|The Great Hall, built by Henry III|
|Coordinates||grid reference SU476295|
|Owner||Hampshire County Council|
|Condition||Great Hall remains, used as museum|
Between 1222–1235, Henry III (who was born at Winchester Castle) added the Great Hall, built to a "double cube" design, measuring 110 ft by 55 ft by 55 ft (approx. 33.5m by 16.8m by 16.8m). The Great Hall is built of flint with stone dressings; originally it had lower walls and a roof with dormer windows. In their place were added the tall two-light windows with early plate tracery. Extensions to the castle were made by Edward II. In 1873 the roof of the Great Hall was completely replaced.
An imitation Arthurian Round Table hangs in the Great Hall. The table was originally constructed in the 13th century, and repainted in its present form for Henry VIII; around the edge of the table are the names of King Arthur's knights.
Behind the Great Hall is a re-creation of a medieval garden called Queen Eleanor's Garden. A series of pictorial epigrams illuminated in medieval monastic style known as The Winchester Panels hang in the Great Hall. They depict the 25 knights of the Round Table and illustrate the challenges facing a maturing character as it progresses round the great "Wheel of Life".
The "Winchester Round Table" in the Great Hall, Dendrochronology dating has placed it at 1275.
In the 17th century, Charles II planned to build King's House adjoining the site, commissioning Christopher Wren to design a royal palace to rival the Palace of Versailles. The project was abandoned by James II
Another notorious trial took place in the Great Hall, on 15 March 1953; the 3rd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu Edward Montagu along with Michael Pitt-Rivers and Peter Wildeblood went on trial on charges of having committed specific acts of indecency.
The Castle today
Since 1889 Winchester Castle has been the seat of Hampshire County Council whose offices neighbour the Great Hall. Nearby, the excavated remains of the round tower with Sally ports and Guardrobes in the medieval city wall can also be seen.
Winchester Castle is also the name of a local football team.
- The Great Hall and Round Table - official site
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