Winchester Palace

London, United Kingdom

Winchester Palace


Winchester Palace was a 12th-century palace which served as the London townhouse of the Bishops of Winchester. It was located in the parish of Southwark in Surrey, on the south bank of the River Thames (opposite the City of London) on what is now Clink Street in the London Borough of Southwark, near St Saviour's Church which later became Southwark Cathedral. Grade II listed remains of the demolished palace survive on the site today, designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument, under the care of English Heritage.

Southwark in the county of Surrey was formerly the largest manor in the Diocese of Winchester and the Bishop of Winchester was a major landowner in the area. He was a great power in the land, and traditionally served as the king's royal treasurer, performing the function of the modern Chancellor of the Exchequer. He thus frequently needed to attend the king both at his court in Westminster, at the Tower of London and also was required to attend Parliament with other bishops and major abbots. The city of Winchester had been the capital of the Saxon kings of England. For that purpose, Henry of Blois built the palace as his comfortable and high-status London residence. Most of the other English bishops similarly had episcopal palaces in London, most notably Lambeth Palace, residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

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