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Posted on Oct 24, 2004 in Stuff We Like

Battlefield Tour – Basing House

Armchair General

BATTLEFIELD TOUR – BASING HOUSE

At one time, Basing House was the largest private house in England. It was the personal palace of a powerful courtier and servant of the Tudor sovereigns, William Paulet, the Marquess of Winchester and Lord Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth.

Field Gun

As a rich nobleman, Paulet expanded on existing structures and constructed a large stately home that was said to be the greatest in the land.

However, this power and prestige was not to last. When the English Civil War erupted, powerful noblemen like Paulet were forced to choose between loyalty to the Royalist forces of the King, who wished to maintain his absolute authority over the land, or the Parliamentarians who wanted to bring democratic rule to England.

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During the English Civil War, the House became a Royalist enclave and a lengthy siege by opposing Parliamentarian forces under Oliver Cromwell ensured the total destruction of the House in 1645, leaving only ruins.

Today, all that remains are the cellars of the “Old House”, and evidence of vast earthwork fortifications topped and surrounded with crumbling brick walls. This is a sad end for what is officially the last ever official Castle built in England.

Take a trip with Armchair General to discover the bloody end of Basing House…

You will find the following link of interest:

http://www.hants.gov.uk/museum/basingho/

The following photos were taken using a Sony DSC-P12 Cyber-Shot digital camera at 5.0 Megapixels, although since reduced in size for this article. Clicking on the thumbnail pictures will display a larger version.

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