Our Local Community

Bishop’s Waltham is an historic market town with a long and varied history. It is set in glorious Hampshire countryside. Situated at the mid point of a long-established route from Winchester to Portsmouth that cuts through chalk downs and the ancient Forest of Bere.

As you take in the many listed buildings and the impressive ruins of the medieval Bishop of Winchester’s Palace, it will come as no surprise to learn that the town centre is a designated conservation area.

Today, you can still see a working mill on the River Hamble and trek through the countryside along the verdant path which was once a railway line.

We are noted for our summer events calendar, including a week long festival of music and arts. The streets burst into life with the annual carnival held in June, which culminates in a community fête.

In the Town

Compact and charming, there’s so much to see in this pretty town. Previously a winner of a South of England in Bloom award, Bishop’s Waltham’s summer floral displays reflect the pride that residents and local business people take in their town.

In the High Street independent shops abound – browse awhile to find a special gift or item of clothing, then rest your feet in one of the town’s restaurants, delicatessens, hostelries or coffee shops.

St George’s Square is all that survives of the original market place at the south end of the High Street. Its focal point is the Millennium Clock, funded by donations from the people of Bishop’s Waltham.

Cross over the Winchester Road to locate the town’s fishing pond that was created for the early bishops of Winchester who were resident at the medieval palace. Today the pond still attracts a variety of wildfowl including swans with cygnets that occasionally hold up the traffic while crossing the road.
 
Our town's mixture of past and present is enhanced by the grand medieval Bishop’s Palace in the town centre. Explore the extensive remains, including the ruins of the great hall, and learn about the powerful visitors who have honoured the town with a visit. Henry II convened his barons at the palace in 1182 and Richard the Lionheart stayed in 1194. It was here too that Henry V prepared for the Battle of Agincourt; William of Wykeham, founder of Winchester College, died in 1404; and Queen Mary I waited for King Philip to arrive from Spain for their wedding in 1554.

 

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