The earliest visible features at Basing House today are the huge circular bank (or ringwork) and defensive ditches of a castle built in the 1100s by the de Port family, who arrived with William the Conqueror in the Norman invasion of 1066. It was on top of these castle remains that Sir William Paulet, the first Marquess of Winchester and Lord Treasurer of England, chose to build his new house in 1535.
When first built it was the largest private house in the country with around 360 rooms, and in its heyday was frequently visited by the monarchs of the day including Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, and Philip II of Spain and Queen Mary I who honeymooned there in 1554 after their marriage in nearby Winchester.
When the English Civil War broke out in 1642, England was divided between the Royalist, and often Catholic, supporters of King Charles I and those who favoured a more powerful Parliament, mainly Protestants.
See our magnificent recreated Jacobean garden and the new Lady of the House Garden, lovingly restored by our volunteers. These are located inside the walled garden.
There is much more to see in our Museum at Basing House, including a display dedicated to the Community Archaeology Dig, as well as information about archaeologists working on site, going right back to the 19th century.
Telephone Number: 01256 463965