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WOKING PALACE

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The now ruined, moated site of Woking Palace was first documented in 1272 and used as a residence for Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of the future Henry VII from circa 1466. It was converted into a palace by Henry VII following his accession in 1485 and subsequently altered by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Henry VIII was a regular visitor to Woking and approved a series of repairs and alterations which included the construction of a new wharf and two bowling alleys. In 1620 the estate was granted to Sir Edward Zouch who built a new mansion nearly a mile from the palace and by the mid 17th century the palace had been abandoned and virtually ruined.

The palace moat, which is seasonally water-filled, has no southern arm, as the southern side of the site is defined by the River Wey. A submerged timber structure was discovered in the northern half of the river, at the eastern end of the site, in 1996. It is believed to have been a wharf contemporary with the moated site. On the western side of the site, the moat has a slight outer bank and a substantial inner bank, which has an inner, narrower moat. Water was directed from this inner moat into two parallel fishponds, then onto a third, now partly infilled, fishpond, and finally into an internal projection of the moat which led northwards from the centre of the site to the main moat circuit. There is a causeway entrance in the middle of the eastern arm. In the centre of the moat stands a stone building with a 14th century doorway and a brick barrel vault. This adjoins a brick building constructed as the King's Hall in 1508 and converted into a barn after the palace site was abandoned in the early 17th century. The brick and stone foundations of further buildings lie to the east.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the Historic England website.