Construction on Farnham Castle was begun in 1138 by Bishop Henry of Blois, the brother of King Stephen (1097-1154), as a residence for the Bishop of Winchester. It provides a fascinating backdrop for the town of Farnham. The original tower that was built on a 30 feet mound was dismantled in the late 12 th century and was replaced by the present 23 sided keep. The Keep was destroyed during the English Civil War of the 17 th century and today is a ruin. Nevertheless it offers an excellent vantage point from which to view the surrounding parks. During the 15 th century the castle was transformed into an elegant palace, much of which is still in use today as a conference centre and includes residential accommodation and a grand library.
The castle has a much more domestic atmosphere than many other English castles. Visitors have access to all of its main features including the library, the Great Hall that links a Tudor wing to other rooms, the galley and the Norman Chapel.