Farnham Castle

Farnham Castle

The History of Farnham Castle

Farnham Castle is set in 5 acres of gardens overlooking the town. Henri de Blois, who was the grandson of William the Conqueror, built it in 1138. The castle became the home of the Bishops of Winchester for over 800 years. The original building was demolished by Henry II in 1155 after the Anarchy and then rebuilt in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. In the early 15th century, it was the residence of Cardinal Henry Beaufort who presided at the trial of Joan of Arc in 1414. The castle was slighted again after the Civil War in 1648. Since then more buildings have been constructed in the castle's grounds, the most impressive being those built by Bishop George Morley in the 17th century.

 

 

Pictured above is a view of Farnham Castle from the cricket pitch courtesy of SovalValtos.

Introduction:

Farnham Castle overlooks the town of Farnham, making it a popular tourist attraction. According to the Castle website, “historical associations and nearly continuous occupancy make the Castle one of the most important historical buildings in the south of England”.

 

However, it is also reputedly haunted, and the author Peter Underwood devotes a chapter to it in Haunted Farnham.

 

Paranormal phenomena have been reported in the following areas of the castle:

Fox’s Tower:

 

The apparition of Bishop Morley (1662-1684) has been seen walking the corridors, and footsteps heard have also been attributed to his restless spirit.

 

Pictured left is Fox's Tower courtesy of BabelStone.

Great Hall:

 

This is supposedly home to “several” ghosts. These include a “little dancing girl”. Audible “dying gasps” and “the faint sound of bare-foot dancing”, as well as an overwhelming sense of sadness have also been attributed to her. The figure of a priest or monk in a brown robe has been witnessed. The sounds of a bell ringing have also been reported. Bishop Morley is also reputed to haunt this area in the form of a solid,” grey-robed figure” that disappears in an instant.

 

Pictured above is the Facade of Bishop's Palace courtesy of Pjposullivan.

The Keep:

 

“Indistinct” human forms have been sighted. The apparition of a “stern-faced lady” who is described as wearing a light-coloured gown with a long cord girdle has been sighted. The sensation of not being alone has also been reported here.

 

Pictured left is the Keep courtesy of BabelStone.

The Moat:

 

According to witnesses, a procession of phantom monks has been reported walking here.

 

Pictured left is Fox's Tower courtesy of Malcolm Delahaye.

Other Phenomena:

 

Other phenomena around the castle over the years have included phantom footsteps; and bedclothes being pulled from a sleeping patron and exuding a “sense of evil” at the same time.

 

Pictured left is the entrance to Farnham Castle courtesy of SuzanneKn.

Location

Visitor Information

Farnham is a town in Surrey, England.
The town is 34.5 miles from London in the extreme west of Surrey, adjacent to the border with Hampshire. By road Guildford is 11 miles to the east.
Pictured left is Farnham Castle Keep courtesy of Pjposullivan. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
For further information on Farnham Castle, please visit:
www.farnhamcastle.com
Haunted Farnham
Peter Underwood
ISBN: 978-0-7524-7245-4
Haunted Castles of Britain and Ireland
Richard Jones
ISBN: 978-1-84330-436-8