Bishops Waltham

Bishops Waltham is a small town in Hampshire, at the head of the River Hamble and close to the South Coast of England that dates back to Saxon times.   Much of the town is unchanged, retaining the historic buildings and shops and narrow streets.   Debbie and I stopped to take a walk through the town in April.  We hope you enjoy the photos that we took, which are in the gallery below.

The town is one of the few in England that has managed to retain it’s character, and as well as many of the Georgian buildings remaining, Bishops Waltham has managed to suppress the influx of larger supermarket chains and almost all of the shops in the town are family run businesses.   The local butcher had a number of protest signs outside because one of the supermarkets is planning to open in the town, which will sound the death knell for many of the local shops.

The ruins of Bishops Waltham Palace on the edge of the town are open to the public in the summer months and are run by the English Heritage Trust.  The palace was used by the Bishops and senior clergy of Winchester as they travelled through their diocese. Winchester was the richest diocese in England at the time, and as such its properties were grand.   The palace was destroyed on the orders of Oliver Cromwell during the English Civil war. Much of the old Palace is still in the town. Apart from the ruins, which are open to the public and well worth a visit, material from the Palace was used as building materials in town buildings still standing to this day.

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