Winchester Palace, Southwark, Greater London
The Great Hall Winchester Palace. Winchester Palace was the largest palace of the Bishops of Winchester for over 500 years. It was built for William Giffard, Bishop of Winchester, in 1109. He used it as a London residence when carrying out royal or administrative state business. The Great Hall and adjoining parts of the Bishops' House were rebuilt in around 1340. In 1540, Henry VIII probably met Catherine Howard, his fifth bride, at the house. The last bishop to live there was Lancelot Andrewes who died in 1626. In 1642 it was converted to a prison for royalists. It remained a prison for five years. At the Restoration it was returned to the See of Winchester but was in such a bad state that the Bishop let it out as tenements and it deteriorated even further. In 1814 a fire destroyed most of the building. The main surviving feature is the rose window and its tracery in the Great Hall, measuring 13 feet in diameter. This forms part of a wall standing to a height of 50 feet. This property is now (2011) in the care of English Heritage. Find out more.