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Woking Palace

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Old Hall; Okyng

In the civil parish of Woking.
In the historic county of Surrey.
Modern Authority of Surrey.
1974 county of Surrey.
Medieval County of Surrey.

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ02965704
Latitude 51.30347° Longitude -0.52427°

Woking Palace has been described as a certain Palace.

There are major building remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Woking Palace is of particular importance because of its excellent survival, high diversity, enormous archaeological potential both on the island itself and in the waterlogged moats and particularly because of its historical association with royalty and the amenity value which it is afforded by this association. The moated site at Woking Palace includes the earthworks of the moat and its surviving inner bank, the area within the moat which contains ruined and standing buildings and, within the copse on the north west side, a group of fishponds. This unusually large moated site was a royal residence dating from at least 1272 which was used by Edward IV and Henry VIII and which was the birthplace of Mary Tudor in 1514. The monument features at its centre a stone building with a 14th century doorway and a brick barrel vault with some original stone ribs. The ruins of a brick-built barn of 16th century date adjoin this stone building, while to the east are the brick and stone foundations of further buildings, some or all of which belong to the medieval or early post-medieval manor. Around the perimeter, except to the south, is a moat which is seasonally water-filled. The southern limit itself is formed by the River Wey, an area of which contains a submerged timber structure believed to be a contemporary wharf. This was discovered and recorded in the northern half of the river at the east end of the monument in 1996. On the western side of the monument the moat is bounded by a slight outer bank and a substantial inner bank which in turn has an inner narrower moat. It was from this inner moat that water was directed into the two parallel rectangular fishponds, thence to a third and now partly infilled pond and finally into an internal projection of the moat which led northwards from the centre of the monument to the main moat circuit. The causeway entrance at the mid-point of the eastern moat arm is likely to have been the original access point. (Scheduling Report)

Woking Palace was not only a palace but also in effect the manor house of the old Royal Manor of Woking which had more or less similar boundaries to the ancient parish of St Peter's, Woking. The Palace stood in a park the boundaries of which were roughly the present day Old Woking Road, Pyrford Common Road, Church Hill and Newark Lane with the River Wey as its southern boundary. Under the ownership of Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII, various building works turned the Manor into a Palace. The Palace was frequently visited by Henry VII on his accession to the throne and by his son Henry VIII who extended and enlarged the Palace between 1515 and 1543. Further work was carried out between 1565 and 1594 during Elizabeth I's reign. In 1620 the Palace was granted by James I to Sir Edward Zouch who abandoned it and built himself a new manor house at Hoe Place. There is some evidence that materials from the Palace were reused in the construction of the new house. It is possible too, that some of the fine glass at Sutton Place was taken from the Palace and the Jacobean style staircase at Fishers Farm may well have originated from the same source. When the Palace was abandoned in the 1620s, the Park was turned over to farming. This new phase probably gave rise to the building of farmhouses in the Park or the conversion of existing buildings to such use. The Old House and Woking Park Farm both shown in the margin were probably two of those farmhouses. Archaeologically, little trace remains of this history. A small building measuring 30ft by 18ft with one window and two doors has been recorded, as has a run down barn. A shallow depression is all that remains of what was referred to by the Victoria County History as a double moat. It is suggested that two "stagnant ponds" in Oldhall Copse, at the north-west of the moated enclosure may be the fishponds of the palace. (Surrey HER)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:02

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