The magnificent Castle overlooks the town. In 1138 Henry de Blois started building the Castle. It provided a fortification at the meeting of the highways and also hospitable accommodation for the Bishops of Winchester in frequent journey between his Cathedral and the capital.
At the foot of the 12th Century Keep, more spacious and comfortable living quarters were gradually built.
Mary Tudor stayed whilst on her way to marry Philip of Spain at Winchester Cathedral and Elizabeth the First visited the castle several times. Domestic buildings followed in the 13th century and today the castle is still a blend of the fortified and residential.
From the 12th century until the 1920ís it was a residence; a palace of the Bishops of Winchester. Through the years, they entertained many of the kings and queens of England.
The castle saw little conflict but was the scene of fighting during the Civil Wars.
After the Reformation, Bishop Morley restored the residential buildings, retaining the shell of the medieval structure but re-modelling the interior, particularly the Great Hall.
The Diocese of Guildford was created out of the Diocese of Winchester in 1927 and buildings altered to make a residence for the Bishop of Guildford. However, no bishop has lived at the castle since 1955.
Today the residential part is occupied by Farnham Castle International Briefing and Conference Centre and the Castle Keep is managed on behalf of English Heritage.
Visit Farnham Castle
Local guides, who have extensive knowledge of the history of Farnham Castle, provide tours of the Bishop's Palace.
For full details please visit www.farnhamcastle.com