After yesterday's diversion to Winchester, we are back for my final post about Woking today.
I like to do a bit of research before I dash off on a jaunt. That's how I noticed that there was a Woking Palace. It had been one of those significant places in Tudor times, as well as before and after. The hunting was good, it seems.
A manor house was on the site in 1207 and passed to various owners but by 1466 it was in the hands of Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII. Over the next hundred and fifty years or so, it was extended and altered but it consisted of a Great Hall, many ancillary buildings all sited within a double moat surrounded by extensive parkland.
Henry VIII brought all of his wives to the Palace, Queen Mary didn't visit but Queen Elizabeth I carried out repairs. In 1620 King James I granted the Palace to Edward Zouch but he abandoned it and it gradually fell into ruin, some of it's building materials used for other houses and some items ending up in other properties.
Nowadays, there isn't an awful lot left of it, but the archeology promises much. The stone building has a barrel vault. You can see that the archeologists were in when I visited, digging trenches where the gatehouse would have been. I wonder what they will find?
|These tiles were found and are displayed at the Lightbox.|
|I'm standing on the bridge over the moat here although the moat has long since disappeared.|
|Can you just imagine Henry VIII riding over this land on one of his hunting expeditions?|
I was glad to chat to the volunteers from the Friends of Woking Palace, have a look at their website.