construction of the original stone Keep has been dated to 1138, but it may be earlier. In 1154 Henry II demolished it to impose his control. Less than 50 years later the stone, Shell Keep you can see today was built as a stone wall around the entire mound area. The Keep was protected by the addition of round towers that gave improved lines of fire if under attack.
And the views over Farnham and the Surrey Hills are magnificent.
Within the Bailey is a Palace built for and, over many years modified by, numerous Bishops of Winchester. It was also a Palace regularly visited by monarchs from King John to Queen Victoria.
It comprises a number of interlinked buildings dating from the late 11th or early 12th century up to the 17th. The central Great Hall is linked by the Stone Hall to a medieval kitchen. The earliest building is a Norman chapel.
Take a Wednesday guided tour to hear more of the Castle's story.
The Visitor Centre provides user-friendly displays which give information on the Bishops who lived here and about the key events the castle has witnessed. It also includes a computer-generated display showing the stages in the castle's construction.
It's a great source of information for history projects too.