Bishops Waltham is a small town/large village today but going back it’s significance historically is quite interesting. Here are some intriguing snippets about this market town through the ages ranging from William the Conqueror’s grandson to Cromwell Trafalger and many more connections
.As well as being local to us, Bishops Waltham has a place to play in tracing the origins of the Dipnall family which is both a One-Name Study and a family history project (and was the starting point for developing both Intriguing History and Intriguing Connections, but less of that for now.) This small onehampshire market town has much to reveal about the nature of English history and a journey from Doomsday to today… do you have knowledge and maps to share about the history of locations close to you, your family and your project?
- Bishops Waltham: the Index Map to the Hundred of Bishops Waltham published in Victorian History of Hampshire Vol3, shows the range of the Hundred as much greater than the centre of the town we would recognise today. With thanks to the excellent resources from British History online.
- Bishop’s Waltham is a place that has witnessed much change through it’s history and was bizarrely close to the centre of power in England and Europe due to it’s origins as the location of the palace of the Bishop of Winchester, who was as much a political player as as a religious leader.
- Bishops Waltham is referenced in the Doomsday Book, it is referenced as Waltham, you can see why in the above citation of the Victorian History of Hampshire. The reference states “Waltham: Bishop of Winchester before and after 1066, a park for wild animals” this refers to it as hunting grounds particularly for wild deer.
- Old Hampshire Gazette entries for Bishops Waltham: with references going back to pre Doomsday book circa 904 and providing a starting point to the etymology of the place name got to be worth a look check this check for the details with thanks to a project from Portsmouth University, what a useful reference.
- William the Conqueror’s grand-son Henry de Blois was a famous Bishop of Winchester 1129-1171 (and as an aside the font in East Meon All Saints Church was given by the Bishop.) It was about 1136 that he built the Bishop’s Palace.
- The Black Death decimated the local population during the 13th century
- The Palace was later burnt and ruined under Cromwell’es orders. Therein lies a further chapter in it’s history that may connect your family to the town?Along with the ruins, much of the building materials from the palace were recycled and integrated in the building of later houses in the town.
- The transformation of the Bishop’s Palace is documented in the World Heritage Artefacts of the Winchester Pipe Rolls...take a look at this reference for more info on what William of Whykeham and Henry Beaufort did to their pad at huge cost to the public purse…
- Post the Battle of Trafalgar French sailors were imprisoned in the town including Admiral Villneuvre
- You can explore some more on the history of the Hundred in the Victorian History of Hamshire via this link to British History Online
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Our initial interest was because of the number of DIPNALL records that turn-up ore 1837 and the BMD Registers to explore where the Dipnalls hail from and the origins of the name and family clusters and whether there is a bloodline connection between them. Hopefully these few snippets give you a flavour of why some apparently obscure places have some great and intriguing connections stories and insights …
If you have ideas, information , resources , mapping knowledge and etymological insight to share or a local project you would like to put online then just click here to let us know and we will get in contact to see how we can help…