From William the Conqueror to the 21st century: 900 Years of Living History at Farnham Castle

By Culture24 Staff | 02 June 2011
A photo of the outside of a tall white castle
Exhibition: 900 Years of Living History, Farnham Castle, Farnham, until December 23 2011

Demolished during Henry II’s reign in the 12th century and nearly reduced to rubble by the Civil War of 1648, Farnham Castle in Surrey’s resurrections have served as reflections of centuries of architectural thinking.

The imposing attraction’s motte and fortresses have been in continuous occupation since the 12th century, built by the grandson of William the Conqueror in 1138 and home to the Bishops of Winchester for more than 800 years.

Their past tells its own tale when it comes to putting an exhibition on the five-acre site together. “It’s a story of the evolution of the keep and palace buildings that made up the Castle and their role as a home, meeting place, battleground and as a favourite haunt of royalty through the centuries,” explains the Castle’s Jeff Toms, calling this display a “unique insight” into a millennium of history.

The picturesque town’s University of Creative Arts have conspired with organisers to give the show an imaginative look, cocooning an animated projection of the Castle’s evolution inside a curved wall and tower at the heart of the exhibition.

Ceramic bishops heads, crafted in the UCA studios, gaze over at an arrow split – a reminder of the defensive shelter it gave to bishops threatened by disputes with domestic and foreign monarchs.

  • Open 9am-5pm (10am-4pm Saturday and Sunday). Admission free.
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