The Great hall is the only remaining part of Winchester palace that was built between 1129 and 1144. It was built for Henry of Blois, brother of King Stephen and grandson of William the Conqueror. Henry was in charge of the royal purse and Southwark. Southwark escaped the jurisdiction of the city square mile, and became known as London’s naughty neighbour, indulging in brothels, gambling and theatre. The palace was built to be Henry’s pleasure palace, containing banqueting rooms, a butchery, brothels, a brewery, and the Clink prison. For hundreds of years the palace was home for the Bishops of Winchester.
It was in this room that the Scottish King, James I married Joan Beaufort in 1424.
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