Today we visited Basing House, the site of a once magnificent Tudor castle and house, destroyed in its third siege during the civil war by the Parliamentarians against the Royalists defenders. In its heyday it was visited by many kings and queens, both British and foreign, namely Queen Elisabeth 1st, Henry 8th, and Philip of Spain.
The siege was intense, but only lasted 45 minutes. The damage was total, not helped by the besiegers ransacking whilst the castle and house went up in flames. Even at this point of destruction some of the walls were still standing. However the locals were encouraged to take bricks and stone to rebuild their village. That is why so much of the nearby village has fine ancient red bricks from the once grand buildings.
The site was further damaged in the 18th Century when part of the Basingstoke Canal was routed through the ruins with no care given to the archaeological importance of the site for future generations.
What remains is more about using your imagination along with the aid of the on-site museum which narrates a video story of the siege.
Access can be rough at times, but certainly possible. To make it too modern would spoil the whole atmosphere. Very friendly staff throughout the site giving us even more information etc. made it a very worthwhile visit.
Click the LEGO model to see some photos from around the site.www3.hants.gov.uk/basing-house.htm