• Bishop Henry begins building, or possibly rebuilding at Farnham Castle.


  • 1180

    Around this time, THE GREAT HALL and NORMAN CHAPEL were built. Work also began on the Shell Keep and outer curtain wall, and continued into the next century.
  • King John was a frequent visitor to the castle during this period.


  • 1216

    Prince Louis of France takes the English throne and occupies both Guildford and Farnham Castles. A year later, the Earl of Pembroke takes the Castle back.
  • When Bishop John de Pontoise visited he often entertained on a lavish scale. On this particular visit brine tubs stored 311 pigs in two larders to serve up pork for the special occasion.


  • 1378

    Renovations in THE GREAT HALL occur at this time and include an increase in height and new windows to make clerestory.
  • Bishop Waynflete begins building a grand entrance tower in brick.


  • 1500’s

    Elizabeth I visited Farnham Castle at least six times; the last time was in 1602, eighteen months before her death.
  • With the move into Tudor times, Bishop Fox makes major alterations to the Castle, including extensive modifications to the tower and south side of the buildings. He also builds steps up from the town.


  • 1600’s

    Parliament garrisons the Castle in 1642 and by 1648 Farnham Castle was sold and neglected. Fourteen years later, in 1662, the Castle is restored.
  • Bishop Andrewes entertained King James I at Farnham Castle spending more than £2,000 over the three days 'to the extraordinary contentment of his Majesty, and the admiration of all his followers.'


  • 1884

    Stained glass windows were installed at the Castle.
  • Around this time, the Castle was brought into the modern age as Bishop David installed electricity at the Castle.


  • 1930s

    During the World Wars, the 13th Century Arches were exposed and in 1933 the Keep was placed in the guardianship of the State.

  • The War Office sets up a Camouflage Development and Training Centre at the Castle.


  • 1949

    The windows, which still remain intact, were ‘signed’ by cleaners! Three decades later, the motto was inscribed on the fireplace.
  • The Bishops of Guildford vacate the Castle and the buildings are left unoccupied for several years until 1962, when the Bishop’s Palace is leased.


  • 1989

    THE GREAT HALL is repaired and redecorated, followed by the restoration and renovation of Bishop’s Palace in 2006 and The Keep in 2010.
  • An extensive programme of investment in the facilities at the Castle begins, heralding a new era of exceptional hospitality.