The children were met by Farnham Castle Trust chairman Derek Carpenter and guide and lead storyteller Gilly Stewart, supported by Claire East. The children were told how Caedwalla, an Anglo Saxon king, granted various lands in Farnham to found a monastery. In 803 the land was passed to the Bishop of Winchester.
The children peered at the remains of the original motte or earthen mound, which had a three-storey tower on the top. This formed the original keep. This is thought to have been built in 1138 by Bishop Henry de Blois, grandson of William the Conqueror.
Around 1200 a larger keep was built and a protective circle of stone was built to protect it. As Farnham was between Winchester and London, it was a useful resting place in the journey between the two towns.
After learning about the castle’s history, the children listened attentively to a story by Gilly Stewart of Alwin, a ten-year-old boy born in 1132 who was the son of a blacksmith at the castle. Alwin kept the fire going in the forge to make horseshoes, axe heads, tools and scythes.
He learnt to use a bow and arrow as the bishop or king could order men to fight in his army at any time.
After a two-hour visit, the children left Farnham Castle bathed in the midday sunshine.
The event was organised and supported by the trustees and volunteers for Farnham Castle Trust responsible for Farnham Castle and Bishop’s Palace. For information about free daily access to the castle keep and to book guided tours of the palace visit https://www.farnham-castle.com/